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Lott: Rumsfeld Should Go

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (search) should be replaced sometime in the next year, Sen. Trent Lott (search) says.

"I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce (search) on Wednesday. "I don't think he listens enough to his uniformed officers."

Rumsfeld has been under heavy criticism since a soldier asked him last week why the combat vehicles used in the war in Iraq don't have the proper armor. Both Rumsfeld and President Bush have said more vehicle armor will be shipped to Iraq.

Lott, speaking to the civic club Wednesday, said the United States needs more troops to help with the war and a plan to leave Iraq once elections take place in late January. The Mississippi Republican doesn't think Rumsfeld is the person to carry out that plan.

"I would like to see a change in that slot in the next year or so," Lott said. "I'm not calling for his resignation, but I think we do need a change at some point."

Lott lost his post as Senate majority leader two years ago after praising Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential run.

On Monday, Sen. John McCain told The Associated Press he has "no confidence" in Rumsfeld, citing Rumsfeld's handling of the war in Iraq and the failure to send more troops.

McCain, Republican of Arizona, said his comments were not a call for Rumsfeld's resignation, explaining that Bush "can have the team that he wants around him."

He said he had also expressed lack of confidence in Rumsfeld when fielding a similar question a couple of weeks ago.