Christopher Shays: “Cut me a little slack” on Iraq War

On Where We Live, Senate candidate talks war, economy, health care

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christopher Shays
Former Republican Representative Christopher Shays is running for the U.S. Senate in 2012. Photo:Chion Wolf
Where We Live: Christopher Shays
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Where We Live: Christopher Shays

Republican Christopher Shays represented the 4th district for 21 years, until he was unseated by Democrat Jim Himes in 2008.

Now Shays is back as one of a number of candidates running to replace the retiring Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate. Among his challengers is former WWE CEO Linda McMahon - who won the nomination in another Senate race in 2010.

During an interview on WNPR's Where We Live, Shays shared some of the reasons he thinks he lost in 2008. One was his support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "I lost an election because I was wrong," said Shays. 

Shays did point out that many people, Republicans and Democrats were wrong about Iraq. "Cut me a little slack though," said Shays because "the CIA and others were totally wrong."

Despite admitting his mistake in initially supporting the war, Shays said the United States did have a national interest in Iraq. But when it comes to Afghanistan, he has a different view. "I don't believe, and I never believed that we had the same national interest to be in Afghanistan," said Shays.

As the rhetoric and tension with Iran rises, Shays was asked about future pre-emptive strikes. "I am not going to say that we shouldn't do that," said Shays.


A listener called in and asked Shays about Paul Krugman's view on the economy. He said, "I do not think that he has a concept of growing the economy. I don't think he was fully aware of what happened in '08."

But back in 2008, Shays appeared on the Brian Lehrer Show and said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." He admitted that his statement back then was wrong as well and probably cost him the 2008 election.

Earlier on in the show, Shays said he has not signed a pledge to never raise taxes because if he cut a tax somewhere and raised it elsewhere, he'd be breaking the pledge.

Health Care

Shays said he would "absolutely" vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He then listed off the things he likes about the ACA including coverage until age 26 and pre-existing condition coverage.

He said that health care reform can't be done from Washington. "You can't do it on a national level. It's got to be done state-by-state."



Iraq: Right or Wrong?

Anyone who thinks "Intelligence" is a 100% certain game is fooling themselves. We had to stop Saddam for the same reason that Hitler should have been cut off at the knees at the beginning of his landgrab of neighboring countries; the end result, in a non-WMD world, was perhaps 100 million people killed. He had to be stopped because he was delusional, and fully committed to become another Iran or North Korea; not stopping him could have resulted in 3 rogue states with A-bombs. I suppose the Israelis took out his atomic reactor in 1988 just for giggles? Besides, people on the inside know that whatever he had of WMD was shipped to Syria, and is buried in the desert, or is being worked on, just like the Iranians are doing, in bunkers and inside mountains. The end of the world will start off in the area where it began, in the area of the Tigris/Euphrates/Persian world.

Cut *us* some slack, Chris!

Shays did point out that many people, Republicans and Democrats were wrong about Iraq. "Cut me a little slack though," said Shays...

He must be kidding, right? Anyone that wasn't either blinded by radical right-wing ideology or intellectually challenged could see that Iraq posed no security threat before we destroyed it.

Chris Shays deserves no slack

Chris Shays deserves no slack whatsoever. You were repeatedly told you were wrong. You didn't listen. You and Joe Lieberman are birds of a feather. God gave us all two ears and one mouth for a reason - so we could listen twice as much as we talk, or at least listen as intently we speak. That mistake cost us more than a a trillion dollars. Quit running and go back to your lobbying job.

Shays Doesn't Deserve Another Chance

One of the few republicans I actually voted for. Advertised as a moderate. History shows he was merely a shill for the failures of the Bush Admin. When the big, important votes came up - he was on the wrong side of history. His laughable role as Chairman of the oversight committee on the failures in Iraq and Afghan was his last act in public service - hopefully. Don't give Chris another chance to get it wrong again. A smiling republican in wolf's clothing. Send him back to B

ChrisShays interview

Absolute SOFTBALL interview. I was actually bothered by it.
Chris was a draft-dodging ineffectual life-long politician who LOVED to travel the world while our troops died.
After getting fired by the electorate he got himself a high-paying no-show job in DC and waited to run again.
GO AWAY CHRIS! You add nothing and you had your chance.GO AWAY!


no politician deserves any slack when it comes to sending our men and women to die for lies. to say he didnt know is complete BULL@#$%.

Quote from the show

Michael - If you listen to the show, he does ask for slack on the war. It comes around 16:46 in the audio file attached.

Misleading Headline

Nowhere in your article does it reference that Mr. Shays ever asked for slack on the war. This headline is a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Iraq Interest

It's one thing to admit when your wrong, it's something else when you continue push out the same old propaganda. We did not have a strategic interest in Iraq until we invaded it, prior to that we had a diplomatic interest, and now we are losing both due to the policies of politicians like Shays. To say we shouldn't be in Afghanistan, is beyond stupid. I'm guessing that after he loses this election he'll tell us how he lost because he was wrong. Again.