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In France, Bush Says Rift Is Not Permanent

In Paris Friday, President Bush delivered what amounted to a valedictory speech, looking back at U.S. and European relations over his time in the White House. He laid out the challenges ahead, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush is on what he says will be his final trip to Europe as president; earlier Friday, he met with Pope Benedict XVI.

Bush acknowledged that there had been strains in the U.S.-European relationship during his administration. But he said the U.S. and Europe had also had disagreements in the past — the Suez Crisis in the 1950s, for example, and the basing of missiles in Europe in the 1980s.

"Yet with the distance of time," Bush said, "we can see these differences for what they were: fleeting disagreements between friends."

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You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.