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Democrats criticize 'go-it-alone foreign policy'

Daschle attacks Bush's tax cuts

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats "have a better way" to protect the United States.

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(CNN) -- Democratic leaders of Congress Tuesday agreed with President Bush's assessment in his State of the Union address that the union is strong, but said it's not due to the president's policies -- it's due to the "spirit of the American people," and promised their party could do a better job.

"Democrats are committed to strengthening the state of our union -- to reach for a safer, more prosperous America," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California in the Democrats' response to the president's speech.

She and Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota said Democrats have a better vision for a stronger country, and claimed that Bush's policies have alienated traditional allies, cost the country jobs, and increased taxes for middle class families.

"[Only] when America is secure at home and our strength abroad is respected and not resented, only then will we have a union as strong as the American people," Daschle said.

Bush has previously been criticized by Democrats for losing the goodwill and sympathy from other nations that the United States enjoyed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Pelosi also attacked Bush on the same subject.

"As a nation, we must show our greatness, not just our strength," Pelosi said. "America must be a light to the world, not just a missile."

She also pointed to the need for the United States to have the support of foreign allies.

"Never before have we been more powerful militarily," Pelosi said. "But even the most powerful nation in history must bring other nations to our side to meet common dangers. The president's policies do not reflect that. He has pursued a go-it-alone foreign policy that leaves us isolated abroad and that steals the resources we need for education and health care here at home."

But Pelosi attempted not to anger soldiers or veterans.

"Our men and women in uniform show their valor every day. On the battlefield, our troops pledge to leave no soldier behind. Here at home, we must leave no veteran behind. We must ensure their health care, their pensions and their survivors' benefits," she said.

The Democrats also focused on the economy, which they described as weak.

"Our first challenge is to strengthen the economy, the right way," Daschle said.

He said Bush's tax cuts helped only the wealthiest Americans.

"America can't afford to keep rewarding the accumulation of wealth over the dignity of work," Daschle said. "Instead of borrowing even more money to give more tax breaks to companies so that they can export even more jobs, we propose tax cuts and policies that will strengthen our manufacturing sector and create good jobs at good wages here at home."


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