President Bush, attempting to take advantage of growing voter resentment toward politicians, said yesterday he did not oppose term limitations for elected officials and indicated he may use the issue as he campaigns this fall.
"I may go public on that," Bush said at his news conference yesterday. "I'm certainly not opposed to it. I haven't decided exactly. But I think people want a change against the incumbents up there on the Hill."
Voters in Oklahoma last month overwhelmingly approved a proposal limiting state legislators to 12 years. Voters in California and Colorado will vote on term-limitation initiatives next month.
Some Republican Party officials, including Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater, have urged Bush to support term limits, hoping that resentment against incumbent politicians will help Republicans narrow the Democrats' significant majority in the House and elsewhere. Their argument is that the Republicans should take advantage of the voters' mood.
Noting that the party platform calls for limitations, Bush said he would remind voters this fall of that plank. "But whether I make that a prime mover in the political campaign that lies ahead in the next few weeks, I don't know."
Bush will campaign today in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.