Local Politics

Pelosi to Keep Pushing for Iraq Troop Withdrawal

Posted November 2, 2007 5:02 p.m. EDT
Updated November 2, 2007 7:56 p.m. EDT

— During a Friday appearance at Meredith College, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would continue to fight President George W. Bush to pull U.S. troops from Iraq.

"(Bush's position) doesn't mean you just roll over and not resist what has happened. The opportunity costs of this war are tremendous," said Pelosi, a California Democrat who was participating in Meredith's Presidential Lecture Series.

Standing above and below a banner reading, "A New Direction," Pelosi said Democrats will renew efforts to end the conflict with "a repetition of the same."

Pelosi said House Democrats hope to get a proposal to Bush before Thanksgiving to withdraw combat troops by the end of 2008. After that date, war funding would pay only for embassy protection, targeted counterterrorism efforts and limited training of Iraqi forces.

But Pelosi conceded later that the measure would mimic unsuccessful attempts of the past year to reduce America's involvement in the war, and she gave no indication that she thinks the new attempt will succeed.

"You won't see a lot that is new," Pelosi said. "It's just a repetition of the same. ... We'll still persist in trying to force a new direction."

North Carolina Congressmen Brad Miller and David Price joined Pelosi at Meredith, and she said she was working with them and other lawmakers on drought relief legislation to help North Carolina farmers.

The speaker also implored the female students to take up leadership roles, talking with them in a private meeting about running for elected office. Pelosi became the highest-ranked elected female in U.S. history after last year's election.

"There's real need for women to be more involved in everything," she told the overflow audience of about 1,000. "Nothing is more wholesome than the increased participation and leadership of women who make a difference."