Bush Prods Democrats on War-Funds Bills

Visiting California's Fort Irwin, President Bush renews criticism of Democratic efforts to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. He said he would veto any war-funding measure that included a timeline.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Here in California, President Bush said he knows that the nation is tired of the Iraq war and wondering if the U.S. can win.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: In my judgment, defeat - leaving before the job was done, which I would call defeat - would make this United States of America at risk to further attack.

MONTAGNE: The president was speaking at a remote Army base in Southern California, and he once again criticized the Democrats. Both Houses controlled by the Democrats have passed bills that tie continued war funding to a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and President Bush has pledged to veto any bill with timetables.

President BUSH: A strategy that encourages his enemy to wait us out is dangerous. It's dangerous for our troops. It's dangerous for our country's security. And it's not going to become the law.

MONTAGNE: Mr. Bush also used his visit to Fort Irwin to defend his decision to send more troops to Iraq. He then left the Mojave Desert for a fundraiser in the upscale Brentwood section of Los Angeles. The president is now at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on a six-day Easter vacation.

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