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Bush talks Iraq, stumps for GOP in N.J.

New Jersey Senate race critical to GOP

From Suzanne Malveauz
CNN Washington Bureau

President Bush told a Trenton crowd Monday that he wanted
President Bush told a Trenton crowd Monday that he wanted "to see strong resolutions" from the United Nations on Iraq.

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WEST TRENTON, New Jersey (CNN) -- President Bush called Monday for the United Nations to pass a strong new resolution requiring Iraq to meet U.N. demands that it disarm.

Bush repeated his administration's position that the United Nations should not send weapons inspectors back into Iraq until the Security Council establishes a new mandate for them.

"I want to see strong resolutions coming out of that U.N. -- a resolution which says the old ways of deceit are gone; a resolution which will hold this man to account," he told an audience of schoolchildren and National Guard troops at the Trenton airport.

U.S. officials say any new resolution should spell out tough consequences if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein balks at complying with U.N. resolutions on disarmament or other subjects dating back to the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

The administration also was making its case today through Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a meeting with NATO defense ministers in Warsaw, Poland; and through Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations. But Bush emphasized today that with or without the world community, the United States will act alone if necessary -- even taking possible pre-emptive action.

Sen. Torricelli seen as vulnerable

Bush was in New Jersey stumping for Senate candidate Douglas Forrester, the Republican challenger to incumbent Democrat Robert Torricelli. Bush raised $1.5 million at a fundraiser for Forrester in a critical race for Republicans -- one that could determine who controls the Senate, now run by a one-seat Democratic majority.

Democrats are expected to pound away at GOP candidates in November's midterm elections, but Bush tried to pre-empt them politically by raising the issue himself.

He said his administration inherited a recession that his $1.3 trillion tax cut has turned around, and he urged Congress to pass GOP initiatives like terrorism insurance and a defense spending bill. And he launched into Senate Democrats for failing to pass his plan to create a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.

"The Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people," Bush said.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, also was in New Jersey campaigning for the embattled Torricelli, who was "severely admonished" by the Senate Ethics Committee in July for accepting and not disclosing gifts from a businessman. The businessman, David Chang, is serving a 18-month prison term for making illegal campaign donations.

Torricelli apologized to colleagues and constituents, but Forrester has made his ethics a campaign issue.



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