Friday, September 17, 2004

Edwards attacks Bush's
record on economy, Iraq

By Bruce Schreiner
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards assailed President Bush's handling of the economy and Iraq during a short stopover Thursday night.

Speaking at a fund-raising event, Edwards continued his campaign theme by accusing Bush of siding with corporations over average Americans.

At an earlier rally, Edwards was greeted by several hundred supporters chanting "Two more months" and "No more Bush" at an airport hangar.

The North Carolina senator said Bush has presided over an economy that has lost jobs and has seen millions slip into poverty and lose their health insurance.

Edwards said Bush has belatedly outlined a health-care plan. Edwards poked fun at it, saying, "It's a very short speech."

Edwards said the Democratic ticket supports allowing people to buy into the health plan available to members of Congress. Kerry also wants tax credits to help businesses provide coverage to workers, he said.

Edwards also attacked Bush's policy in Iraq.

The airport crowd was warmed up by speeches by Democratic candidates Tony Miller and Daniel Mongiardo. Mongiardo is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Jim Bunning, and Miller is challenging U.S. Rep. Anne Northup in the 3rd District.

Miller said Edwards' visit would energize Democrats.

"He hits it right on the nail what he's being saying for a long time about how this country is becoming the haves and have-nots."

It was Edwards' first campaign stop in Kentucky since joining the Democratic ticket. Kerry visited Louisville in May.

State Republican Party Chairman John McCarthy said Edwards' visit wouldn't put a dent in Bush's solid advantage in Kentucky.

"I think it's kind of amazing that he is in Kentucky at all with so many other states that are in the balance," he said.

Bush carried Kentucky by 15 points over Al Gore in 2000.

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