Nevada lawmakers split on State of Union
RENO (AP) – Nevada’s congressional delegation split along party lines in their reaction to President Bush’s State of the Union address.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Bush used “lofty yet recycled rhetoric” to paint a distorted picture of the country.
“It just wasn’t credible to hear him talk about making America more secure and honoring our troops or making America energy independent or making health care more affordable without hearing him explain why he’s done just the opposite for the last five years,” Reid said in a written statement.
In an interview early Wednesday with KKOH Radio, Reid accused Bush of “crying wolf” for the last five years and said Democrats no longer trust him.
“I want to work with him, want to try to bring the two parties together back here, but the president’s going to have to do what he says,” Reid said.
“The state of the union is not as it should be. We can do much better.”
Sen. John Ensign and fellow Republican Rep. Jim Gibbons, meanwhile, praised the president and his efforts.
Ensign said Bush “delivered a strong, optimistic speech which effectively captured his vision for America’s future and the nation’s course for dealing with the challenges ahead.”
“From the war on terror to decreasing our dependence on foreign energy to improving access to health care, President Bush articulated the plans and vision of a leader,” Ensign said.
Gibbons, who this year is seeking Nevada’s Republican gubernatorial nomination, echoed those sentiments and condoned the president’s commitment against terrorism.
“Our nation stands for freedom and liberty, and our war against terror seeks to protect these ideals,” said Gibbons, a former fighter pilot who served in Vietnam and the first Gulf War.
“Terrorism has no place in a civilized world,” he said.
Some critics of the war in Iraq were disappointed Bush didn’t specify a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops.
“We’re told we’re staying the course to fight tyranny and terrorism. Only it seems we’ve brought more terrorists to Iraq and increased violence in that country,” said Lisa Stiller of the Reno Anti-war Coalition.
“It’s time to take a different course and bring the troops home,” she said.
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