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Edwards: Foreign leaders want Bush out

Presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards says foreign leaders are “frustrated” with President Bush and want to see a new face in the White House – though he says they won’t say so directly.

“I was, just a few weeks ago … in Brussels at a NATO meeting with a whole group of NATO ambassadors and hearing their perspective on this,” he told CNN’s Larry King on his program last night. “I just believe that these countries around the world, whose cooperation and alliances we need, believe that in order for them to have a fresh start with America, we’re going to need a new president to do that. Now, they’re not going to want to say this very vocally, of course, but the reality is that in order for us to re-establish old relations and to establish new relationships, I believe we need a new president.”

Continued Edwards: “They didn’t say that directly. What they said was they’re very frustrated with the way this administration has dealt with them.

“They believe that in this case our trans-Atlantic relationships are important, should be important to America, are important to them. They want to be treated with some level of respect. They understand, because I made it very clear, at the end of the day, the president of the United States is going to do what’s in the best interest of the American people.

Then Edwards added this clarifier:

“But the vast majority of the time, our interests are aligned with the interests of our allies around the world.”

Edwards has been criticized by fellow Democrats – including his running mate, John Kerry – for his lack of foreign-policy experience.

GOP leaders were highly critical of Kerry earlier in the campaign when he claimed unnamed foreign leaders didn’t want Bush to be re-elected.