WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called on President Bush Tuesday to "come clean" in next week's State of the Union speech and acknowledge "the costs of Republican corruption."
"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," Reid, D-Nev., said at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, in remarks previewing Democratic criticism of the presidential speech.
"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," the Nevada Democrat demanded.
A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee dismissed Reid's criticism.
"By launching bitter, partisan attacks that ignore problems in his own backyard, Sen. Reid is emblematic of a minority party that is long on anger and short on substance," said spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.
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 seized on 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 charged.
The 15-minute speech was prefaced by a video reel showing Bush clips from past speeches followed by quotes meant to show his failure to deliver. Reid said the video showed the president "has been giving us doublespeak for years."