In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Bush acknowledged that as early as “September/October” 2006, he realized a major change was needed in Iraq:
WSJ: Was there a moment in the war when you said we have to make a major change in the way we’re doing things in Iraq?
GWB: Yes, there was.
WSJ: When was that?
But even after Bush realized that a major change was needed — in the weeks just prior to the midterm elections — he continued to knowingly mislead the American public and claim U.S. was “winning” in Iraq and that the strategy was “working”:
QUESTION: Are we winning?
BUSH: Absolutely we’re winning. … We’re winning and we will win, unless we leave before the job is done. And the crucial battle, right now, is Iraq. [10/25/06]
BUSH: But I believe that the military strategy we have is going to work. That’s what I believe. [10/25/06]
QUESTION: But just to be clear: When the commanders on the ground tell the president, in the large picture, we are stepping closer to chaos, he believes that can also be a picture of winning?
SNOW: Yes. [11/1/06]
BUSH: We’ve got a lot going for us. We got a strategy that helps us achieve victory, and we got a military that is the finest military any country has ever assembled. [11/3/06]
Previously, Bush acknowledged lying about Rumsfeld’s resignation for political purposes in the lead-up to the elections.