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Clinton ready to take on "good debater' Bush

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton praised his Republican opponent's debating skills Saturday, but said President Bush will have a hard time defending his policies.

"Mr. Bush is a good debater," Clinton told supporters in St. Louis as he announced at a rally that he would debate Bush there Oct. 11. "The issue is not whether he is a good debater or not, it's whether he has a good record and a good vision and the answer to that is no."

"I can say to George Bush meet me in St. Louis," he told a rally outside a farmers market in the city.

Arkansas Gov. Clinton, who is currently ahead of Bush in polls, also said he expects to announce his decision soon on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the president will sign Wednesday.

The agreement, which loosens barriers between the United States, Mexico and Canada and establishes a trade bloc, will be signed by Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at a ceremony in Texas.

"I am going to make my announcement in a couple of days," Clinton told reporters.

The agreement, which is opposed by many labor groups who fear it could mean jobs fleeing the country, is a tough political issue for Clinton and he would not comment on what he plans to announce.

Clinton may announce his decision on the North American Free Trade Agreement possibly as early as today, but campaign aides would not confirm a date.

In a speech to supporters he said he was not opposed to free trade.

"I believe in expanded trade with all nations," Clinton said. "Wealthy nations can only grow richer by expanding trade, but it has to be on terms that are fair to us."