In his second major policy speech since returning to the public eye, former Vice President Al Gore challenged President George W. Bush to address the nation’s faltering economy with the same vigor he has shown in addressing international affairs Wednesday.
Speaking in Washington, D.C. the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee slammed the current administration’s policies, accusing the President’s policies of hurting the nation’s economy. Gore also spoke about sustainable growth, energy independence and the war on terrorism.
“When seeking office, President Bush said he would lead a new era of responsibility,” Gore said. “But today, he won’t take any responsibility for the damage economists say his policies have created.”
Gore faulted the President’s priorities in addressing the nation’s economic woes.
“I am deeply worried that America’s economy is in big trouble and that our current approach is failing,” Gore said, in a morning speech at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank in the nation’s capital. “President Bush believes that it is urgent that the Congress act on the issue of Saddam Hussein prior to the election on November 5. I think it’s even more urgent that both he and the Congress take action to strengthen our economy prior to the election.”
Gore’s address comes a week after a speech in San Francisco in which he voiced his disagreement with the President’s stance on Iraq and the war on terrorism.
“If we turn a blind eye to our weak economy, it will eventually undermine everything else we’re trying to accomplish – from winning the war on terrorism to giving all families the economic opportunities they deserve,” Gore said.
The former vice president outlined new strategies for dealing with the current economic recession including a “short-term stimulus, including extended unemployment benefits and help for small business.”
“People are working harder, they are working more hours,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Gore even went as far as to call for some of the President’s economic team to step down.
“We also need to recognize that some members of Bush’s economic team simply do not inspire confidence in the markets nor carry weight on his behalf on discussions in Congress, the Federal Reserve, the business community and economic policy makers in other countries and they need to be replaced,” Gore said.
Under questioning he refused to specify who should resign.
Gore said he is still undecided about a run at the presidency in the 2004 elections, saying he will decide after consulting with his family.
“I don’t know if I’ll be a candidate or not