House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that should would oppose any request from President Barack Obama to introduce ground troops into Iraq again.
That possibility was raised on Tuesday, when Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said circumstances could change in Iraq, which could require U.S. ground troops at some future point in order to fight the Islamic State more effectively.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R-Calif.) said Wednesday there is no circumstance under which she would support a request from President Barack Obama to insert ground troops into Iraq. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
"To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the terrorist group by an alternative name.
When asked what she thought about the idea that Obama could be forced to change his mind, Pelosi told reporters that she would not support ground troops under any circumstance.
"What I think about it is what I would vote on it, and I will not vote for combat troops to be engaged in war," she said. "All I can say to you is… we are not there to support combat troops in any of these engagements."
When asked if her comments were a "blanket no," Pelosi said, "It's for me a blanket no."
"I don't think the American people are up for it," she said. "I don't know that it would even achieve success to send troops in. But whatever it is, I'm against it."
"The worse it gets there, the less reason I think we should send in troops," she added.
Pelosi was not the only Democrat scrambling to qualify Dempsey's remarks, just as the Obama administration was looking to secure Democratic support for congressional authorization for limited actions in Syria. That vote was expected Wednesday evening, and was expected to lead to dozens of "no" votes from both Republicans and Democrats.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest stressed that Dempsey was referring to a hypothetical scenario only, and that Obama is in charge of setting strategy for the Middle East.
"What he has been very specific and precise about is he will not deploy ground troops in a combat role into Iraq or Syria," Earnest said.