President Bush has rejected calls for U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq, saying it will not happen on his watch.
At a fundraiser for a congresswoman in Denver, Colorado Tuesday, the president reiterated that the United States will defeat the enemy in Iraq and stand squarely with the nation's citizens.
He noted that withdrawal would send the wrong signal to U.S troops, to the enemy, and to those who expect the United States to honor its commitments.
The president's comments come one day before a planned speech where he will discuss a victory strategy for Iraq.
Before the fundraiser, a crowd staged a loud but peaceful protest against the president's policies in Iraq.
Earlier, at a news conference, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also rejected calls to withdraw from Iraq, saying "quitting is not an exit strategy."
The defense secretary said an early exit from Iraq would be a formula for more terrorist violence.
The remarks come as the Bush administration is under increasing political pressure to explain its plan for stabilizing Iraq.
Democratic Congressman John Murtha has called for an immediate withdrawal, saying the U.S. military's continued presence in Iraq has increased terrorism and instability in the Middle East. The comments by the former Marine and respected military expert sparked intense debate.