Bush On Iraq: Americans Don't Want To Turn Back
At an end-of-the-year news conference, President Bush outlined his outlook for Iraq. The President said he has asked Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, to report back to him as quickly as possible on plans to enlarge the size of the Army and the Marines.
President Bush said he's "willing to follow a path to victory," saying it was achievable. "There is still violence in Iraq, and that's troubling to the American people ... but I also don't think most Americans want us to get out now."
Bush skirted one question -- whether he would order a "so-called" surge of troops in Iraq as a first step toward gaining control of situation.
Bush also said the United States will "ask more of our Iraqi partners" in 2007, and he pledged to work with the new Democratic Congress, as well. "I know my decisions have caused young men and women to lose their lives," he said.
Bush also answered a question on the economy. He said that a vibrant economy is going to be necessary to fund not only a war but other aspects of our government. "We have shown over the past six years that low taxes have helped the economy recover from some pretty significant shocks."
The president is optimistic about new battery technology that will be coming to market - "People will be able to drive the first 20 miles on electricity, then 40 miles in the next phase," he said. He believes this will really drive down gas consumption in urban areas.
And he said he's very pleased that "we've gone from 1 billion gallons of ethanol to over 5 billion gallons of ethanol in a very quick period of time."