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Bush to American people: Trust me

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reporting Thursday from outside the White House


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

(CNN) -- President Bush Thursday outlined his vision of the war on terror in what the White House billed as a "major" policy address. CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported live outside the White House after Bush's address, speaking with anchor Daryn Kagan.

MALVEAUX: Well, of course, we were listening very carefully to see if there were new details or unprecedented details, as the White House said, in terms of Iraq and the war on terror. There was one particular sentence that stood out here.

President Bush essentially telling the American people to "trust me here." "You don't know what we're doing. Even the things you don't know here, we are succeeding when it comes to the war on terror." He specifically talked about for the first time terrorist plots that have been disrupted since 9/11.

PRESIDENT BUSH (in speech): Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted at least 10 serious al Qaeda terrorist plots since September the 11th, including three al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States. We've stopped at least five more al Qaeda efforts to case targets in the United States or infiltrate operatives into our country.

Because of this steady progress, the enemy is wounded. But the enemy is still capable of global operations.

MALVEAUX: Now, Daryn, really this is a typical White House strategy that it uses. The president goes forward and asks for Americans to trust him, saying that even the things that you do not see on television, perhaps all this bad news, we counter it with things that we're doing behind the scenes, things that you can't even identify or see.

That is what the president did today. But, of course, he also broadened this out as well, saying that, look, there is going to be plenty of sacrifice ahead, warning of continued violence, and also asking, urging the American people to be patient.

BUSH (in speech): No act of ours invited the rage of the killers. And no concession, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder. On the contrary, they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence.

Against such an enemy there is only one effective response. We will never back down, never give in and never accept anything less than complete victory.

MALVEAUX: So, Daryn, of course the president directly taking on his critics there, saying, of course, now is not the time for U.S. troops to pull out of Iraq. This, of course, comes at a time when the president faces some dwindling poll numbers, poll numbers that show many Americans have lost faith in the U.S. mission in Iraq.

It also comes at a really important time here for Iraqis themselves. In about a week or so is when they're going to be voting on their constitution. It is widely expected, the president has even warned, that they expect an uptick in violence in the next seven days -- Daryn.

KAGAN: And Suzanne, not to just address his critics, but perhaps re-energize his base at a time when conservatives -- the conversation of the recent week has been that they're not too happy with his selection for a nomination for the next Supreme Court justice.

MALVEAUX: It's an interesting parallel when you look at this, Daryn, because it really is a strategy that this White House uses. The president puts forward, he takes a chance and says, trust me on this one, I'm doing the right thing.

It comes to Harriet Miers, his Supreme Court pick, that is the message he's putting forward to conservatives. Today he is addressing the American people, saying, again, trust me on this, there are things that are going on behind the scenes that you're not even aware of that prove that perhaps this U.S. mission in Iraq is a success after all.

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