Accessibility links

Bush: Terror Fight Unchanged by Election Results


U.S. President George Bush says America's fight against terrorism will not be affected by this past week's election in which his political party's lost control of Congress. Opposition Democrats vow to continue that fight, but with some changes.

On the day Americans set aside to honor their military veterans, President Bush thanked those men and women in uniform for defending freedoms that include the right to choose their leaders at the ballot box, even in a time of war.

After his Republican Party lost control of Congress in Tuesday's vote, Mr. Bush met with leaders of the opposition Democratic Party and vowed to work together.

"The elections will bring changes to Washington. But one thing has not changed: America faces brutal enemies who have attacked us before and want to attack us again," said Mr. Bush. "I have a message for these enemies: Do not confuse the workings of American democracy with a lack of American will. Our nation is committed to bringing you to justice, and we will prevail."

In his weekly radio address, the president said he looks forward to hearing from new congressional leaders about their ideas for supporting U.S. troops in the fight against terrorism.

He also reflected on the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who many Democrats and some Republicans blame for what has gone wrong in Iraq.

Mr. Bush wants former CIA Director Robert Gates to replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

"As secretary of defense, he will provide a fresh outlook on our strategy in Iraq, and what we need to do to prevail," he added.

In the Democratic radio address, national party chairman Howard Dean said the election results show that voters want changes in America's approach to Iraq and the broader war on terror.

"Our agenda includes a new direction in defending America at home and around the world," said Dean. "We will listen to the military and take their advice and ensure that our troops and our agencies have the tools and equipment they need to defend our freedom."

Democrats want Iraqi leaders to take more responsibility for their own security so U.S. troop levels there can be reduced. President Bush says any timeline for a withdrawal of American forces would embolden insurgents.

Both the president and Democratic leaders in Congress say they are looking forward to the recommendations of a bipartisan panel on Iraq led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton.

The president and senior Bush administration officials meet with that panel Monday.

XS
SM
MD
LG