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Bob Graham Enters US Presidential Race

U.S. Senator Bob Graham has become the latest Democrat to enter the 2004 presidential race.

Addressing supporters outside Miami Tuesday, Florida Senator Bob Graham accused President Bush of failing to promote economic prosperity and ensure domestic security. Mr. Graham pledged to do better if elected to the White House.

"We must become an America energized with enthusiasm; an America that continues the never-ending adventure of expanded democracy; an America whose sights are always higher, never lower," he said. "That is why I am declaring that I am a candidate for President of the United States."

The three-term senator and one-time Florida governor said President Bush has jeopardized U.S. anti-terrorism efforts by fixating on war with Iraq while ignoring homeland security.

He also blamed the president for the nation's weak economic performance, noting that the federal budget has gone from surplus to deficit since Mr. Bush entered the White House.

"President Bush took office when America counted itself not only the strongest, but also the most admired nation on earth," Mr. Graham said. "Barely two years later, we live in a very different America. Over two million Americans have lost their jobs. This president has no economic policy other than granting tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans."

A moderate within the Democratic Party, Bob Graham, 66, is a proven vote-getter in the nation's fourth most-populous state. Yet, despite 36 years in elected office, he is relatively unknown nationally and has little name recognition outside of Florida. Political observers say, despite solid credentials, he will likely face an uphill battle for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.