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The Race to the White House

Powell Will Skip the Republican Convention

August 11, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, a Republican centrist popular with moderate voters, will not attend the GOP convention in New York that will nominate President Bush for a second term.

"On White House instruction, Secretary Powell, as well as others among the Cabinet, will not attend," State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said Tuesday. "This is in keeping with past practice."

Ereli also drew attention to Powell's remarks last week at a convention of minority journalists that he was obliged as a Cabinet secretary not to take part in "parochial debate."

Republicans gather for the four-day convention beginning Aug. 30.

With Bush in a close race against Democratic nominee John F. Kerry, Powell's stature with Republicans and Democrats who favor a cautious approach to world problems could be an asset to the president.

Powell has defended Bush's foreign policy in interviews and speeches, dismissing Kerry's assertions that the president was inclined to go it alone in dangerous overseas ventures.

Powell on Thursday told Unity, a convention of minority journalists, that Bush took his advice to "not act unilaterally" and made the case against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein at the United Nations in September 2002.

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