Bush says he won't `cut and run' from Iraq

April 22, 2004|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - On a day of terrible bloodshed in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, President Bush told a national gathering of newspaper executives yesterday that he won't "cut and run" from turmoil in the Middle East.

Terrorists view freedom and democracy as a threat, Bush said, and the United States is being watched for its reaction to their attacks.

"And the Iraqi people are looking, you know, they're looking at America and saying, are we going to cut and run again? That's what they're thinking as well. And we're not going to cut and run if I'm in the Oval Office," he said.

He addressed the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Though his prevailing message was serious, Bush at times was jocular. It was one of the rare instances in his presidency when Bush addressed a large group not dominated by his supporters.

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