Saturday, November 23, 3:53 AM EST


by Tucker H. Johnson,
NA!P NewsWire

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Bush believes current fears about a weakened U.S. economy are largely unfounded.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Rich Republicans for Homeland Security today, Bush said several times that the economy was fine.

"Look around you," Bush implored his audience. "You've all got jobs. I've got a job. Dick Cheney has a job. I don't see what all the fuss is about."

"I may not be an economist, but anyone can see that things look pretty good from here. Besides, we're at war."


Despite a contrary position from every major global economist and financial expert, Bush insisted that any problems concerning the economy were being exaggerated and blown out of proportion by Democrats.

"I love this country," Bush said. "I love it, love it, love it. And if there were problems with the economy, I'd be on it. Don't you think I would? The simple truth is that there are no problems. Not a one. Not an iota of problem."

"And we're not going to be suckered into a rope-a-dope with this whole recession game by the Democrats. We've got a war to fight."

The crowd of predominantly rich white men and their wives applauded throughout Bush's speech. Afterward, Bush took several questions from reporters on the steps of the Arthur Anderson Pavilion, where the banquet was held.


When asked about the sudden change in his administration's attitude toward the economy, Bush insisted there was no change.

"When have you ever heard me say there was a problem with the economy? When? Never. That's because there has been no problem since this administration took office.

"Did I mention we're at war?"

Reporters also asked why unemployment rates and growth figures pointed to the opposite conclusion, that a serious problem exists with the U.S. economy and that the country was on the verge of sliding back into recession.

Bush dismissed their questions as political bear-baiting.

"Economies are about money," the President stated. "And I feel . . . I believe that money . . . I like money. And I like this country. Money is good and this country still has a lot of money."


After Bush's statements, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer spent several hours addressing concerns with reporters.

"Obviously, the President has the world's leading economists at his disposal," Fleischer insisted. "If the President declares that there is nothing wrong with the economy, then I'm sure there is nothing wrong with the economy.

"Focusing on such issues just distracts from what this administration is really trying focus on: homeland security, weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein.

"Concerns about the economy are nothing more than partisan politics," Fleischer announced. "To turn our attention away at this time from the threat posed by Iraq to focus on the U.S. economy would be un-American."

"Obviously, our Republican mandate from the recent elections shows that the American people are more concerned with Homeland Security than whether their 401(k)s have gone down a few measly points. Get over it."


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