Hillary Clinton compares Bush to Alfred E Newman

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton went on the attack against President George Bush in a speech, accusing him of damaging the economy by overspending while giving tax cuts to the rich.

The Democrat from New York also accused Bush of depriving United States soldiers of equipment needed to fight the war in Iraq and cutting funding for scientific research.

“I sometimes feel that Alfred E Newman is in charge in Washington,” Clinton said, referring to the freckle-faced character in the satirical Mad magazine.

She drew a laugh from the crowd when she described Bush’s attitude toward tough issues with Newman’s catchphrase: “What, me worry?”

Clinton, who was speaking during the inaugural Aspen Ideas Festival, organised by the Aspen Institute nonpartisan thinktank, didn’t mention the presidential election in 2008.

She said the United States should remain in Iraq until peace can be maintained by the Iraqi people, saying the mission was part of the “long struggle against terrorism” by the US.

“The threat of terrorism is as close as our daily commute,” said Clinton, adding that people around the world admired the “famous resilience” of the British in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks.

When it came to the economy, Clinton accused the Bush administration of focusing on helping the wealthy while hurting the middle class, which she said has been key to Americans’ success and stability.

She said the middle class is now being threatened by an ailing economy caused by the growing national debt, growing health care costs, the loss of pensions and the loss of manufacturing diversity. Clinton also said the US needs to focus on exploring alternative energy sources to become less reliant on oil. - Sapa-AP