Bush, Kerry turn focus to domestic policies
WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush and Democratic challenger Sen John Kerry turned their focus to domestic issues on Saturday, sparring over tax cuts and other economic policies as they campaigned in battleground states.
Two days after the first presidential debate in Miami that focused on the war in Iraq and which many Americans thought Kerry won, the Massachusetts senator accused Bush of “serious misjudgements” on the economy as well as the war.
The two camps also battled on the airwaves with new, sharply worded television ads.
In closely divided Florida, epicentre of the disputed 2000 presidential election and a must-win state for Bush, Kerry said the Republican president had turned his back on the middle class in favour of the wealthy and well connected.
“In fact, the only people George Bush’s policies are working for are the people he chooses to help,” Kerry told supporters at an Orlando high school. “They’re working for drug companies. They’re working for oil companies ... and they’re certainly working for Halliburton.”
Bush, who had a moderate lead over Kerry in polls before Thursday’s debate, attacked the Democrat’s pledge to take away tax cuts for Americans making more than $200,000 a year.
“It makes no sense to tax the job creators as our economy is getting stronger,” Bush said in a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio.
The two candidates will square off on Friday in a town hall meeting in St Louis. The third and final debate, on domestic and economic policy, is scheduled for Oct 13 in Phoenix. reuters