CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Reactions to President Bush’s SpeechAired June 28, 2005 – 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITSFINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Whenthe history of this period is written, the liberationof Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will beremembered as great turning points in the story offreedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOB COSTAS, GUEST HOST: Tonight, President Bush tellsAmericans there’s difficult and dangerous work to doin Iraq, but it’s worth it. Can he persuade anincreasingly skeptical public that his strategy canand will prevail?
Among those joining us, exclusively, former Democraticpresidential candidate and decorated Vietnam veteran,Senator John Kerry, and Republican Senator JohnMcCain, war hero and former White House hopefulhimself. Their views and much more, next, on LARRYKING LIVE.
Continuing with reactions now in the aftermath ofPresident Bush’s address to the nation from Ft. Bragg.Bob Costas sitting in tonight for Larry King.
Senator John Kerry’s time is short. We will go rightto him. He joins us from our Washington bureau. He isof course, the former Democratic presidentialcandidate, a member of the Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee. This morning, in “The New York Times,” heauthored an op-ed piece called “The Speech thePresident Should Give.”
Senator Kerry, did President Bush give anything likethe speech you would have liked to have seen him givetonight?
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Not quite, no. Ithink the president had an opportunity tonight toreally speak more of the truth of what has happened inIraq and where we need to go.
Let me give you an example. Really, tonight, we heardsort of transformation into the third most significantrationale for the war itself. The first, of course,was weapons of mass destruction. The second wasdemocracy. And now tonight, it’s to combat the hotbed> of terrorism.>> But most Americans are aware that the hotbed ofterrorism never existed in Iraq until we got there,and it has in fact grown increasingly as we are there.So the question tonight is not the speech itself. Thequestion is really, did the president lay out a policythat is going to guarantee that our troops are as safeas they could be and that we’re doing all that ispossible to be able to have a success?
I believe there is much more that I laid out today.The training, the use of our neighbors, the bordersecurity, the transformation of the Sunni politicalreconciliation. All of these things could be done morerapidly and more effectively.
COSTAS: If you had been elected president lastNovember, by this point what would President JohnKerry have done in Iraq?
KERRY: Well, I laid out — you know, I don’t want toget in — I mean, I think that’s not quite the way togo at it. What I said continually is that you have toput the training on a wartime footing.