Former GOP Rep. Leach of Iowa endorses Obama

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach, a leading Republican moderate with a foreign policy background, is endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president.

The former Iowa congressman's backing was announced Tuesday as part of a group of GOP activists crossing party lines this year.

Leach told reporters: "I'm convinced that the national interest demands a new approach to our interaction with the world." Leach added that Obama offers the leadership to do that.

Leach lost his bid for another term in office in 2006. He was a foreign service officer before being elected to Congress.

Leach predicted that a lot of Republicans and independents are going to be attracted by Obama's campaign.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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