Bush switches campaign topics, attacks Democrats on taxes

September 22, 2006|By Los Angeles Times

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Opening a new phase in his campaigning for the midterm elections, President Bush delivered a tough attack yesterday on the Democratic Party's policy on taxes.

At two political fundraisers in Florida, Bush sought to distinguish Republicans from Democrats on a core issue that political operatives believe can be counted on to motivate GOP voters.

"There's a fundamental difference in this campaign and campaigns all across the country about who best to spend your money. We believe that the best people to spend your money is you," the president said at an appearance in Tampa, citing tax cuts passed by the Republican-led Congress since 2001.

Democrats replied by criticizing the rising federal deficit.

"The deficit the president has run up has essentially put a $28,000 tax on every newborn, and that's not to mention the $1 billion a week we're spending in Iraq," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, who leads the Democratic effort to win more House seats.

Bush spoke in Tampa at a party for Gus Bilirakis, a Republican who is seeking the seat his father has held in the House. The reception raised $450,000.

Bush spoke later in the day in Orlando at a fundraiser for Charlie Crist, the Republican nominee for governor.

The president's focus on taxes marked a change from his efforts over the past three weeks to highlight his administration's anti-terrorism policies.

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