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Bush Congratulates Democrat's VP Choice - 2004-07-06

President Bush has welcomed Senator John Edwards to the presidential race following his selection as the Democratic choice for vice president. The president's Republican party is calling Senator Edwards a disingenuous, unaccomplished Liberal.

President Bush says Vice President Dick Cheney has telephoned Senator Edwards to offer his congratulations.

"The vice president called him early this morning, after the announcement was made, to say that he welcomes him to the race, as do I, and I look forward to a good, spirited contest," Mr. Bush said.

The president's party added to that spirited contest with a lengthy critique of the Senator's career, which has been posted on the national Republican website.

It repeatedly questioned Mr. Edwards' military and foreign policy experience, saying he ran a primary campaign that lacked substance.

As a first-term senator who has held no other elective office, the Republican Party noted that Mr. Edwards has never been the lead sponsor on any legislation, which has become law.

Republicans say Senator Edwards has an anti-growth agenda that is hostile to taxpayers because he voted against the president's record tax cuts and opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Republican statement says Mr. Edwards does not share the priorities of American families, because he voted against the president's prescription drug plan, voted to kill medical malpractice reform and voted against banning partial-birth abortion.

It says the Senator professes to be a southern moderate, but votes like a northeastern liberal, comparing him to Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Hillary Clinton of New York, saying Mr. Edwards votes with them 90 percent of the time.

The Republican Party calls Senator Edwards phony and disingenuous, asking if his rural populist message is just another gimmick to try to win conservative southern voters.