Kerry Criticizes Bush On Economy, Says His Is The "Excuse Presidency"
Coinciding with the inclusion of key Bill Clinton advisers in his campaign's inner-circle, Sen. Kerry yesterday used his trip to Detroit to focus his message on a blistering criticism of the President's economic record . As CBS Evening News noted last night, "the last time a president named Bush ran for reelection, his Democratic challenger attacked his record on the economy, and it worked. Today, Senator John Kerry took a page from the Clinton playbook."
Labeling Bush's term the "excuse presidency," Reuters quotes the Democratic nominee noting President Bush's "ownership society" theme and saying, "The president wants you to believe that this record is the record of the victim of circumstances, the result of bad luck, not bad decisions. Well, Mr. President, when it comes to your record, we agree you own it." The story, covered by the ABC and CBS evening newscasts, also got plenty of attention from by local TV newscasts in key battleground states, many of which used a clip of Kerry saying that President "has created more excuses than jobs." Typical of the coverage is the following report from WDIV-TV of Detroit, where Kerry delivered his speech: "Kerry is much more aggressive on the economic policies and laid out his own economic plan. . . . He came out swinging."
ABC World News Tonight reported the senator's "decision to use sharper language was a strategic change." The NBC Nightly News showed a long excerpt of Kerry's remarks in a new segment, which it called "The Message." NBC prefaced the segment, which ran for nearly seven minutes, explaining that "between now and election day, we'll listen to what both candidates are saying in their own words their message of the day. We begin with John Kerry's major speech on the economy today." After Kerry's remarks, NBC added, "In the coming days we'll, of course, be hearing from President George W. Bush and both candidates between now and the election."
Meanwhile, the Detroit News reports that "hours before" Kerry's speech, it was reported that "the return of 20,000 autoworkers after traditional summer factory shutdowns helped Michigan's unemployment rate drop slightly to 6.7 percent in August, from 6.8 percent in July. While Michigan's labor market held steady in August, the state's unemployment rate remains well above the national average of 5.4 percent and sluggish job growth remains a major concern."
ABC News Radio reports this morning that Kerry moved on to Wisconsin after his Detroit speech. There, he blasted "Bush's stance on health care," and according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he told the crowd he "would more effectively fight terrorism than President Bush and be a better decision-maker." Reiterating a common theme in his speeches, says the Wisconsin State-Journal, Kerry also said "'W stands for wrong' when it comes to President George W. Bush."