News

    Bush Sets Republican Agenda for Congressional Elections

    With less than 70 days to go before legislative elections, President Bush is campaigning hard for Republican candidates facing challenges from opposition Democrats, who hope to capture control of at least one house of Congress.  The president is campaigning on the issues that won him re-election two years ago - national security and the threat of terrorism.

    While the president's overall approval ratings remain near record lows, he is still popular among members of his own party.

    So, President Bush is back on the campaign trail, trying to help his party's congressional candidates keep control of both houses of Congress. Not surprisingly, he is using many of the same themes that won him re-election two years ago.

    Speaking to Republican supporters in the southern state of Tennessee this past week, the president said their party offers voters a positive vision that makes a difference in the lives of all Americans.

    "I bring a message of optimism to you," said Mr. Bush.  "I believe, and I know our party is a political party that trusts the wisdom of the American people. Ours is a party that is willing to confront challenges, instead of passing them on to future generations."

    Mr. Bush says the most important challenge is securing the nation against another terrorist attack. Many opposition Democrats have been critical of some of the measures the president has taken in the name of national security. They include the surveillance of suspect telephone conversations without a warrant, and endorsing the so-called Patriot Act, which critics say impinges on civil liberties.

    Mr. Bush is trying to turn that opposition to political advantage for Republicans, arguing some of his critics do not understand the depth of the terrorist threat.

    "I need people in Washington, D.C. who are willing to give those who are responsible for protecting America all the tools they need, tools such as the Patriot Act, tools such as programs that say, if al-Qaida is calling into the United States, we want to know why," added Mr. Bush.

    Opposition Democrats are focusing on what the president calls the central front in the fight against terrorism: Iraq.  While a majority of Americans now believe it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to topple Saddam Hussein, nearly two-thirds of Republicans still approve of the way President Bush is handling the war in Iraq.

    Critics say continued U.S. involvement in Iraq is distracting from the broader fight against terrorism, drawing resources away from enhanced border security and the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    President Bush says the security of the civilized world is at stake in Iraq.  While he says he welcomes debate over the war, the president told Republican supporters in the southwest state of Utah that a debate over national security is one they can win.

    "In these 2006 campaigns, there will be a lot of debate," he explained.  "There will be people, good people, decent people, patriotic people, who say, now is the time to leave Iraq, and they are wrong."

    On the campaign trail, the president is also talking more about social issues that mobilize conservative voters, including the selection of conservative judges and federal support for religious-based charities, which critics say blurs the separation of church and state.

    Mr. Bush says candidates need to explain that many of America's social problems require something greater than government, namely the help of people, who, he says, hear a higher calling from God.

    "America can change one heart, and one soul, and one conscience at a time," said Mr. Bush.  "Government should not fear faith. Government ought to welcome the good works of faith-based and community-based organizations to help make this country as strong as it possibly can be."

    White House officials say the president will continue to campaign aggressively for Republican candidates in the November election, as a switch of just six seats in the Senate would put Democrats in control of that chamber for the first time since 2002.

    That outcome would likely end any chance the president has of achieving substantive legislative goals in his second term, as many Democrats say they would use control of the Senate to investigate the president's handling of the war in Iraq.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora