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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Bush to Address Nation About Iraq

Aired September 5, 2003 - 19:07   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush is facing a stormy situation of his own over the situation in Iraq. He's expected to address the issue in a primetime speech this Sunday.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is traveling with the president. She joins us now from Indianapolis.

Suzanne, what do we expect to hear in President Bush's address to the nation on Sunday?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we expect to hear an update on the war on terror. It's going to be about 15 minutes long, we are told. He's going to give that speech at the White House residence Sunday at 8:30 in the evening before the American people, specifically addressing Iraq.

As you know a lot of frustration and a lot of concern from people after the bombing of the U.N. headquarters, the Jordanian embassy and now seeing these attacks on U.S. soldiers almost on a daily basis.

He's going to give a progress report, talk about what is necessary in the war on terror and specifically talking about the importance of Iraq when it comes to establishing peace in the Middle East, as well as the rest of the world.

COOPER: Well, why has the White House decided to make this speech and make the president available now?

MALVEAUX: Well, as you know, a lot of politics, of course, a lot of concern about this. But this comes at a time when the United States is trying to win the approval of the U.N. Security Council, to get another U.N. Security Council resolution for broader international support in dealing with the reconstruction effort inside of Iraq.

It also comes at a time when Democratic presidential hopefuls have really been attacking the president on his issue. We saw that just last night in their first debate.

And also, Republican members of Congress, who are coming back, who have been speaking with their constituents, who have been given a hard time about this, saying that yes, there's a lot of skepticism now about what is the U.S. role inside of Iraq, whether or not the country can even deal with this.

This is something that White House aides say this is something the president has been discussing at his Crawford ranch over the summer with his top advisers, his national security team. But also that he gave it real serious consideration last week before the American Legion in St. Louis, and that today he made the final decision that he needed to go forward.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan saying that he really felt that now was the time; it was an important time to address the American people, to lay out the strategy, lay out the plan, and hopefully for the American people to get a better sense of optimism out of all of this, as well -- Anderson.

COOPER: Suzanne Malveaux with the president in Indianapolis, thanks very much.

The time of that speech 8:30 Eastern Time Sunday night. Of course, CNN is going to bring that to you live.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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