Boehner, president to deliver competing speeches on Iraq

House Minority Leader John Boehner will deliver a major address on national security and the Iraq war next week on the same day as President Obama.

A Boehner aide confirmed Tuesday that the Ohio Republican will speak Aug. 31 at the American Legion's national convention in Milwaukee, Wis.

According to the White House, the president will speak on the same day — the official end of combat operations in Iraq — about the drawdown of troops there and U.S. national security strategy. 

The Boehner aide said the House minority leader's speech was scheduled before the White House announced the date for Obama's address. 

Nonetheless, the announcement came on a day when the GOP leader squared off directly with the White House on the economy.

In a speech Tuesday morning in Cleveland, Boehner called for the firing of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council head Larry Summers.

Vice President Biden shot back later in the day: "[That was] very constructive advice, and we thank the leader for that."

Boehner's office noted he will make the point that the troops and the 2007 surge should receive credit for success in Iraq. 

The leader will follow up on Republican reminders that Obama and Biden initially opposed the surge and that "if we followed their advice, it would have left the country in chaos."

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