President takes a time out on his road trip to admit war on terror can't be won

The name of George Bush was on everybody's lips in Manhattan yesterday - and not in the politest of contexts. But as the Republican National Convention got under way at Madison Square Garden the President himself was still out of town, completing a week-long campaigning swing through crucial states.

The name of George Bush was on everybody's lips in Manhattan yesterday - and not in the politest of contexts. But as the Republican National Convention got under way at Madison Square Garden the President himself was still out of town, completing a week-long campaigning swing through crucial states.

Mr Bush, who was in New Hampshire and Ohio yesterday, marked the start of his party's gathering with a nationally broadcast interview on NBC's Breakfast Show. Lingering on the topic of the war against terrorism, he said that the effort should never be relaxed.

"You cannot show weakness in this world today because the enemy will exploit that weakness," the President said, in a thinly disguised jab at John Kerry, his Democrat rival, whom he has painted as being less resolute than himself in fighting terror threats and seeing through the American mission in Iraq.

For the first time, however, Mr Bush conceded that the war against terror will be a long one that may never be concluded. When asked by the interviewer, Matt Lauer, "Can we win?" the President replied: "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the - those who use terror as a tool are - less acceptable in parts of the world."

Scheduled to arrive in New York on Wednesday for his appearance on Thursday evening to formally accept his party's presidential nomination, Mr Bush had a small boost from opinion polls which suggest that while he remains in a dead heat with Mr Kerry nationally, the trends in important swing states may be in his favour.

A Miami Herald poll showed him two points ahead of his rival in Florida, for example, showing 48 per cent support vs 46 per cent for Mr Kerry. Polls taken by CNN put him at 51 per cent in Iowa against 45 per cent for Mr Kerry. Critically, both men were tied at 47 per cent in Pennsylvania, a state that is a must-win for Democrats.

"Bush is moving up in the polls but he is hardly safe," said William Schneider of the American Enterprise Institute and a commentator on CNN. "When he is over 50 per cent, he can breathe easy."

Traditionally, a nominee enjoys a boost in the poll ratings immediately after their party's convention, but that did not happen for Mr Kerry after the Democrat convention in Boston last month.

After the massive march through midtown Manhattan on Sunday, which brought together about 150,000 anti-Bush and anti-war protesters, the streets of the city were mostly calm yesterday. An 18-square-block zone of the city near the Garden was closed to most traffic, but the subways ran normally and most workers were able to get to work more or less unimpeded.

Some demonstrators took to the big hotels at breakfast time to greet delegates as they emerged to make their way to the convention site. "Corporate Orgy in Iraq", was the refrain being sung by demonstrators, some dressed in oversized Bush masks and other wild costumes.

Outside the Plaza Hotel, demonstrators complete with pink wigs lingered with plastic cups charged with champagne, toasting the "tax cuts to the rich" made by Mr Bush in his presidency. But as conventioneers strolled out, most merely smiled at the demonstrators. A few stopped in their tracks, but only to have their pictures snapped next to the pink-wigged protesters.

Another march on Madison Square Garden was planned for yesterday evening by the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign to highlight the economic disparities in America.

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
I'm not worried about United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Health & Social Care / Science Teacher

£1 per day + Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Health and Soc...

ICT Teachers for perm roles following Oct resignation period

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: IC...

Maths Teachers to cover vacancies after Oct resignation period

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ma...

Maths Teacher required, Maidstones shool

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently require an experienc...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker