President Bush told a crowd of about 2500 Iowa Republicans gathered in Le Mars this (Friday) afternoon that it’s time for them to prove the pundits wrong.
“People are already deciding how this election is going to turn out before the people of Iowa or anywhere else have showed up to vote…You know, I’m used to that. I remember (the) 2004 campaign…The prognosticators said ‘No way old George W. can carry Iowa.’ You proved ’em wrong…and the same thing is going to happen this year,” Bush said. “The people are going to go to the polls, you’re going to elect a Republican governor and we’re going to have a Republican-controlled House and Senate — and the country will be better off for it.”
Bush was in northwest Iowa to help rally the Iowa GOP behind Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle. “This part of the world is full of decent, hardworking people with common sense,” Bush said. Bush told the crowd in Le Mars that Nussle would follow through on his campaign promises. “When he says he’s going to do something, he’ll do it. The thing about Jim Nussle is he doesn’t need to take a poll or have a focus group to tell him what to believe,” Bush said.
Compared to his speech last week in Des Moines, Iowa, the president spent twice as long defending his war aims in Iraq, and he accused Democrats of “second-guessing” without offering an alternative strategy to win the war. “I’m going to tell you something point blank. If I didn’t think we could win, I’d get our troops out,” Bush said. “I can’t look in the eyes of the loved ones who have got somebody in harm’s way and not believe in my heart of hearts that the cause is noble and necessary and that we’ll achieve victory.”
Bush said his vision is “clear” and he “sees the danger” in Iraq. “If you listen carefully for the Democrats’ plan for success in Iraq, you’re not going to hear anything. They don’t have a plan for success,” Bush told the crowd. “Iraq is the central front in the war to protect you.”
Near the end of the speech, Bush urged Republicans to confront Democratic candidates over the Iraq war. “If they say they want to win the war on terror, but call for America to pull out from what al Qaida says is the central front on the war on terror, ask ’em: ‘What is your plan?’ See, they don’t have no plan. They have no plan,” Bush said, as the audience applauded. “Harsh criticism is not a plan for victory. Second-guessing is not a strategy.”
Earlier, a small group of protesters started yelling during Bush’s remarks so the rest of the crowd began chanting “U-S-A” to drown out the dissenters. The event was held in the Le Mars high school gymnasium and broadcast live on KLEM radio.