The President's State of the Union Address - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/28/03 - Washington, D.C.

The President's State of the Union Address

Unprecedented security greeted President Bush outside the capitol. Inside, he was warmly welcomed by members of the House and Senate.

To prove he's not preoccupied with war, the President began his State of the Union Address on the home front pushing a prescription drug plan for seniors and tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

"Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best, fairest way to make sure Americans have the money is not to tax it away in the first place".

About half way through his speech the President turned his attention to the war on terror and Saddam Hussein.

"The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he is deceiving," said Bush.

Mr. Bush restated the case that weapons inspectors made to the U.N. Monday, but did not, as many had hoped, offer any new evidence Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.

"If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people, and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him," said Bush.

If not, President Bush warns, it is only a matter of time before Iraq and Al Qaeda working together unleash an even deadlier attack on the U.S. than 9/11.

"Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans - this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known".

Governor Gary Locke of Washington delivered the Democratic response, a sweeping critique of the president's leadership.

"To be strong abroad we need to be strong at home. Today in too many ways our country is headed in the wrong direction," said Locke.

Bush said U.S. will ask the U.N. Security Council to reconvene on February 5. Secretary of State Colin Powell will lay out new evidence against Iraq including links to Al Qaeda.

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