U.S. must leave Iraq
After once saying he supported President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, Gov. Ted Kulongoski now says the war "is just spinning out of control" and the United States should set a strict timetable for getting out.So where does his Republican opponent stand on Iraq?
In some of his strongest anti-war statements yet, Kulongoski told The Oregonian's editorial board that, like most of the American public, he believes the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq "is making things worse. I don't think this is good for America."
Kulongoski, who has attended nearly every funeral of Oregonians killed in action overseas since he became governor -- about 70 so far -- said he walks a fine line between criticizing the war and honoring those who volunteer to fight it.
"We're asking too much of them," he said. He said he plans to visit Oregon National Guard troops stationed in Afghanistan after the election, "whether I win or lose."
Although the war in Iraq has become a hot political issue in elections around the country this year, it hasn't entered the Oregon governor's race in any noticeable way. Kulongoski, a Democrat who is up for re-election, said he hasn't been more vocal on his views out of concern for the families of those who died.
But even they are increasingly starting to question the war's purpose, he said.
Portland Republican Ron Saxton, who is challenging Kulongoski in the governor's race, has said little about Iraq so far. When asked about it during a recent radio call-in show, Saxton responded that he is "not running for president."While politics are local the war in Iraq is a local issue when sons - daughters - husbands - wives and friends are dying with no end in sight.
On Friday, however, Saxton's campaign manager, Felix Schein, said Saxton also has concerns about how the war is going.
"Like a lot of Americans, he would like to see a plan to bring our troops home," Schein said. "He would like to see an increased level of activity in figuring out how we are going to successfully conclude our involvement in Iraq."