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Bush Campaigns in Ohio On his Way to New York - 2004-09-01

President Bush is campaigning his way toward New York City and re-nomination at this week's Republican National Convention. On his way to New York, Mr. Bush rallied supporters in the key swing state of Ohio.

In his last big speech before accepting re-nomination Thursday, President Bush rallied thousands of supporters at an indoor sports stadium in the Ohio city of Columbus.

"I am here to ask for the vote. I believe you've got to come to the people and ask for their vote. I'm here to let you know, I'm going to lay out a vision tomorrow night for a safer world and a more hopeful America," he said.

It is the president's 23rd visit to Ohio, a state he narrowly won in the 2000 vote and his tenth trip here this election year. Local polls show a tight race between Mr. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry.

Ohio's importance to the president's re-election is evident from the state delegation's position on the convention floor in New York - front and center.

Mr. Bush toured northwest Ohio on a bus last Saturday and he will be in the state again this coming Friday.

Jobs are a big political issue in Ohio where the unemployment rate is above the national average. Mr. Bush says he is helping to improve the economy with record tax cuts, job training programs, U.S. trade policy, and education reform.

He told sign-waving supporters at Nationwide Arena that Senator Kerry will slow economic growth by raising taxes. "I'm running against a fellow who has already promised over two trillion dollars of new federal spending, and we still got 60 days to go in the campaign," he said. "No telling what is going to happen coming down the stretch. So they said, 'How are you going to pay for it?' He said, 'I will just tax the rich.' We have heard that before in American politics. You know what it means tax the rich. It means the rich dodge and you get stuck with the bill. But we are not going to let him do it. We are going to carry Ohio and this country in November."

Senator Kerry's campaign says the president is misleading American voters as the Democratic plan for the economy raises rates on only the top two percent of taxpayers. Everyone else, the senator says, will get a tax cut along with lower corporate rates to encourage more job growth.

President Bush watches part of Wednesday's Republican convention on television with New York firefighters and spends the night in the city ahead of Thursday's re-nomination.