“The Timing Is Right”

President Bush told the nation yesterday afternoon in an impromptu press conference that he and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had agreed “that the timing is right for new leadership at the Pentagon.” Bush acknowledged that he had misled reporters a week ago when he said that Rumsfeld would stay on through the remainder of the President’s term. He said, “I didn’t want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign,” referring to the mid-term election. Bush explained that he and Rumsfeld have held a “series of thoughtful conversations,” in which they agreed the war required “fresh perspective.” Bush called Rumsfeld a “superb leader,” who “understands that Iraq is not working well enough, fast enough.”