Democrats blast Bush's 'failed policies,' 'empty rhetoric'
Thursday, 31 January 2008

Agence France-Presse . Washington

Democrats blasted president George W Bush's State of the Union speech Monday, with presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton dismissing his 'empty rhetoric' and 'failed policies.'

'Tonight, for the seventh long year, the American people heard a State of the Union that didn't reflect the America we see, and didn't address the challenges we face,' senator Obama said of Bush's annual keynote policy speech to Congress.

'Tonight's State of the Union was full of the same empty rhetoric the American people have come to expect from this president,' he said in a statement criticising Bush's 'failed politics and policies of the past.' Obama hit out at Bush for his economic stimulus plan announced last week that 'leaves out seniors and fails to expand unemployment insurance.'

'We know it was George Bush's Washington that let the banks and financial institutions run amok, and take our economy down this dangerous road,' he said.

Obama's leading rival for the White House, senator Hillary, called Bush's speech 'more of the same — a frustrating commitment to the same failed policies that helped turn record surpluses into large deficits, and push a thriving 21st century economy to the brink of recession.'

'We need immediate relief for people who are losing their jobs and facing skyrocketing home heating costs. And we need a comprehensive solution to the housing crisis,' said the New York senator.

Obama and Hillary, facing down in an increasingly bitter race for the Democratic White House nomination, both took aim at Bush's insistent stay-the-course policy in Iraq.

'President Bush isn't satisfied with failure after failure in Iraq; he wants to bind the next president to his failed strategy by unilaterally negotiating with the Iraqi government about the future of the US-Iraq security relationship, including the possibility of permanent US bases in Iraq,' Hillary said.

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