Romney Rejects Long-Term Iraq Presence

Washington (AP) -- Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is rejecting the administration's idea of having US troops in Iraq for decades, just like in South Korea.

Romney says the parallel the administration is drawing in looking for a role for US troops in Iraq "doesn't flow naturally."

He says the objective shouldn't be a "Korea-type setting with 25-to-50,000 troops on a near permanent basis."

In an interview with the Associated Press, Romney notes the US has bases in the region. He says care should be taken to avoid doing anything that insurgents could use to claim that the US intends "to be an occupier forever."

On another issue, Romney said the decision by Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain not to compete in the Iowa Straw Poll in August was "a delightful surprise."

He says it'll give his campaign "an extraordinary boost."

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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