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Reactions to Obama's Iraq plan

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro (Statements compiled by NBC's Mike Viqueira, Kelly O'Donnell and Ken Strickland)

Reactions to President Obama's Iraq withdrawal plan have been mostly universally praised by Republicans, but approached cautiously by some Democrats.

Video: President Barack Obama visits the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to announce his plan to end the U.S. combat mission in Iraq.

House Minority Leader John Boehner calls the plan "responsible" though, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gives the credits Gen. David Petraeus.

"The plan put forward by President Obama continues our strategy of bringing troops home from Iraq as they succeed in stabilizing the country," Boehner said. "I believe he has outlined a responsible approach...." 

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor complimented Obama, and took a swipe at other Democrats.

"President Obama deserves credit for not listening to the chorus of voices calling for a rapid drawdown of forces regardless of the consequences for Iraq, our military and the American people," Cantor said.

Last night on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would like to see troops at lower levels by 2009. She amended her wording in the statement below, but choosing them carefully, she said, "[T]he remaining missions given to our remaining forces must be clearly defined and narrowly focused so that the number of troops needed to perform them is as small as possible." 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it a "sound and measured plan," but added that the U.S. "must keep in Iraq only those forces necessary for the security of our remaining troops and the Iraqi people."

Liberals like Dennis Kucinich, among those Cantor would be referring to, said, "I support President Obama for taking a step in the right direction in Iraq, but I do not think that his plan goes far enough," Kucinich said. "America must determine at some point to end the occupation, close the bases and bring the troops home. We must bring a conclusion to this sorry chapter in American history where war was waged under false pretense against an innocent people."

Full statements:
BOEHNER: "The President's announcement today is a testament to the success of our troops in stabilizing and significantly reducing violence in Iraq, and to the strategy put in place by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker two years ago. This strategy has helped us preserve U.S. national security interests and allow the Iraqi people to more firmly take control of their own destiny as a sovereign, representative, and independent nation in the heart of the Middle East. The plan put forward by President Obama continues our strategy of bringing troops home from Iraq as they succeed in stabilizing the country. I believe he has outlined a responsible approach that retains maximum flexibility to reconsider troop levels and to respond to changes in the security environment should circumstances on the ground warrant. On a recent trip to Iraq with some of my colleagues, we were reminded by both our military commanders and diplomatic officials that while the progress on both security and political reconciliation in Iraq is real, those gains are also fragile and reversible. I am pleased that the President is listening to our military commanders and that we have a plan in place for victory while also ensuring the safety and success of our military forces."

MCCONNELL: "It is encouraging to see the Obama Administration embrace the plan of Gen. David Petraeus that began with the successful surge in 2007, and continues shifting combat responsibilities to our Iraqi allies. I commend our men and women in uniform, our military leaders, and the President's decision yesterday for making it possible to take another step toward realizing our goal of a stable Iraq."

CANTOR: "Having just seen the progress that our troops have achieved in Iraq firsthand several weeks ago, I hope that President Obama's plan reassures the American people that the men and women of our Armed Forces will continue to successfully carry out their mission under the steadfast leadership of General Petraeus and General Odierno. The honor, courage and dedication of our Armed services has been the key to attaining our successes in Iraq, and today's announcement makes clear that the Iraqi people can take a huge step forward in assuming greater control of their nation and future. The President's decision appears to be informed by the advice of our commanders and the fluid nature of the events on the ground, which was reinforced during my trip to Baghdad earlier this month. President Obama deserves credit for not listening to the chorus of voices calling for a rapid drawdown of forces regardless of the consequences for Iraq, our military and the American people."

PELOSI: "President Obama's announcement of a withdrawal schedule for US combat troops in Iraq is good news because it signals that the war is coming to an end. I join the President in commending our troops for the patriotism, courage, and sacrifice, which has characterized their service in Iraq. As President Obama's Iraq policy is implemented, the remaining missions given to our remaining forces must be clearly defined and narrowly focused so that the number of troops needed to perform them is as small as possible. The President's decision means that the time has come at last for Iraq's own security forces to have the prime responsibility for Iraq's security."

REID: "President Obama and his bipartisan national security team are putting in place a sound and measured plan to draw down our forces in Iraq and transfer responsibility for Iraq's future to the Iraqi people. I strongly believe that we must responsibly end the war in Iraq to make America more secure, and must keep in Iraq only those forces necessary for the security of our remaining troops and the Iraqi people. I look forward to further discussing this plan with the President and working with him to ensure we are doing what is best for America's security interests and ensuring our military remains the strongest fighting force in history."

KUCINICH: "I support President Obama for taking a step in the right direction in Iraq, but I do not think that his plan goes far enough. You cannot leave combat troops in a foreign country to conduct combat operations and call it the end of the war. You can't be in and out at the same time. America must determine at some point to end the occupation, close the bases and bring the troops home. We must bring a conclusion to this sorry chapter in American history where war was waged under false pretense against an innocent people. Taking troops out of Iraq should not mean more troops available for deployment in other operations. In February of 2007 I presented H.R. 1234, legislation that would end the war in Iraq, and the process I outlined is still necessary. We should immediately bring home American service members and contractors, convene a regional conference to prepare an international peace-keeping force and accelerate Iraq-driven reconstruction."