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Bush Defends Iraq Effort; Cites Bin Laden, Security

President Bush acknowledges a difficult road ahead, but in a speech which sought to link success in Iraq with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he set no timetable for a possible withdrawal of U.S. troops. The president said American soldiers will come home when Iraqis can defend themselves.

Tuesday marked one year since sovereignty was transferred to the interim Iraqi government, but the president's Fort Bragg speech comes as polling shows a public growing increasingly skeptical about the conflict's toll.

A new CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll shows that 51 percent of Americans want a plan for withdrawing from Iraq, and 53 percent say the war was a mistake. According to the poll, 37 percent say they think the president has a clear plan for the war.

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You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.