Reid urges Bush to ‘come clean’


    President Bush must
    “come clean” in next week’s State of the Union speech admitting his dishonesty, his illegal actions and acknowledge
    “the costs of Republican corruption,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.

    “In his 2000 campaign,
    George Bush promised to bring ‘dignity’ to the White House, but we’ve
    since found that he brought Jack Abramoff instead,” said Reid, D-Nev.
    He spoke at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, in
    remarks previewing Democratic criticism of the presidential speech on
    Jan. 31.

    “President Bush needs to quit stonewalling about his
    White House’s connection to corruption, and finally tell us how he’s
    going to reform Washington,” Reid said.

    Asked about the
    criticism, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, “This is
    more of the kind of partisan attacks that we see in this city that only
    lower the discourse in this town.”

    McClellan repeated refusals to
    disclose details of administration contacts with Abramoff, the
    disgraced ex-lobbyist who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

    “There’s
    a difference between responding to questions like that and engaging in
    a fishing expedition that has nothing to do with the investigation,” he
    said.

    Reid ticked off a list of what he termed Bush failures,
    contending Bush policies have made the country less safe, driven up
    debt and increased dependence on foreign oil.

    He noted problems
    with the newly implemented Medicare prescription drug plan. “The state
    of our union today is that we have seniors begging in the streets for
    the medicine they need,” Reid said.

    Reid also said Bush was
    “deeply dishonest” when he promised in his 2003 State of the Union not
    to pass along problems to future generations. Instead, younger
    generations will pay “so he can hand out tax breaks to special
    interests and the wealthy,” Reid said.

    The 15-minute speech was
    prefaced by a video showing Bush clips from past speeches followed by
    quotes meant to show a failure to deliver. Reid said the video showed
    the president “has been giving us doublespeak for years.”