DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hughes, who later met with Gov. Linda Lingle at Washington Place, said she was pleased to see the East-West Center supplementing its budget with private grants and foreign aid.
War hurt president, Bush adviser says
Karen Hughes is met by protesters during her isle stopover
Karen Hughes, one of President Bush's closest political advisers, says that terrorism and violence in Iraq has taken a toll on his popularity.
The "polls are a reflection of the fact that the president has had to make some hard decisions," she said yesterday when asked about Bush's declining popularity.
"Obviously, it is difficult to see on the news every night the reports of violence from Iraq. The president had difficult decisions to make. We saw Hurricane Katrina. It has been a hard couple of years for our country, but I believe we are on the right path," Hughes said.
Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was greeted by protesters at the East-West Center and state Capitol during a two-day stopover in Honolulu after touring Malaysia and Indonesia.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Protesters with Not in Our Name-Hawaii, in association with the World Can't Wait Movement and concerned University of Hawaii faculty and students, demonstrated yesterday against the war in Iraq as Karen Hughes, adviser to President Bush, visited the East-West Center.
About 20 protesters were in front of the East-West Center's Hawaii Imin International Conference Center yesterday holding signs and shouting, "No more torture, no more lies. We don't want your alibis!"
"She's an apologist for the torture of the war," said Carolyn Hadfield, of Not In Our Name-Hawaii, who helped organize the protest yesterday.
Kyle Kajihiro, with the American Friends Service Committee, blamed Bush for the war in Iraq. Kajihiro, who organized a candlelight vigil last night at the federal building, said, "She represents the administration. We want her to take the message back that the war needs to end."
UH campus security officers were posted at the center during the protest as Hughes arrived yesterday morning.
After the meeting, in a briefing with reporters at Washington Place, Hughes, flanked by Gov. Linda Lingle, said she was pleased to see the East-West Center supplementing its $19 million annual budget with private grants and assistance from other nations.
"They have begun to work in creative ways to supplement the budget and are doing a lot of work in journalistic exchanges," said Hughes, who oversees the center's operations.
Hughes discussed U.S. public diplomacy with 17 to 18 East-West Center students at the center.