Thu October 3, 2002
President Bush heading for Cincinnati Monday
By Michael Collins, Cincinnati Post Washington Bureau
Wahington, DC – President Bush is coming to Cincinnati next week to make his case for war with Iraq.
Bush will give a speech in Cincinnati on Monday in which he is expected to outline the threats posed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and lay out his rationale for military action.
The White House announced the visit today but offered no other details. Several sources said a site for the president's speech hasn't been chosen but that the event will probably be open to the public.
"He wants an audience," one source said. "It's a chance for him to get out of D.C. and get into the heartland and talk directly to the American people."
Bush's visit to Cincinnati will come as Congress prepares to vote on a resolution giving him the authority to use military force if necessary to deprive the Iraqi leader of weapons of mass destruction.
The House International Relations Committee began debating the resolution on Wednesday and is expected to approve it later today.
Both the full House and the Senate are expected to vote on the resolution next week.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., has said he expects the resolution to be approved with strong bipartisan support on Wednesday or Thursday.
Bush's speech in Cincinnati is designed to build up public support for war, keep the pressure on Congress and persuade the United Nations to get behind the United States.
Several sources speculated that the White House may have chosen Cincinnati to make the case for regime change in Iraq because Bush didn't want it to appear that he is politicizing the war.
There are no U.S. Senate races in Ohio this year, and none of the congressional races on the ballot are hotly contested.
Also, the White House views Cincinnati as a city that is representative of the rest of the country. "It's just a good place for him to talk to people," one source said.