GOP hopefuls slow to rap Bush on Iraq

Jan. 10, 2008 at 8:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Support for President George W. Bush's Iraq War policy has become the rule, rather than the exception, among GOP presidential hopefuls, a report said.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential contender to express outspoken opposition to Bush's foreign policy, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

"I certainly agreed with (Bush's) foreign policy that he ran on and that we as Republicans won in the year 2000 -- you know, the humble foreign policy, no nation-building, don't be the policeman of the world," Paul said during a GOP debate Saturday.

Jack Pitney, a professor of government at California's Claremont McKenna College, said even though Bush is unpopular among the general electorate many Republicans remain loyal to him, so most Republican candidates generally avoid directly criticizing him.

Republican campaign strategist Dan Schnur said an aggressive approach in the war has become a fundamental part of the GOP message.

"In the general election, the Republican nominee is going to agree very strongly with President Bush on the broad questions of the war on terror and eliminating Saddam Hussein," said Schnur.

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