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Haggard Not'All That Happy' With Bush

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Country singer Merle Haggard says he's as red, white and blue as they come, but has been disappointed by how President Bush responded to the panel probing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Haggard, 66, has been critical in songs and in interviews of the Iraq war and of what he views as an erosion of individual freedom.

"I certainly wasn't going to vote for Gore, so he is my man," Haggard said of Bush in an interview with The Associated Press. "But I'm not really all that happy with him."

On Thursday he cited the administration's flip flop on National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's requested testimony to the Sept. 11 panel as another example of poor leadership.

"There have been some things, like saying no with (Condoleezza Rice) to begin with and then having a White House reversal," Haggard said in a telephone interview from California. "I don't think a White House reversal looks good anytime."

The administration at first argued that Rice shouldn't testify publicly under oath before the commission because of an infringement on the division of powers between Congress and the White House.

The White House has agreed to allow the testimony.

Haggard's many hits include "Okie From Muskogee," and "The Fightin' Side of Me," both patriotic songs that were released at the height of the Vietnam War. He played for Richard Nixon at the White House in 1973 and at Ronald Reagan's ranch in 1982.

homepage: homepage: http://ap.kgw.com/dynamic/stories/P/PEOPLE_HAGGARD?SITE=KGW&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=ENTERTAINMENT.html

this is a DUPLICATE POSTING 03.Apr.2004 16:39

already on newswire yesterday