Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told President Bush that the surge is failing and the war has been lost during a White House meeting with Congressional leaders on Wednesday.
"This is the message I took to the president," Reid told reporters in a press conference Thursday.
"Now I believe myself ... that this war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday," Reid said, referring to Wednesday's bombings in Baghdad that killed close to 200 people.
"I know I was like the odd guy out yesterday at the White House, but at least I told him what he needed to hear, not what he wanted to hear," he added.
Yesterday's meeting was reportedly convened to hammer out differences on the pending defense spending legislation, but no compromise on the timeline was reached.
In Reid's view, the continuation of combat operations will not achieve success for US interests because "I believe the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically, politically and economically, and the president needs to come to that realization.”
Speaking in Tipp City, Ohio on Thursday, Bush told his audience, "I think it's a mistake for Congress to tell the military how to do its job," he said.
Bush reiterated his threat to veto any legislative measure that includes a date for withdrawal of US troops, explaining, "If you're a young commander on the ground, or an Iraqi soldier, and you've been tasked with a mission to help provide security for a city, and an enemy hears that you're leaving soon, it affects your capacity to do your job."