Bush names former CIA chief Robert Gates as next defense secretary after Donald Rumsfeld agreed to step down

In his first statement after the mid-term election, the US President said he and Rumsfeld had agreed it was time for new leadership at the Pentagon and a fresh perspective needed for the Iraqi war. He praised the departing secretary. “I understand many Americans yesterday voiced their displeasure with the Iraq situation.
But we cannot accept defeat. Defeat is not an option in Iraq. Our enemies should not see this as weakness. The people of Iraq can be sure America will stand by you. If we leave Iraq before the job is down, our country will be more at risk.”
President Bush said we took a “thumping” in the midterm elections but we must work together. He stressed his commitment to the bipartisan way and told Democratic leaders “We can work together over the next two years to accomplish big objectives for this year and next.” Consultations with the Democratic leadership start Thursday and Friday. He promised to provide briefings to the new members of congress.

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