Critics of his Iraq policies back 'cut and run' strategy

Critics of his Iraq policies back 'cut and run' strategy
August 17th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Critics of his Iraq policies back 'cut and run' strategy

Critics of his Iraq policies back 'cut and run' strategy
Media: The Associated Press
Date: 17 August 2006

LANCASTER, Pennsylvania_President George W. Bush said critics of his Iraq
policies are advocating a "cut and run" strategy that would draw terrorists
to American soil.

"Leaving before we complete our mission would create a terrorist state in
the heart of the Middle East, a country with huge oil reserves that the
terrorist network would be willing to use to extract economic pain from
those of us who believe in freedom," Bush said Wednesday.

"If we leave before the mission is complete, if we withdraw, the enemy will
follow us home," he said.

Even though he spoke at a political event, Bush kept the criticism of his
opponents gentle, and left partisan politics out of it. His critics are
mostly Democrats who contend he has not outlined a plan for success in Iraq.
They are increasingly supportive of a timetable for bringing troops home.

"There are some good people in our country who believe we should cut and
run," the president said at a fundraiser for former Pittsburgh Steelers
football star Lynn Swann, who is carrying Republican hopes for an upset over
Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, Ed Rendell. "They're not bad people when
they say that. They're decent people. I just happen to believe they're

At the fundraiser, Bush raised an estimated $650,000 (?508,090) in
much-needed cash for Swann, who trails Rendell in fundraising and the polls.

The upset of three-term Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman last week in
Connecticut's primary has brought renewed attention to the issue of Iraq and
how it might affect this fall's midterm elections, in which Republican
control of Congress is at stake. Lieberman was bested by Ned Lamont, a
political newcomer who ran on an anti-Iraq war platform.

Both parties have sought to portray the Connecticut results as evidence that
their side is heading into November with an advantage with voters, who give
Bush low marks for his handling of Iraq.

Earlier in York, Bush hopped on a Harley-Davidson at a motorcycle factory as
he made an election-year pitch for Republican stewardship of the economy.

Cheers and applause erupted inside the Harley-Davidson Inc. vehicle
operations plant when Bush straddled a high-end model painted blue and white
and revved its engine again and again. Climbing down, he ripped off
blue-tinted safety glasses that he insisted made him look like rock star
Bono and jokingly struck a pose intended to show a hip side.

"I'm just looking so far," Bush said during a tour of the plant where 3,200
employees work around the clock on shiny motorcycles that move slowly around
the assembly floor on tracks. "I'll let Josh Bolten ride these things," Bush
said of his White House chief of staff, a motorcycle enthusiast.

After the tour, Bush held a round-table discussion with Harley-Davidson
workers about the economy, which has showed signs of slowing.

An AP-Ipsos poll in early August showed about 37 percent of Americans
supported Bush's handling of the economy. That matches his lowest level in
May 2006 and November 2005, but not that different from the last few months.

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