- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) President Bush is facing the toughest set of challenges of any president since Abraham Lincoln because of the shadowy nature of terrorism, his father said.

In Iowa on Sunday to attend a Republican fund-raiser, former President George Bush said his son's problems exceed even those of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"Roosevelt, of course, faced World War II," said Mr. Bush, who fought in that war. "There, we knew who the enemy was and we knew what we had to do to get rid of them. There was massive motivation."

The elder Mr. Bush was the main speaker at a fund-raising dinner for Rep. Greg Ganske, who is seeking to oust Sen. Tom Harkin, but much of his speech focused on the problems his son has been wrestling with since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"The enemies we face today are very, very different," Mr. Bush said. "They're shadowy. They are a terrible new problem."

In World War II, he said, the country had been energized by the attacks on Pearl Harbor and acted as one in dealing with the threats.

Mr. Bush gave pragmatic reasons for stumping for Mr. Ganske, saying Democrats control the Senate by a single vote and have effectively blocked much of his son's agenda.

During his four years in the White House, the senior Mr. Bush said he was confronted with a Congress in which Democrats controlled both chambers.

"You have to compromise and deal with somebody else's legislation," Mr. Bush said.

He also noted that Mr. Harkin had voted against the resolution authorizing force in the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

"He was not there on that and many other issues," the former president said.

Mr. Bush conceded that most polls have given an edge to the incumbent Mr. Harkin but said the race is "closing and it's closing fast."

Harkin campaign manager John Frew said the elder Mr. Bush signed 17 pieces of legislation written or sponsored by Mr. Harkin.

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