|04-01-2007, 12:02 PM||#1|
I WANT DEFENSE!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Always Hoping
Dowd says faith in Bush misplaced
Member Of Bush's Team Says John Kerry Was Right
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A man who played a key role in securing George W. Bush's reelection has become the first member of the president's inner circle to publicly break up with him insisting that Bush's 2004 rival, Democratic Senator John Kerry, was right on Iraq, The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday.
The newspaper said Matthew Dowd, who was the president's chief campaign strategist in 2004, now says his faith in Bush was misplaced and that Kerry was correct in calling for a withdrawal from Iraq.
In a wide-ranging interview in Austin, Texas, Dowd criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq, the report said.
He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Bush still approached governing with a "my way or the highway" mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides, the paper said.
"If the American public says they're done with something, our leaders have to understand what they want," The Times quotes Dowd as saying. "They're saying, 'Get out of Iraq.'"
Dowd, who in 2004 helped cast Senator Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled "Kerry Was Right," the report said.
"I really like him, which is probably why I'm so disappointed in things," Dowd is quoted as saying of Bush. "I think he's become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in."
He said his decision to step forward had not come easily, The Times pointed out.
But he said his disappointment in Bush's presidency was so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Bush gain and keep power, the report said.