Image: Barack Obama
Susan Walsh  /  AP
President Barack Obama walks out of the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 30, 2010, to make a statement on the economy.)
updated 8/30/2010 4:04:59 PM ET 2010-08-30T20:04:59

The White House says there are two words President Barack Obama will not say Tuesday night in his speech about the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq: "Mission accomplished."

Seven years ago, President George W. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq. A banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" flew nearby. The Bush White House came to deeply regret that sign as the war dragged on and U.S. deaths mounted.

"You won't hear those words coming from us," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Instead, Gibbs said, Obama will talk about what is involved in the U.S. troop drawdown and the changing mission in Iraq.

However, Obama does plan to call Bush on Tuesday before delivering his Oval Office address, Gibbs said, though he wouldn't say what Obama's message to his predecessor would be. Obama also called Bush last year before delivering a speech laying out the Iraq withdrawal timeline.

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Video: Combat troops exited Iraq ahead of schedule

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    >>> so what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours ? chris cillizza , author of the post and the fix blog. jimmy carter is coming to washington tomorrow to debrief or talk to secretary of state hillary clinton about what he saw in pyongyang in north korea . that's an interesting match. because back in 1994 , he went to north korea and came out with a policy and really jammed bill clinton 's white house . they had to accept the negotiation that jimmy carter had done because he came out and announced it before he even briefed the president. so it's interesting.

    >> i was just going to say, always fascinating when former presidents and bill clinton has done this too, let's not absolve him of this. but when former presidents sort of go out there as diplomats for hire, and they go into some of these areas and negotiate these deals or at least in jimmy carter 's case negotiate for freedom. they're former presidents but they still carry the weight in some ways of the administration.

    >> in contrast, bill clinton when he was in north korea last year, did it very, very carefully and in full coordination with the white house as an envoy. that said, tomorrow really is going to be a heavy focus on iraq , the president and his speech and joe bide therein today.

    >> a lot of foreign policy this week, but you're right, andrea, tomorrow night oval office address, the support role that american military troops are now playing in iraq , twofold, one we still don't have a functioning government in iraq , there are still problems in iraq , so it's not an issue that the president can just say let's go away. a lot of domestic policy concerns among the american public and that's what democratic strategists want him to be talking about not about iraq .


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