Excerpted from Wednesday's White House Press Briefing With Tony Snow. Read the entire transcript here.
Watch the video from Think Progress here.
Q Back on Lute. Why did it take so long, now into the fifth year of the war, to come up with somebody of his seniority and stature?
MR. SNOW: I don't know. I think what happened is, again, as you're taking a review, it became clear to us that this -- as you develop -- as you move into a new phase of the war -- keep in mind, we are still in the process of deploying people in this new way forward, as the President called it, and therefore, it seems proper at a time like this also to task somebody with the job of keeping an eye on all the different players who are involved in it.
What we do have is a different set of policies governing what's going on in Iraq. It is something that is government-wide in its scope, and therefore, it is appropriate to have somebody coming in, in a new position, in support of a new philosophy and a new way forward in Iraq, not only to monitor progress, but to do everything possible to assist those on the ground to help them succeed.
Q So you think this is a new need and you did not need someone to do this for the previous four years?
MR. SNOW: Well, again, I'm not going to try -- I don't know. I don't have an answer for you. I'm telling you that's what he's here to do now.