Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Kerry plans Union Terminal speech on Iraq

Bush justified war at the site

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will criticize President Bush's "wrong choices in Iraq" as part of a major policy speech in Cincinnati Wednesday morning, Kerry campaign and party sources said.

He is expected to deliver his remarks in the rotunda at the Museum Center at Union Terminal, where President Bush outlined the case for war in Iraq in October 2002.

A statement from the Kerry campaign Monday said the Massachusetts senator "will talk about how the president's wrong choice to go it alone in Iraq has taken the country in the wrong direction and shortchanged priorities here at home."

Kerry will outline a plan to "make our country stronger at home and respected in the world," the campaign said.

Two years ago, Bush appeared before a largely receptive crowd at Union Terminal in what turned out to be a defining speech on Iraq.

"It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism," Bush said - statements that have become the subject of debate.

But Bush has maintained that the invasion of Iraq was justified in light of the events that have followed.

"Do I forget the lessons of September the 11th and take the word of a madman, or take action to defend our country? Given that choice, I will defend America," Bush said in Columbus last week.

Kerry has spent four of the last five days campaigning in Ohio, visiting Springfield, Newark, Akron, Steubenville and Cleveland.

The Cincinnati speech is not a campaign rally, and the Kerry campaign is not expected to make tickets available to the public.


E-mail gkorte@enquirer.com

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