Bush says Rumsfeld and Cheney should stay in office until the end | VailDaily.com

Bush says Rumsfeld and Cheney should stay in office until the end

WASHINGTON – President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.”Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them,” Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.On the war in Iraq, Bush said the military has not asked for an increase in U.S. forces beyond the 144,000 already there. He said U.S. generals have told him “that the troop level they got right now is what they can live with.”On another international issue, Bush said he was determined that sanctions imposed against North Korea must be applied even though Pyongyang has agreed to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.The president spoke in the Oval Office, seated in a wing chair in front of a table with a bowl of roses. Six days before midterm elections, he steered away from political questions beyond saying he was confident that Republicans would defy the polls and hold control of the House and Senate. “I understand the pundits have got the race over. But I don’t believe it’s over until everybody votes,” Bush said.He refused to say whether he could work effectively with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi or Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid if Democrats won either the House or Senate, or both.Bush did take the opportunity to take another poke at Sen. John Kerry, in political hot water for a remark that the White House has characterized as a slam on U.S. troops in Iraq. Kerry has said he was making a joke critical of Bush, not the troops.”It didn’t sound like a joke to me,” the president said.Democrats and Republicans alike have called for Rumsfeld’s resignation, arguing he has mishandled the war in Iraq where more than 2,800 members of the U.S. military have died since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. Cheney has faced sharp criticism for his hardline views. In recent polling, less than 40 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Cheney and about a third had a favorable view of Rumsfeld.Bush said he valued Cheney’s advice and judgment.”The good thing about Vice President Cheney’s advice is, you don’t read about it in the newspaper after he gives it,” the president said. While Cheney was re-elected with Bush for four years, there has been recurring speculation thate-Acquisition,0809R.R. Donnelley’s $1.3 billion deal for ae uis1s mdu sH cere”for now” in rcess outsourcing, in which corporations contract out clerical or non-core operations such as billing and humact ee t’ fa urNp-trs.”The pairing of Midwestern printing firms took Wall Street by surprise but was well-received. Shares in Banta soared $7.87, or 17.8 percent, to $52.15 while Donnelley rose 39 cents to $34.25 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchangde said of Donnelley. “This is a reaffirmation of their belief in their core business.”Menasha, Wis.-based Banta announced its acceptance of Donnelley’s offer about two hours after hostiltdrew its $1.21 billion proposal.The 105-year-old company, which produces books and other printed matter and provides supply chain management services, is less than a fifth the size of Donnelley. It has 8,000 employees in Europe, Asia and the U.S., including 1,585 employees in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley, and $1.54 billion in annual revenue, compared with Donnelley’s 47,000 employees worldwide and $8.65 billion in 2005 revenue.Chicago-based Donnelley, which also prints advertising inserts, financial reports, business forms and textbooks, said the acquisition will allow it to expand its range of products and services and improve services in magazine, catalog and book printing and in direct marketing.Angelson said the company will retain “a great majority” of Banta’s employees but sees $75 million in cost savings by eliminating overlapping businesses and operations. That includes $35 million in cuts that Banta proposed in September, such as closing printing plants in Appleton, Menasha and Kaukauna, Wis.; Eden Prairie, Minn., and Spanish Fork, Utah.More than 80 percent of Donnelley’s sales already come from the U.S., and many expected the company to continue diversifying into outsourcing and overseas printing businesses.Lehman Brothers analyst Megan Talbott said she was surprised by the transaction from a strategic perspective and noted that Banta’s sales in the most recent quarter were flat.”While we are confident in Donnelley’s ability to take out costs quickly and effectively … we remain cautious around the long-term strategic advantages of owning Banta’s print businesses,” she said in a research note.Karl Choi ofMy disappointed that Donneykng another large acquisition at a time when the economy is slowing rather than pursuing a large-scale share repurchase or leveraged buyout, which it reportedly explored seriously in recent months.While trying to branch out since the Internet began encroaching on some of its core business a decade ago, Donnelley also has dealt with the threat by gobbling up competitors. It acquired Moore Wallace Inc. in 2004 for $2.8 billion in stock and got Angelson as CEO in the process, before going on to buy business-process outsourcing firm Astron Group for $990 million.The largest printing company in North America is now bigger than its five biggest rivals combined, but the industry remains fragmented.Angelson also has been under pressure to raise a stock price that fell to a two-year low of $28.50 on July 27 before rebounding.”I believe that our shareholders are looking for us to continue to consolidate this industry, and that is what we announced,” he said Wednesday.The agreement, unanimously approved by both companies’ boards, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.—On the Net:R.R. Donnelley: http://www.rrdonnelley.comBanta: http://www.banta.com

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