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Republicans scold Bush on Iraq but say they'll stand with him when it counts.

Published May 10, 2007 1:14PM (EDT)

Much is being made of the meeting this week between George W. Bush and Republican moderates who reportedly told the president that the Iraq war is hurting the GOP and that he can't count on their support of it for too much longer.

All we need to know about the meeting comes in two paragraphs from the New York Times:

"We had a very frank conversation about the situation in Iraq," [GOP Rep. Charlie Dent] said. Even so, the Republicans who attended the White House session indicated that they would maintain solidarity with Mr. Bush for now by opposing the latest Democratic proposal for two-stage financing of war, which is scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the House.

"Lawmakers said Mr. Bush made no commitments, but seemed grateful for their support and said a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq could cause the sort of chaos that occurred in Southeast Asia after Americans left Vietnam."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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