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Bush Economic Conference Begins Tuesday - 2002-08-12

President Bush is hosting an economic conference Tuesday near his Texas ranch, with discussions led by top administration officials. It's part of a ongoing White House campaign to show the president cares deeply about the economy and its impact on Americans.

The president and his top advisors know only too well that the economy could play a crucial role in congressional elections in November.

They are eager to show that the president has a plan to boost economic growth, and want to reassure Americans whose faith has been shaken by a recent series of corporate scandals.

They have invited private investors, small business owners, economists, union officials and the heads of several big companies to the president's economic forum in Waco, the closest city to his Texas ranch.

Administration officials at the conference, including the president, vice president and members of the Bush cabinet, are expected to stress that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says everything is in place for sustained growth, but more needs to be done.

About 240 people have been invited to the forum, among them some key contributors to the Republican party. But Mr. McClellan continued to insist Monday that there will be a diversity of views.