Bush's week in review

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by David R. Remer, PoliWatch.Org, WatchBlog

Pres. Bush is in the N.E. defending his record on jobs and anti-terrorism. He is spending this time and money to shore up his record because it is under major attack from a number of directions. Both Democratic and Republican party members of Congress agree that jobs are critically important to both the economy and the November elections, and they both agree, the jobs growth is a major disappointment to economic recovery. On the other hand, 2003 saw our economy grow at a healthy 4.1 percent pace, a point that is sure to be touted in Bush's speeches and ads from this point forward.

On anti-terrorism, the President is under fire from the 9/11 Investigation Commission which has brought forth testimony indicating that both Presidents Bush and Clinton failed to use intelligence they had to defend American lives on 9/11/2001. President Bush stated today he did not know that planes would be used to attack targets in the U.S. However, the 9/11 Commission has evidenced that our Intelligence Community did in fact know that planes may likely be used in attacks and that the targets such as the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were possible targets. Bush's critics are calling Bush's statement an outright lie. The question of whether the President knew of this intelligence prior to 9/11 has not been answered. The question of whether the President should have known this information is just now being raised.

Of course the main controversy centers on Richard Clarke's testimony that the Administration was so obsessed with Iraq and Saddam Hussein that they misinterpreted intelligence regarding an impending al-Queda attack and failed to take necessary steps to defend against what became the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Clarke's credibility is the primary target by conservatives both on the Commission and in the media. Nonetheless, Republican attempts to pin Clarke in his own testimony were unsuccessful as Clarke demonstrated remarkable poise and calm in responding to court like inquiries by panel members.

While the President has agreed to testify before the Commission, the person with probably the most detailed knowledge of the policies and decisions on anti-terrorism before 9/11, Condoleeza Rice has refused to testify under oath and in public before the Commission. Ms. Rice is becoming a prime target of progressive attacks for what appears to them to be increasingly a case of having something to hide. While the Administration argues that commanding her testimony is a breach of Executive Branch powers and rights, progressives argue that no person in government should be above investigation by the public's representatives. This is an issue that is sure to fester for months to come and may become a campaign issue.

The stock market tumbled last week amid jitters over terrorist attacks in Spain and Israel, and bombs being found in various locations, as well as intelligence being reported that the U.S. is going to be targeted again, and Donald Rumsfeld has stated it could happen tomorrow. Investors lost big as the markets tumbled, the Dow Jones Average losing almost 500 points in recent weeks. Bearish sentiments are replacing the previous bullish enthusiasm that has lifted the Dow from 7000 plus to over 10,000 since 9/11 according to MSNBC today.

Lou Dobbs began a series on TV over a month ago called The Exporting of America. This program has helped raise the issues of outsourcing jobs to other countries by American corporations, and the transfer of ownership of American assets to foreign investors via America's national debt and rising deficits, has put these issues in the headlines on the campaign trail. Sen. Kerry is making the lack of jobs a central issue in his campaign and putting the President on the defensive on this issue as seen by his speeches today.

Polls are showing the race between Kerry and Bush neck and neck and the near half billion dollars being raised for campaigning by Kerry and Bush are now in play buying ads to tarnish the image if each candidate's opponent. This may be an unprecedented spending year for a Presidential election in American history. Ad agencies are salivating.

Bush's ads are focusing on Kerry's Senatorial voting record making claims which are not factual about Kerry's votes on raising taxes. The Bush camp is using votes that reflect Kerry's votes for alternative amendments and bills that would not have included Bush's tax cuts. Also included in the GOP claim of over 350 votes to increase taxes are votes on in which Kerry opposed the bills on issues other than the taxes included in them. Kerry's camp has launched ads placing the jobless recovery and failure to provide troops and veterans with the funds they say are needed to keep military families from falling into poverty or bankruptcy.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on March 25, 2004 6:49 PM.

9/11 Investigation - Not Good was the previous entry in this blog.

Kerry Pushes past Bush in Polls is the next entry in this blog.

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