Governor Tom Vilsack says when President Bush speaks in Des Moines tomorrow, he should reassure Iowans who’re anxious about Iraq. Bush is scheduled to speak at a forum on rural economic development.Vilsack says while Iowa National Guard troops are returning from active duty, “hundreds more” are being called up and Vilsack says the President should comment on the impact these call-ups have on rural communities. Vilsack says Iowa’s Guard has been called to play a greater role in Iraq and Afghanistan operations than Guard units from other states. Vilsack says he hopes the President offers a “clear and concise plan” that assures Iowans that the state’s Guard will not bear a disproportionate burden of active military operations, now and in the future. Bush appeared last night at a nationally-broadcast news conference from the White House, and Vilsack says the president didn’t “reassure the nation” that there’s a clear strategy for getting out of Iraq. Vilsack says Bush should have outlined “where we go from here” rather than “rehashing” his reasons for going into Iraq. Vilsack is included on lists of folks presumed democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is considering as a running mate, and his comments to reporters were made this morning during a conference call arranged by the Kerry campaign.
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