NEW YORK – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) criticized the Bush administration's record on unemployment, women's rights and the environment, saying it is "intent upon consolidating and abusing power."
"We are living in a time when the other side doesn't want us to see the facts. Facts are inconvenient — facts about global warming, facts about mercury in the air, facts about people staying unemployed longer," said Clinton, considered a Democratic contender for the presidency in 2008.
The former first lady spoke Monday at a New York Women for Hillary breakfast, which raised $250,000 for her 2006 Senate re-election campaign. She leads potential GOP Senate opponents 2-to-1 in recent polls.
"There has never been an administration, I don't believe, in our history more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda," she said of President Bush (search).
"Whether it's the right to organize and be part of the American labor movement ... whether it's the right to be able to be have a choice when it comes to the most private and intimate decisions that a woman has to make, whether it is to protect the environment — whatever it is that we slowly but surely built up during the 20th century, this current administration and their allies in Congress want to turn the clock back on all of that," Clinton said.
A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee compared Clinton's comments to recent criticism by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean (search).
"It's too bad that New York's senator is now taking her cues from someone who thinks personal attacks are a substitute for an agenda," RNC press secretary Tracey Schmitt said.
Clinton and her aides maintain that her focus is on winning a second Senate term in 2006, not chasing the White House in 2008. But Republicans say her sights clearly are on the presidency.