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Rice: US "will be fine" if Obama is elected president|
Updated: 2008-08-08 08:01
WASHINGTON -- The United States will be safe with Barack Obama should he be elected president, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview released Thursday.
In an interview with current affairs websites Politico and Yahoo News, Rice said the US "will be fine" when asked whether she would feel safe with Obama as president.
"I think that we are having an important debate about how we keep the country safe," she said. "I think we are having an important debate about our responsibilities, our obligations, our interests in the Middle East in the wake of the now increasing evidence of success in Iraq."
"Those are important judgements for the American people to make," she added.
Rice also said she could understand the Democratic presidential hopeful's concerns about the surge policy in Iraq, and US President George W. Bush actually "asked all of those tough questions himself."
However, she said she found the positions on Iraq of Obama and his Republican presidential rival, John McCain, "seem to be narrowing somewhat," which she said is only possible because of the reduction of violence in Iraq as a result of the surge.
Obama has vowed to begin to withdraw all US combat troops in Iraq if he is elected president, but has left some room to redefine his Iraq policy.
McCain, on the other hand, is opposed to setting a timetable for the withdrawal but expects to finish the Iraq war by 2013 if he is elected to the White House.
Rice insisted that the Iraqis are not quite ready for the complete withdrawal of coalition forces.
On speculation that she might be the vice presidential candidate for McCain or even Obama, the US state secretary said she is headed back to California in January and does not plan to serve in the next administration no matter whether it is Democratic or Republican.
"I don't need another job in government with anybody," she said. "Look, I'm a Republican, all right? Senate McCain is a fine patriot... and I know that there are a lot of very good people who could be his vice president."
Rice said she is planning to write a book about American foreign policy during the Bush administration.
"There's a lot to talk about in these eight years," she said. "I'm looking forward to writing about it."