Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) slammed Petraeus for a September 2003 op-ed in The Washington Post that said "progress was being made" in Iraq.
"Why should we believe your assessment today is any more accurate" than that op-ed, Engel asked. "Optimism is great, but reality is what we need."
Petraeus said he was "glad" to be asked about the op-ed, and he was clearly prepped for this answer like a professional politician getting ready for a debate. "I stand by it," Petraeus insisted.
He also again reiterated that the testimony he offered to lawmakers was his honest view of the situation on the ground in Iraq.
"What I have tried to provide today is not a rosy picture," Petraeus said. "I have tied to portray an accurate picture."