This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 8, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: As the president left for Africa, the White House admitted that they made an error when President Bush said in his State of the Union (search) address that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium in Africa. This in fact was not true…
Well, my next guest wants answers on what happened as well. He is Tennessee Democratic Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.
And, Congressman, welcome as well.
You know, this story about the attempt to purchase uranium in Africa by the Iraqi regime has been front-page news in Britain now for the last couple of weeks and all sorts of outcry against the British prime minister. It hasn’t really caught on here. Do you expect there will be full-fledged hearings on this?
REP. HAROLD FORD, JR., D-TENN.: I don’t know.
I was one of several members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, who supported the resolution that came before the Congress, one who believed the president when he came in his State of the Union address and outlined in grizzly detail the volume of weapons of mass destruction already in the possession of Saddam Hussein and what we thought he was attempting to acquire.
We’ve learned in recent days, as the colonel stated, Ambassador Joe Wilson appeared on national shows over the weekend and wrote even for national paper that he informed this White House several months ago that the idea of a uranium swap between the Iraqis and Niger was false, was fiction, yet the White House chose to articulate that and just now are backtracking on it.
This is not to be partisan. I think there are a number of people in this country who associate with both parties who are growing more and more concerned about why we move forward, what we’re doing now, and I think even probably the larger question, Terry, at this moment is what is our plan in Iraq.
As much as I want to see an independent commission and I support that effort, as much as I support what Senator Levin is doing in the Senate, it may be time for the president to come back before us and just give us an idea of what is happening, even since he landed on the United States Abraham Lincoln several weeks back.
Why is it that we’re still losing troops day in and out? What is our plan in terms of developing or helping to transition Iraq from chaos to an interim government? What role will we play, and what role will the rest of the world play?
I think these are questions that people in my district are asking, and they’re not identifying themselves as Democrat or Republican. They’re just identifying themselves as concerned Americans.
KEENAN: Yet to what extent perhaps are we just not being patient enough? And we had Senator Pat Roberts on this program yesterday. He indicated that, you know, there’s a very a good chance that we know where Saddam Hussein is and that we’ll be able to get him, perhaps in the very near future. Isn’t it fair perhaps to give the administration and our troops there on the ground some time to get this stuff straightened out?
FORD: Terry, I would agree with you. The only problem is the president declared some several weeks back that the combat operations were over and that America had virtually won the war, as he landed in glorious fashion on the carrier. I, like most Americans, applauded him landing on it. We found out that that wasn’t altogether right.
Not only that, he didn’t shoot us all the way straight with pre-war intelligence, so all this may be coincidental. This is not meant to criticize the president. I’m just looking at the evidence that’s mounting.
I think it’s time for him to come back before us and just explain, answer some of these questions, because I trusted the president, when it came to intelligence, because he sees things that most of us don’t see and it turns out that not all of it was right on point.
KEENAN: We have to leave it right there, but thanks for joining us, as always.
FORD: Thanks for having me.
KEENAN: Congressman Ford.
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