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Inside Politics

Response to Bush news conference mixed

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(CNN) -- Questions about Iraq and the Bush administration's antiterror efforts dominated President Bush's one-hour news conference Tuesday evening.

After the press conference, reactions to the president were mixed. The following are selected reactions:


"I thought the press conference was well done. Most of it was on Iraq. Very little of it was on our hearings. But I think the president made a good case for his point of view, a good case for why the troops should stay in Iraq, a good case from his point of view of the war in Iraq. Our issue, 9/11, got very little attention."

 -- 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean


"The president commented on 9/11 several times. But the overwhelming issue at the moment for the American people is the war in Iraq. So the president's news conference, and his remarks at the beginning of his news conference clearly focused on where the American people were. You can't have the kind of pictures we've seen on television about the violence there, you cannot have the kind of casualties we've suffered in recent days without the American people being heavily focused on Iraq."

-- 9/11 Commission Vice-chairman Lee Hamilton


"This was another plan from the president to win re-election and to try and get his popularity back up when the truth is, we were not needed in Iraq."

-- Ivan Medina, Army veteran who served in Iraq. Medina's twin brother Army Spc. Irving Medina was killed in Iraq


"I think he laid out a good case for doing what we've been doing since 9/11 which is draining the swamp. The president is being criticized by some for not acting soon enough prior to 9/11 and then acting too soon in Iraq. I think the message of 9/11 is, to the extent that we can, we need to deal with problems in advance."

-- Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky


"I thought the president was strong, he was resolute. He obviously has a lot of convictions and he's to be commended for that. At the same time, I was concerned that he didn't answer some of the basic questions. No. 1, what are we going to do? Who are we handing over power to June 30 -- the Sunnis, the Shiites, they're fighting each other. Are our troops secure?"

-- Gov. Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico

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