Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Tuesday that new predictions of a record federal budget deficit are fresh evidence that President Bush is taking the country in the wrong direction.
"Only George W. Bush could celebrate over a record budget deficit of $422 billion, a loss of 1.6 million jobs and Medicare premiums that are up by a record 17 percent," Kerry said. "W stands for wrong the wrong direction for America."
The Congressional Budget Office projected this election-year's federal deficit will reach $422 billion, the highest ever but less than the amount analysts predicted earlier this year.
Tim Adams, policy director for Bush's re-election campaign, said the president's tax cuts helped lower the deficit below earlier predictions, reports ABC News.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Kerry "woke up yesterday morning with yet another new position, and this one's not even his own; it is that of his one-time rival, Howard Dean," Bush told thousands of supporters at a rally in the Kansas City suburbs.
Bush said Kerry "even used the same words Howard Dean did back when he supposedly disagreed with him ... Senator Kerry flip-flops. We were right to make America safer by removing Saddam Hussein from power."
Kerry fell behind Bush in the White House race after last week's Republican convention, with new polls showing a seven- to 11-point lead for Bush eight weeks before the Nov. 2 election. Kerry aides called it a short-lived bounce that would dissipate over the next few weeks.
But under heavy pressure from anxious Democrats, Kerry has responded with a sharper message and renewed assaults on Bush's handling of the war and the economy, informs Reuters.
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