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CNN BREAKING NEWS

President Bush to Make Speech Monday

Aired October 4, 2002 - 11:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: More now on the breaking news of President Bush, who is scheduled to make an announcement to the American people Monday evening.
Our Kelly Wallace is at the White House and keeping tabs on that.

Kelly, what more do we know about the Bush's speech and what specifically will he be talking about in reference to Iraq?

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, aides are billing this as a major speech to the American people. The president will deliver that Monday evening, and he will do that from Cincinnati. Aides are saying this is an opportunity for the president to talk directly to the American people from the nation's heartland about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

The strategy here is really twofold. Number one, the president speaking out as lawmakers continue to debate a resolution giving him the authority to use military force against Saddam Hussein if necessary. The House and the Senate both expected to vote next week.

The second part of the strategy, of course, to try and put some pressure on U.S. allies up at the UN. The administration has been facing a very diplomatic task here to get Russia and France to support a tough new UN resolution which would basically spell out the consequences for Iraq if it doesn't comply with UN disarmament demands.

So aides are saying the president will go before the American people during this address Monday night, lay out the threat, pose the challenge again to the UN. And as the president continues to say, he will go ahead and say that if the UN does not act, the U.S. and others -- president talking about a coalition of countries he is assembling -- will go ahead and deal with the threat -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Perhaps, Kelly, this being a direct or perhaps indirect way in which to change the minds of those Democrats in the Senate who are not fully behind President Bush and this resolution.

WALLACE: Certainly. Certainly an opportunity to try to change some minds, although this administration is very confident that even though have you some Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate who might want to restrict the president's authority a bit more, he is very much likely to get exactly what he wants with strong bipartisan votes in the House and in the Senate.

So it appears very much designed, though, to get to the American people, to get the support of the American people if this administration does intend to pursue any military action.

And it's being very much compared to his speech, Fredricka, you might remember last year -- November of last year, the president gave an evening address from Atlanta talking about homeland security after those anthrax attacks, talking about what his administration was doing to deal with domestic terrorism. That's how they're comparing this speech Monday night from Cincinnati.

Back to you -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Kelly Wallace, from the White House, thank you very much.

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