Veteran Republican senator tells Bush it's time to stop 'punting' the ball on Iraq
Senator Richard Lugar, the most prominent Republican yet to break ranks with the US administration over Iraq, called Sunday for an "orderly" withdrawal of US troops in the coming months.
President George W. Bush should embrace moderates from both sides in Congress to chart a new path forward, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on CBS News.
The group would examine forming "a diplomatic forum to bring together all the neighboring countries, and we meet continuously and we talk about our interests in Iraq but also our interests with each other," he said.
"Then withdrawal of a majority of American troops in a calm, orderly way over the next few months so that we refurbish our ability to meet problems elsewhere in the world," Lugar said.
"I think we are too much stretched and I would add to that our recruiting problems have become severe."
Lugar sent shock waves through political Washington last Monday by taking to the floor of the Senate to argue that Bush's "surge" of US troops had not translated into meaningful progress by Iraqi authorities.
"I hope something will come of this -- now, not punting the ball down to September," Lugar said.
The following video is from CBS's Face the Nation, broadcast on July 1.