Bush Announces New Benefits For National Guard In Wisconsin Visit
President Bush traveled to Wisconsin and Minnesota yesterday, where he defended his decision to go to war in Iraq and touted his education and economic proposals. In addition, underscoring his competition with Sen. Kerry for veteran votes, the President announced new education benefits for members of the National Guard who are called to duty. That announcement gave Bush coverage on the NBC Nightly News, which otherwise focused its presidential campaign coverage on Sen. Kerry's appearance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. Bush's trip, and his plan for extending veteran benefits, also got widespread local TV coverage in swing states.
The AP called Bush's proposal "a gesture to troops serving unexpectedly long tours in Iraq," adding that Bush "proposed to increase monthly education benefits for all Guard members and reservists on active duty for more than 90 consecutive days." He also "proposed giving states grants to help children in military families who have to move. On NBC Nightly News, Bush was shown saying, "We'll continue to stand side-by-side with those who wear the uniform." The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Bush used his announcement "to appeal to part-time troops disillusioned by extended tours of duty in Iraq," and added that the cost of Bush's proposals are modest. A White House spokesman said the expanded education benefits for the nearly 150,000 guardsmen and reservists now mobilized would be paid for with existing funds."
Karen Hughes Traveling With Bush.
This morning's Washington Post reports Karen Hughes, "a key figure in his 2000 election who joined the campaign this week at a salary of about $15,000 per month," traveled with Bush for the first time this campaign season.
Bush Misspeaks, Refers To "Soviet Dinar." Agence France-Presse reports on a Bush misstatement in Wisconsin yesterday. Bush "spoke of 'the Soviet dinar,' even though dinars are the Iraqi currency. Recalling a White House meeting last spring with an Iraqi man who had both of his arms amputated by the regime of Saddam Hussein, the president said the man, who worked as a jeweler, was accused of illegal currency trading. 'And he had sold dinars on a particular day to buy another currency, euros or dollars, so he could buy gold to manufacture his product,' Bush said. 'And because the Soviet dinar had devalued, Saddam Hussein plucked this guy out of society to punish him, and six other small merchants, for the devaluation of their currency. He just summarily said, you're it, come here and cut his hand off.'"
Bush Visits Chiefs' Training Camp.
The Dallas Morning News reports Bush visited the Kansas City Chief's training camp yesterday. He shook hands and posed "for photos with players, coaches and members of the support staff." KCTV-TV of Kansas City, Missouri reported last night the President "spent a good half hour with the team at camp," while WDAF-TV, also in Kansas City, noted Bush "even took some time to play catch with Chiefs quarterback Trent Green."
Bush To Vacation For A Week In Texas.
After his last campaign event in Minnesota, says Agence France-Presse, Bush was traveling to "his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he will vacation for a week." Bush's visit got ample play on Missouri local TV