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Bush to U.S. enemies: Don't look at vote as lack of will

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush, in his Saturday radio address, said the Democrats' takeover of Congress on Tuesday showed the world the strength of America's democracy.

He said enemies of the United States should not confuse the election results as a sign of "a lack of American will."

"Whatever your opinion of the outcome, all Americans can take pride in the example our democracy sets for the world by holding elections even in a time of war," Bush said.

"Our democratic institutions are a source of strength, and our trust in these institutions has made America the most powerful, prosperous, and stable nation in the world. (Watch Bush talk about elections and his pick for defense secretary -- 3:42)

Message comes after al Qaeda taunt

Bush's message comes a day after an Islamist Web site posted an audio recording purported to be from the latest leader of al Qaeda in Iraq addressing the outcome of the midterm elections, calling Bush a "lame duck" and labeling outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld a "coward."

"The elections will bring changes to Washington," Bush said. "But one thing has not changed: America faces brutal enemies who have attacked us before and want to attack us again. I have a message for these enemies: Do not confuse the workings of American democracy with a lack of American will. Our nation is committed to bringing you to justice, and we will prevail."

Bush said Iraq "is the central front in this war on terror."

The president said he will be "listening to ideas from the new leaders of Congress on the best way to support our troops on the front lines -- and win the war on terror."

Bush also said Robert Gates, his choice to replace Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary, "will provide a fresh outlook on our strategy in Iraq, and what we need to do to prevail."

President Bush speaks at the dedication ceremony of the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Friday in Quantico, Virginia.



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