View Poll Results: What do you think about Bush's decision to keep Cheney and Rumsfeld?
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I think it was a good call
What the hell is he thinking?
I think he should keep Cheney, but not Rumsfeld
I think he should keep Rumsfeld, but not Cheney
11-02-06, 02:31 AM #1
Bush tells media he will keep Cheney & Rumsfeld throughout his administration
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.
"Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them," Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.
On the war in Iraq, Bush said the military has not asked for an increase in U.S. forces beyond the 144,000 already there. He said U.S. generals have told him "that the troop level they got right now is what they can live with."
On another international issue, Bush said he was determined that sanctions imposed against North Korea must be applied even though Pyongyang has agreed to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.
The president spoke in the Oval Office, seated in a wing chair in front of a table with a bowl of roses. Six days before midterm elections, he steered away from political questions beyond saying he was confident that Republicans would defy the polls and hold control of the House and Senate. "I understand the pundits have got the race over. But I don't believe it's over until everybody votes," Bush said.
He refused to say whether he could work effectively with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi or Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid if Democrats won either the House or Senate, or both.
Bush did take the opportunity to take another poke at Sen. John Kerry, in political hot water for a remark that the White House has characterized as a slam on U.S. troops in Iraq. Kerry has said he was making a joke critical of Bush, not the troops.
"It didn't sound like a joke to me," the president said.
Democrats and Republicans alike have called for Rumsfeld's resignation, arguing he has mishandled the war in Iraq where more than 2,800 members of the U.S. military have died since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. Cheney has faced sharp criticism for his hardline views. In recent polling, less than 40 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Cheney and about a third had a favorable view of Rumsfeld.
Bush said he valued Cheney's advice and judgment.
"The good thing about Vice President Cheney's advice is, you don't read about it in the newspaper after he gives it," the president said. While Cheney was re-elected with Bush for four years, there has been recurring speculation that he might step down, perhaps for health reasons. As a practical matter, Bush could ask the vice president to leave if he wanted.
Bush credited Rumsfeld with overseeing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while overhauling the military. "I'm pleased with the progress we're making," the president said. He replied in the affirmative when asked if he wanted Rumsfeld and Cheney to stay with him until the end.
Responding to Bush, Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., said, "With all due respect, the president just doesn't get it. We need a change in the Iraq strategy, but with Rumsfeld running the show we'll never get it."
Bush opened the interview by saying he was pleased that North Korea was returning to stalled nuclear talks. Although North Korea has a history of walking away from negotiations, Bush did not express doubts about the intentions of Kim Jong Il, North Korea's leader.
"It's his choice," Bush said. "I would hope he is sincere." He said that any deal with North Korea would have to be verifiable.
The president said he did not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state, even though it tested an atomic bomb three weeks ago. "Our objective is to see they're not a nuclear weapons state," the president said.
Bush said Robert Joseph, U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, and R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, will travel through the region to talk with allies about how to make progress.
"We're going to talk about making sure that the sanctions passed by the United Nations are effective," the president said. "Implementation of the sanctions will be on the table."
As for Iraq, the president expressed confidence in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki despite apparent strains between Washington and Baghdad.
"I appreciate he's making hard decisions that he thinks are necessary to keep his country united and moving forward," Bush said. "I didn't find many differences of opinion when I talked to him. We both want Iraq to be able to govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself. We both want there to be benchmarks — Iraqi developed and designed benchmarks — that show the Iraqi people and the American people that this young democracy is making progress."
Bush said that "there's no question that October was a tough month. We lost 103 soldiers. It was a tough month because we were on the offense, the enemy was on the offense — the enemy was trying to affect us. And it was a tough month because of Ramadan. ... Our troops and Iraqi troops killed or captured over 1,500 people during this period of time."
Bush refused to comment on Cheney's assertion that a "dunk in water" of terrorist suspects was a "no-brainer" if it would save American lives. "We don't discuss the techniques we use," Bush said.
On other questions, Bush said:
-He will send Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to Capitol Hill after the election to determine what can be achieved in the way of overhauling Social Security and Medicare.
-He understands the anxieties of some Republicans who have distanced themselves from his Iraq policies. "People will run the race they need to run," he said. Bush said Democrats "don't have a plan for victory."
-"It's hard for me to tell" if U.S. troops will still be in Iraq when he leaves office in January 2009.
11-02-06, 03:24 PM #2
"Rummy and Dicky are doing a heckuva job"....
11-02-06, 03:43 PM #3
I didnt know the President of the US could fire the VP. Learn something new everyday."An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!
"Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it."
" I believe that forgiving them (Terrorist) is God's function. OUR job is to arrange the meeting."
General Norman Schwartzkopf
Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslim.
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11-02-06, 03:46 PM #4
Although i may not always agree with the president...i do agree with loyalty!!! Its a most important virtue!If you run from me...you'll just go to jail tired!
11-02-06, 03:58 PM #5Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
11-02-06, 04:27 PM #6
Heres to ya Mr Bush.
LoyaltyWe are the thin blue line
and all the money in the world.
And no you can't have any.
11-03-06, 06:51 AM #7
As well as being an LEO I am a COL. of Infantry.
Kerry managed to insult every vet that ever served, living or dead.
We do need more troops to to the occupation job.
Army basic has dropped to nine weeks. Jump school has dropped to three weeks.
Why does it take all of these years to train these tidy towel heads?
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