Kerry camp awaits Bush's Iraq exit plan

May 21, 2004 at 1:18 PM

WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) -- Aides to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry say they expect President George Bush to reveal a plan for leaving Iraq before the November election.

"I am sure he (Bush) is going to have a plan to get us out of Iraq," Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Kerry, said.

James Carville, a former Bill Clinton administration strategist, echoed the prediction to the Financial Times, "Bush has got to go for a troop pullout before the election."

However, Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, said, "The president has made clear that politics does not inform his decision-making as regards the war on terror."

On several occasions, Bush has vowed the country would not "cut and run," once referring to his father's leadership record in the 1991 Gulf War.

Raising the exit strategy issue reinforces the national sense of anxiety about Bush's venture in Iraq, the newspaper said. Mark Mellman, Kerry's chief pollster, said people would not vote on "policies or plans" for Iraq but more generally on the sense of "success or failure."

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