President Bush today warned Iowa Republicans that if they fail to vote, Democrats will sweep into control in Washington and Bush predicted Democrats would not only raise taxes but derail the war on terrorism.
Bush was in Des Moines to speak at a campaign fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti. Bush used the last half of his speech to focus on the war in Iraq. “It’s very important for the citizens of this important state to understand that if we leave Iraq before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here,” Bush said.
Bush acknowledged there’s a “mighty debate” in the U.S. over the future of the war in Iraq, but Bush said leaving “before the job is done” will betray the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers and “embolden” the enemy. “No question the fighting’s tough, but the United States of America has done this kind of tough fighting before,” Bush said, as the 400 Iowa Republicans in the room rose to their feet. “We will adjust our tactics. We will support our troops. We will fight and we will win in Iraq.”
Bush called security the “biggest issue” in this fall’s election and the president lambasted Democrats who contend Afghanistan, not Iraq, should be the primary focus in the war on terrorism. “You cannot win a war if you do not believe we are in a war,” Bush said.
Bush began his speech by charging that Democrats would raise taxes and ruin the economic expansion Bush says has been created by the tax cuts he shephered through congress. “I think one of the biggest issues in this campaign is what’s going to happen to the money in your pocket,” Bush said. “…When you go the voting booth less than two weeks from today, the lever you pull will determine the taxes you pay. Americans will cast their ballots on November 7, but you’re going to feel the results every April 15 and make no mistake about it — there is a big different in philosophy when it comes to taxes.”
Bush cited reports showing not only growth in the number of jobs, but growth in wages American workers are earning. Bush urged the Iowa Republican activists in the room not only to give GOP candidates their money, but to volunteer their time to get like-minded voters to the polls on election day. “I know the other side’s already dancing in the end zone except they haven’t made the end zone yet,” Bush says. “…This campaign only ends after teh voters have had a chance to speak.”
Bush’s appearance raised about $400,000 for Lamberti’s congressional campaign. Lamberti stood beside Bush while the president talked, and spoke briefly to the crowd before Bush. “We are at a crossroads in America and this election is extremely important,” Lamberti said. “…I don’t think there’s anybody who understands how critical this election is more than (President Bush).”
Republican Congressmen Steve King and Tom Latham attended the event, along with Senator Charles Grassley. Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle was speaking across town at the Des Moines Rotary Club at about the same time Bush was behind the microphone.
Key Republicans say Bush may be back in Iowa next week to campaign on behalf of Republican congressional candidate Mike Whalen, the GOP candidate in Iowa’s first congressional district.