ASIAN TRIP ON AGAIN, BUSH SAYS

President Bush, brushing off complaints that he spends too much time overseas, says he will soon go to Asia after all.Just a week after abruptly postponing the excursion, amid charges that he was paying inadequate attention to domestic problems, especially the ailing economy, the president made it clear Tuesday that he wants to go abroad again for the good of America. "I look forward to traveling soon to Asia ... to expand market opportunities for tens of thousands of American workers and businesses," Bush said in an address to the Asia Society, a nonprofit group dedicated to fostering US-Asian relations, in New York City. "As president, I must serve the entire nation in the domestic and foreign arenas," he said. Insisting that the action was not based on any political considerations, spokesmen said Bush simply wants to remain in Washington until Congress adjourns, which could be after Thanksgiving. The postponement drew swift and critical reaction, with both Republicans and Democrats saying it appeared as if Bush was panicking over a sudden drop in his approval ratings. In countering that attack, Bush said, "The notion that we can separate domestic and foreign policy rests upon the stubborn fantasy that we can live as an isolated island surrounded by a changing and developing world."

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