Bush and Cheney go after the Democrats

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney launched a two-man offensive against the Democrats on Friday, with Bush suggesting the opposition party would stall the economic recovery and Cheney portraying Democratic leaders as weak on combating terror.

Bush, trying to regain his political footing ahead of this year's critical midterm elections, told a Republican audience in Indianapolis that "the difference is clear" between the two parties on how to sustain the U.S. economic recovery.

"If you want the government in your pocket, vote Democrat," Bush said. "If you want to keep more of your hard earned money, vote Republican."

Cheney, speaking at a Republican fundraiser in Orlando, Florida, denounced Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and party chairman Howard Dean by name. And he asserted that "leading Democrats have demanded a sudden withdrawal from the battle against terrorists in Iraq, the very kind of retreat that Osama bin Laden has been predicting."

"And with that sorry record, the leaders of the Democratic Party have decided to run on the theme of competence. If they're competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on American Idol," Cheney said, referring to the top-rated Fox amateur talent show.

The remark drew robust laughter. "I don't know why that's funny," Cheney said.

Both Bush and Cheney spoke at fundraisers for incumbent House Republicans, Bush for Rep. Mike Sodrel of Indiana and Cheney for Rep. Ric Keller of Florida.

Bush made one of his strongest appeals yet for making permanent various tax cuts due to expire within a few years. He tried to draw a sharp contrast between the two parties' economic policies.

"We've got a record to stand on," Bush said.

The Democratic record, he said, consisted of "loud noises" and votes against tax cuts, reports AP.

O.Ch.