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'Elder Bush, Reagan, JFK to inspire me'

Senator Barack Obama has said he would return the country to the more "traditional" foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George HW Bush, John F Kennedy and Reagan.

world Updated: Mar 29, 2008 19:30 IST

Senator Barack Obama has said he would return the country to the more "traditional" foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George HW Bush, John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.



At a town hall event at a local high school gymnasium on Friday, Obama praised George HW Bush - father of the president - for the way he handled the first Gulf War: with a large coalition and carefully defined objectives.



Obama began a six-day bus tour through Pennsylvania, the largest remaining primary prize in the contest with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Senator John McCain is the Republican nominee-in-waiting.



"The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of George Bush's father, of John F Kennedy, of, in some ways, Ronald Reagan, and it is George Bush that's been naive and it's people like John McCain and, unfortunately, some Democrats that have facilitated him acting in these naive ways that have caused us so much damage in our reputation around the world," he said.



Obama faced criticism in January from Clinton and then-challenger John Edwards for saying Reagan had changed the trajectory of American politics - and that Republicans had been the party of ideas for the last decade or more.



In one of the more heated moments of the Democratic debates, Clinton challenged him directly on the topic, saying those Republican ideas were "bad for America, and I was fighting against those ideas."



In his speech last night, the Illinois senator charged that Clinton, for all her criticism of the current President George W Bush, has too often gone along with his decisions.