“I think anybody that doesn’t take into account facts as they are, facts as they change, in making a decision - I think the president would believe that of course one would make a decision based on the most up-to-date, readily available information. I think to do otherwise would be to short-change, in many ways, the importance of the decision that you make,” he said.
Outside the White House, the Obama administration continued to advance its plan to expand the war in Afghanistan - something Mr. Obama clearly campaigned on during the campaign, but which many in his own party are wary of.
House Democrats who were wavering on the vote last week on a spending bill to fund the expanded war received gentle pressure from the White House, and some Democrats told activists they were willing to give Mr. Obama some leeway now on the issue.
The bill passed 368-60, with 51 of the “no” votes coming from liberal Democrats.
Requests for interviews made to nearly a dozen liberal Democratic leaders were turned down or not answered Friday, but in statements, some of those Democrats said the administration should be cautious about its goals and urged more money to go to political development rather than to military funding.
The White House bristled at the charge Mr. Obama was ending up with the same policies as Mr. Bush.
Addressing reporters at his daily briefing, Mr. Gibbs said: “You started out on Monday questioning why we were being so opposite of George Bush in all these questions. And on Friday I’m answering questions about why are we so much like George Bush on all these questions. I’ll let you guys discern what period of day that all changed.”
Congressional Republicans resisted the comparisons to Mr. Bush, and instead praised Mr. Obama for the way he’s handled national security questions.
“What I see here is the difference between being a candidate for office and being commander in chief is unfolding before your eyes,” Mr. Graham said. “In the first 100 days, the president has learned more about the nature of our enemy than he did as a candidate. He’s consulted with our commanders. I think he appreciates the way the enemy operates and the threats we face.”
He said the next test will be how Mr. Obama handles the question of indefinite detention for the few detainees who cannot be put on trial but who the military deems a sufficient threat that they must be held.