Enquirer News Update - Updated 6:40 p.m.
Bush discusses 'compassion agenda'
By Gregory Korte
Enquirer Staff Writer
Bush talks with Charlene Calhoun after landing at the Greater Cincinnati
airport. Calhoun is a volunteer
with the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention & Treatment program
at the Talbert House.
Campaigning for re-election in Cincinnati this afternoon, President Bush
outlined elements of his "compassion agenda'' at the Talbert House in Mount
Bush praised the non-profit Talbert House for trying to preserve families, working to get prisoners productively back into society and helping those with drug and alcohol problems.
"It's changing society one soul at a time, one conscience at a time,'' Bush said of Talbert House to a crowd of about 250 people.
The president said it didn't matter whether programs were directly run by government or by other groups, including faith-based organizations.
The test is in the results, he said: "Are these programs working? Are we saving
Bush's compassion agenda is part of his welfare reform policy, which encourages personal responsibility by promoting work, reducing births among non-married women, and strengthening marriage.
Bush is asking Congress for more than $400 million for programs to support marriages, research and demonstration projects on family formation, and initiatives to promote responsible fatherhood.
After the Talbert House visit, Bush was scheduled to appear at a fund-raiser at the Indian Hill home of Bill DeWitt, a friend and former Texas business partner. The fund-raiser generated $2.5 million for the Republican National Committee - more than all but three previous RNC fund-raisers this year.
Only events in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta raised more, according to RNC spokeswoman Heather Layman.
By contrast, last week's RNC fund-raiser in Columbus, featuring Cheney, raised about $450,000. The Cincinnati event was the 33rd "Victory 2004" party fund-raiser this year.
John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, was in Cincinnati last week to raise about $1 million.
Bush landed at 3:20 p.m. at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and was greeted by, among others, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Arriving on Air Force One with Bush were two Cincinnati residents: Mercer Reynolds, the Bush-Cheney campaign finance chairman, and Joe Hagin, assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff.