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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

White House Upbeat About U.N. Security Council Iraq Resolution

Aired November 6, 2002 - 12:15   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Fresh from a very victorious election night, the White House is looking ahead to that U.N. Security Council resolution and a vote. The question is this: Will the president get the support he wants on the Iraq resolution.
Joining us now from the White House, Kelly Wallace, our White House correspondent.

Pretty happy people over there, but the bottom line as far as the U.N. Security Council, they think they have it in the bag -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, earlier in the week, before this revised resolution was actually being circulated today, aides were fairly confident they had enough votes to pass this resolution. And they were also very heartened that France and Russia and China publicly were not threatening to veto this resolution.

The diplomacy continues, Ari Fleischer, the president's spokesman, saying earlier today that this resolution is in line with the goes the president outlined, that he wanted a resolution calling for Iraq to face serious consequences, wanted a resolution to find Iraq in material breech of its U.N. obligations, and wanted a tough inspections regime -- that the White House is hopeful this will pass the U.N. Security Council.

And Wolf, it really does come at an interesting time, coming really right after the elections, because as you know, President Bush made the subject of Iraq a key part of his speech as he was traveling around trying to give support to Republican candidates. And I traveled a great deal with him. Anytime he would talk about being tough and dealing with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, he got a great deal of applause from those Republican supporters. So this president has talked about Iraq, made the subject of national security part of these domestic elections. And now, of course, when the negotiations continue, but the White House hopeful and heartened that there's a possibility of a vote before the week's end -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And Kelly, I assume officials at the White House are anticipating that this endorsement, in effect, of the president even though he was not on any ballot, is going to translate into political support not only among the European allies and presumably Russia, but among moderate Arab states as well who see his hand strengthen considerably here in Washington.

WALLACE: Certainly does. He put enormous political capital on the line, his prestige on the line by plunging into this campaign traveling around the country, trying to help Republicans win. So this, his political standing is enhanced. And of course, Wolf, before the elections, the House and the Senate voted to give the president the authority to use military force against Iraq if necessary. So the president has that authority. But what the elections do, enhance his political standing on the domestic and world stage, and that, as you point out, very importantly could convince some allies to support the president on this Iraqi resolution -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Kelly Wallace, wrapping up three years covering the White House for us here at CNN. Kelly, moving on to Jerusalem, her next assignment. Be careful over there in the Middle East, Kelly. We'll be talking to you a little bit further away from us right now. Good luck to Kelly Wallace as she moves on.

WALLACE: I will. Thank you so much.

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