Shades of Blue

Monday, April 10, 2006

Presidential hopeful criticizes Bush at fundraiser

from the Kansas City Star:

Possible 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Mark Warner on Saturday charged that President Bush failed to ask Americans to “step up” after Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina.
Campaigning in Kansas City for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, Warner said that on both occasions Bush should have capitalized on Americans’ willingness to sacrifice.
After Sept. 11, Bush could have moved the country toward a policy of energy independence, the Democrat said. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, he could have called on Americans to rebuild its infrastructure.
Instead, America got politics as usual, he said.
“What this president consistently has not done is never asked Americans to step up,” Warner told a $100-a-plate McCaskill fundraiser at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. McCaskill will face Republican incumbent Jim Talent.
Warner is one of the hot names in Democratic presidential politics based on his robust job-approval ratings after his single term as governor of heavily Republican Virginia. State law barred him from seeking a second term.
One of Warner’s big challenges was a massive budget shortfall. He dealt with that by cutting nearly $1 billion in spending and laying off 1,800 state workers. He then passed a major tax increase with bipartisan support.
Asked how he would transfer his Virginia experience to the nation, Warner said the prerequisite for a debate about finances is demonstrating that “you can cut, that you can save, that you can consolidate, that you can reform.”
That hasn’t happened in Washington, he said, and Warner blamed both parties.
Earlier, Warner appeared in St. Louis and Springfield, where more than 700 tickets were sold for Friday night’s Jackson Days banquet.


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