In the hours leading to President Trump's announcement that the United States would be adding 4,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan, media pundits were quick to dig up the footage of him calling for an end to the war in when he was still a presidential candidate in the 2016 campaign. During the race, Trump said U.S. troops were being "led to slaughter" in Afghanistan.
The New York Daily News noted that his calls for pulling out of Afghanistan dates back even further than the campaign. For instance, in 2013 he tweeted "let's get out!"
We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let's get out!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2013
Now, the Daily News said, Trump is "contradicting" himself.
In his announcement Monday night from Fort Myer, VA, the president said he still "shares the American people's frustration over the expensive war." He also acknowledged his "original instinct was to pull out." He likes to stick by his instincts, but he quickly learned that decisions are much different when you sit behind a desk in the Oval Office, he explained.
After studying Afghanistan in "great detail," and having many meetings, the last being last Friday at Camp David with his cabinet and generals, he has decided that a rapid exit is "predictable and unacceptable." Just look at what happened in Iraq, he noted.
Journalist Emily Miller said it was smart of Trump to beat the media at its own game.
Smart move by Pres. Trump to preempt his critics by acknowledging he has changed his mind about Afghanistan military policy.— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) August 22, 2017
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who recently expressed dismay over the Trump's response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA, nevertheless knew it was time to defend the president. He criticized the press for being so quick to condemn Trump's new Afghanistan strategy before even hearing him out.
So @POTUS has made a decision based on information now available to him in office & on advice of wide array of experts 1/2— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 22, 2017
But even before speech starts commentators attacking him for changing his approach from campaign.2/2— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 22, 2017
Trump, Rubio said, used the right factors to make his decision.
New #AfghanStrategy based on the conditions on ground not on arbitrary numbers and timelines is the right approach— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 22, 2017
"In the end, we will win," the president said in his speech.
Isn't that something all Americans - media and all - should be rooting for, instead of obsessing over semantics?