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By Scott Stearns
White House
30 August 2008

Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is continuing her party's push to link Republican candidate John McCain with an unpopular President George Bush. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, President Bush says campaigning for November elections should not block action on offshore oil drilling or new free trade agreements.

President George W. Bush (file photo)
President George W. Bush (file photo)
Mr. Bush wants Congress to finish-up work on free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. He says campaigning for presidential and legislative elections should not block action on expanding U.S. oil production.

"In the coming months, it will be tempting for some in Congress to try to score political points instead of getting work done for the American people. Our citizens deserve better," said President Bush. "We still have time to accomplish important goals for our country. My administration remains hopeful that we can work with Democratic leaders in Congress on bipartisan measures to help Americans cope with this period of economic uncertainty."

In his weekly radio address, the president again called on opposition lawmakers to lift a ban on more off-shore oil drilling and make permanent his record tax cuts.

Public opinion polls show less than one-third of Americans approve of the way the president is doing his job. Democrats hope to link the unpopular president with his party's nominee, especially as Mr. Bush is the featured speaker at Monday's opening of the Republican convention.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says the president's remarks are not about the Bush administration but rather focus on McCain's qualifications for meeting the economic and security challenges ahead.

"Do not expect this speech to define the president's legacy," she said. "This is not an opportunity to recap accomplishments of the past seven-and-a-half years. It will not serve as a farewell to the American people and it certainly will not attack Barack Obama."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses Democratic National Convention in Denver, 26 Aug 2008
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses Democratic National Convention in Denver, 26 Aug 2008
In the Democratic radio address, New York Senator Hillary Clinton said the Republican convention in the Midwest state of Minnesota will continue Bush administration efforts to privatize federal retirement benefits and cut corporate taxes.

"It makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities for the Republican convention because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart," she said. "The choice in this election is as clear as the stakes are high."

Clinton narrowly lost her party's nomination to Obama, who did not choose her as his running mate. Clinton, and her husband the former president, are urging their supporters to back Obama.

McCain is hoping to win over many Clinton supporters, especially older women. He has chosen the Republican Party's first female vice presidential candidate - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

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