OBAMA: ….There is no doubt that the violence is down and that is a testament to the troops that were sent and General Patraeus and Ambassador Crocker. I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated, by the way, including President Bush and the other supporters….
O’REILLY: But if it had been up to you there would not have been a surge. You and Joe Biden, no surge.
OBAMA: Hold on, if you look at the the debate that was taking place. We had gone through five years of mismanagement of this war, which I thought was disastrous, and the president wanted to double down and continue and open-ended policy that did not create the kind of pressure on the Iraqis to take responsibility and reconcile.
O’REILLY: But it worked, come on.
OBAMA: Bill, look – I already said it succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.
O’REILLY: Why can you not say, ‘I was right in the beginning, but I was wrong on the surge?’
OBAMA: Because there is an underlying problem with what we have done. We have reduced the violence. But the Iraqis have still not taken responsibility. And we still do not have the kind of political reconciliation — we are still spending, Bill, $10 billion or $12 billion a month
O’REILLY: And if you’re president, I hope you can get them to kick in on that.
OBAMA: They’ve got $79 billion dollars in the dirt
O’REILLY: I’ll go with you.
OBAMA: Let’s go!