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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 07:18 GMT
Bush urged to reshuffle top team
George W Bush
A new poll puts Mr Bush's approval rating at just 39%
Senior figures from President George W Bush's party have urged him to revamp his White House team after a traumatic week that saw his lowest ever ratings.

Republicans called for new blood after an inquiry into the unmasking of a covert CIA agent led vice-presidential chief of staff Lewis Libby to quit.

The inquiry also put trusted Bush aide Karl Rove's position in jeopardy.

Mr Bush was also hit by the withdrawal of his Supreme Court nominee amid bipartisan opposition.


Republican Senator Trent Lott said on Sunday Mr Bush had to address his problems.

Two charges of perjury
Two counts of making a false statement
One charge of obstruction of justice

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"You should always be looking for... new blood, new energy, qualified staff, new people in administration. I'm not talking about wholesale changes, but you've got to reach out and bring in more advice and counsel," Mr Lott told the Fox News Sunday TV programme.

A staunch Bush ally, Senator John Cornyn, said: "The president does have an opportunity now after admittedly a very bad week to turn things around."

Other Republicans urged Mr Bush to gain momentum by quickly finding a replacement for Harriet Miers as nominee for the Supreme Court post.

The BBC's Clive Myrie in Washington says Mr Bush's supporters want some new ideas and a fresh start after the worst week in his political life - and a difficult 12 months.

Karl Rove
The probe into Karl Rove's role in the leak case is still open

An opinion poll on Sunday showed 58% were unhappy with Mr Bush's performance. Only 39% approved.

But, our correspondent says, refocusing the agenda on the issues Mr Bush wants to talk about - pension reform and tax cuts - will not be easy in the current political climate.

The Democrats have turned their guns on the president.

One lawmaker said the office of the vice-president should be investigated. Another that Mr Rove should be fired.

Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, told the ABC network's This Week programme: "[Rove's] still around. He should be let go."

He added: "There has not been an apology to the American people for this obvious problem in the White House. This has gotten way out of hand and the American people deserve better."

The CIA case involved the leaking of the identity of agent Valerie Plame - whose husband had criticised the Iraq war - to a US reporter in 2003.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Lewis Libby committed perjury to investigators about how and when he learned and disclosed to reporters classified information about Ms Plame.

Mr Libby resigned but said he was confident he would be exonerated.

Mr Rove was not charged but the investigation remains open.

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