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Hoyer defends Obama, slams Cheney

From NBC's Luke Russert
During his weekly pen-and-pad session with Capitol Hill reporters, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) acknowledged that President Obama is still determining the objective of fighting the war in Afghanistan,

"I believe that the president is in a very considered, thoughtful careful way considering what our options are and what resources we need to accomplish our objectives," Hoyer said, "first of all what our objectives are going to be and deciding what resources we need to accomplish those objectives."

Hoyer then asserted that NATO needs to do more in the war-torn country: "I still think it is an important objective for our NATO allies and for others in the international community; I think that it is not the United States' burden alone. It is the burden of a lot."

Hoyer also did not miss an opportunity to defend President Obama against comments that former Vice President Cheney recently made suggesting that the Obama administration was "dithering" on a war strategy for Afghanistan:

"Although you didn't ask me this question, I think Vice President's Cheney attack on the president as quote 'dithering,' is an extraordinary assertion coming from an administration that ignored Afghanistan essentially for seven years, did not accomplish the objectives in Afghanistan and left this administration a growing Taliban presence and strength and an al Qaeda that was very viable not only in Afghanistan but in Pakistan," Hoyer said. "So for a member of a previous administration, that played such a critical role in this, to be asserting somehow that the president is taking less time at this point in time, that George Bush took to consider the surge in Iraq I think is unfortunately unjustified."

Recently, Democrats have taken to heavily criticizing the Bush administration when the topic of Afghanistan is discussed. Hoyer's comparison that President Obama is taking less to time formulate a strategy in Afghanistan than President Bush took to sign off on the Iraq surge demonstrates a new Democratic talking point meant to deflect criticism from the right and to tie the current situation in Afghanistan to the Bush administration.