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Bush to Address Republican National Convention - 2004-09-02


The Republican National Convention concludes later in New York with an address by President Bush to party delegates who have nominated him for a second term in office.

For four days, the Republican National Convention has been setting the scene for the final event when President Bush takes to the stage. Mr. Bush is expected to lay out a vision of a safer, more prosperous America and a plan to achieve it.

The president will be introduced by New York Governor George Pataki, who has vigorously defended Mr. Bush's conduct of the war on terrorism, as well as his economic record.

"Quite simply, the president's economic policies are working," he said. "This president put in place the right economic policies at a critical time. The [US federal] tax cuts of 2001 prevented what could have been an economic catastrophe, given all of the conditions that he inherited [when he entered office] and the attacks of September 11."

Wednesday, delegates heard from Vice President Dick Cheney, who sought to draw a comparison between President Bush's approach to the war on terrorism and that his Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry.

"He [John Kerry] talks about leading a more 'sensitive' war on terror, as though al-Qaida will be impressed with our 'softer side,'" said Mr. Cheney. "Senator Kerry denounces American action when other countries do not approve. George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people."

But the harshest criticism of Mr. Kerry came from a fellow Democrat, Georgia Senator Zell Miller, who has crossed party lines to back President Bush.

"For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak, and more wobbly than any other national figure," he said

Mr. Bush arrived in the New York area Wednesday and accepted the endorsement of the city's firefighters' union.

A new stage is being built at Madison Square Garden for the president's speech. The platform extends into the middle of the convention floor, so that Mr. Bush will be virtually surrounded by delegates in the style of a town hall meeting when he addresses them.

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