Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 statement that he thought that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable was thought to have turned the tide of public opinion against the war, said Sunday that he would say the same thing about the current war in Iraq. After Cronkite's 1968 statement -- as the anchor of the dominant CBS Evening News, he was regarded as "the most trusted man in America" -- President Lyndon Johnson reportedly told an aide, "If we've lost Walter, then we've lost the war." At a news conference for the Winter TV Press Tour, Cronkite suggested that the U.S. was given the opportunity -- which it ignored -- to make an honorable withdrawal from Iraq following the Hurricane Katrina disaster to help its victims and rebuild the devastated area. Asked about the search for a successor to Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, Cronkite, who is 89, joked, "I'm standing by if they want me." He also indicated that he has long regretted his decision to step down as anchor of the network newscast in 1981. "Twenty-four hours after I told CBS News that I was stepping down at my 65th birthday I was already regretting it and I've regretted it every day since," he told the TV reporters. "It's too good a job for me to have given it up the way that I did."




01/16/2006