(Host) Senator Jim Jeffords says he believes President Bush is pursuing a war against Iraq primarily as a way to increase his chances of being re-elected in 2004. Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Jeffords said he feels it’s a big mistake for the United States to take military action against Iraq without the strong support of the United Nations:
(Jeffords) “I am very cynical. I think that they, Rove – I don’t think the president in his heart wants to do this, but his people around him have convinced him this is the way to re-election. You’ve got to be tough. People love a tough president. They’ve never unelected the president in the middle of a war, all those things.”
(Host) Jeffords also said he definitely plans to seek re-election to another term in the Senate when his current term expires in 2006. Recent campaign reports show that Jeffords has already raised more than a million dollars for a future campaign:
(Jeffords) “Oh yes, there’s no question. I tell everyone, I’m going to run again. I’m going to do that because right now I used to be chairman but I’m the ranking man on the committee that handles all of the highway funds and thus by being in that position, I can get a lot more funds for Vermont in the highway system.”
(Host) Jeffords also says he believes that the president’s major education initiative, known as the No Child Left Behind plan, will cause major problems for Vermont schools because the legislation creates many new federal mandates without providing the funds needed to comply with the law.