updated 4/19/2006 11:18:35 AM ET 2006-04-19T15:18:35

President Bush said Wednesday he didn’t expect to get universal support at home for the decision to invade Iraq and said failure there “is not an option.”

Talking to reporters on the White House South Lawn after a meeting with a group of governors who have returned from a visit to Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush said he thanked the state chief executives for “sending a message from home that we care ... we appreciate the fact that people are willing to make sacrifices.”

“I assured them that our goal in Afghanistan and Iraq is victory and there will be a victory” when those two countries are able to sustain themselves and defend themselves,” he said. “I assured the governors that the United States will complete the mission.”

“I fully recognize that the Iraqis must step up and form a unity government so that those who went to the polls will recognize” that they’ll have a government that responds to their needs, he said.

“We understand very well that the political process in Iraq must occur very soon,” the president added. “I don’t expect everybody to agree with my decision to go into Iraq. But I want the American people to understand that failure in Iraq is not an option” and that success there will “begin to lay the foundation for a peace” that will last for generations.

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said he was heartened by what he saw there, and said that “every thing that can be done is being done a daily basis” by U.S. forces in Iraq.

Daniels said the commitment to the mission in Iraq “is unanimous. They believe they’re doing something important.”

West Va. Gov. Joe Machin said the troops there are “committed to getting the job done ... It was so good to see them in high spirits.”

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