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September 24, 2004

Bush v. Kerry: Iraq
President Bush gestures during a joint news conference with Iraq's Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

President Bush gestures during a joint news conference with Iraq's Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in the Rose Garden of the White House, September 23, 2004. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Democratic candidate John Kerry seemed to finally stake out a clear anti-war position and an alternative to the Bush foreign policy in a speech at New York University this week. He declared Iraq a distraction from the real war on terror, which he believes should be focused on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. President Bush was quick to respond, suggesting that Kerry had changed his position again. Has the presidential election become a referendum on the war? Our panelists offer their thoughts.
Paul Gigot
Paul Gigot
"This may actually be a good debate for the country to have on Iraq right now. We've had this very angry, partisan division over the war for about 18 months. Is this the kind of thing a presidential election should decide?"
Susan Lee
Susan Lee
"Americans are getting nervous. They're getting anxious about how the war is going. Kerry has made the first leg of his argument. He's got to have a really good foreign policy debate and make the second."
Daniel Henninger
Daniel Henninger
"The Kerry campaign has been running and adjusting itself according to the polls. The news out of Iraq has been pretty bad. So, he gives a speech taking a position of complete opposition to Iraq. I fervently hope that he will stick to it."
Dorothy Rabinowitz
Dorothy Rabinowitz
"He accused Allawi of inconsistency. This is a very dangerous ground for John Kerry to be mounting an attack, that paragon of consistency."
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VIDEO: President Bush and Prime Minister Allawi, September 23, 2004

TRANSCRIPT: John Kerry's speech on Iraq and terrorism at New York University, September 20, 2004

ARCHIVE: Paul Gigot Commentary

ARCHIVE: Susan Lee Commentary

ARCHIVE: Daniel Henninger Commentary

ARCHIVE: Dorothy Rabinowitz Commentary