Opinions Vary on Presidential News Conference
The Honolulu Advertiser
Americans across the country tuned in to see Bush's address to the nation, after which he fielded reporters' questions. On Chicago's South Side, viewers included about 20 members of the Task Force for Black Political Empowerment, a political activist group that has come out against the Iraq war. "I feel sorry for him," said A.L. Reynolds, 68, a retired businessman from Chicago who described himself as an independent. "He has not answered one reporter's question, he has not apologized, he has an arrogant attitude and he's not going to change anyone's opinion with this speech. I feel very sorry for him and I'm scared for us."
Nelson, a 51-year-old Vietnam veteran and post commander, said he was pleased Bush stood firm on Iraq in his prime time news conference, despite increasing instability there and polls showing that fewer Americans approve of the way he's handling the war.
While Bush calls the war in Iraq the front line of the war on terror, an increasing number of people - about half - now say the military action in Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism, not decreased it. And more people now see the possibility that Iraq could become like Vietnam, an extended military struggle with no clear resolution. Mike Peno, 47, an engineer at a nuclear power plant, sat watching Bush in a bar and restaurant in Baton Rouge, La. He said he was disappointed. "I really thought that he was going to tell us how he's going to handle this and I didn't hear it," Peno said. "I really question whether we're doing the right thing, being over there." Jeff Gray, 53, who works at the car dealership and is the son of a World War II prisoner of war, said he supported Bush, "but I am scared of the road ahead because I'm scared it's going to turn into another Vietnam."