- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 23, 2010


Gates has no doubts about war strategy

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says he has no doubt that the nation’s war strategy in Afghanistan is sound.

A new book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward reports that President Obama’s top advisers clashed on how to approach the Afghan war. Mr. Woodward suggests that, in the end, the U.S. exit plan pleased no one and was driven more by politics than national security.

Mr. Gates shrugged off the charges in a press conference on Thursday, telling reporters that “conflict sells” but that relationships within the Obama administration were more “harmonious” than he had ever seen in his time in government.

When asked if he held any personal reservations about the war strategy, Mr. Gates said no. He said he wouldn’t sign the deployment orders if he didn’t believe the plan could work.


Judge blocks GOP quest for Crist refunds

MIAMI | Republicans upset that Gov. Charlie Crist abandoned the GOP to become an independent were thwarted Thursday in a legal maneuver to force Mr. Crist’s Senate campaign to refund about $7.5 million in contributions.

Circuit Judge Jack Schoonover in Naples refused class-action certification for the Republican donors seeking refunds. That means at least 2,000 GOP contributors would have to pursue individual lawsuits to get back money they gave the Crist campaign before he became an independent.

The lawsuit threatened to tie up Mr. Crist’s remaining campaign funds in the stretch run toward the Nov. 2 election. Mr. Crist trails Republican Marco Rubio, a “tea party” favorite, by about 10 percentage points in an average of polls for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Mel Martinez. Democrat Kendrick B. Meek is running third.


Cuomo queried on mayoral vote claim

ALBANY | The Republican candidate for New York governor is accusing his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo of lying for saying he once voted for New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Mr. Cuomo has made his first direct hit against Carl Paladino in one of his new television ads in the increasingly feisty race.

The ad against Mr. Paladino attacks the Buffalo developer for getting a $1.4 million tax break and for donating to state and national Democrats and Republicans.

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