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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), released the following statement today:
“As has been too often the case, the President in last night’s statement failed to unify our nation in remembering those whom we lost on 9/11.
“Rather the President sought again to justify our efforts in Iraq as being necessary by the discredited and untrue assertion of a relationship between 9/11 and Iraq. There was none, as has been shown by the 9/11 Commission report and the report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
“And, now, today, the Republican Leader of the House continues the ever-present divisive partisanship by suggesting that the Democrats ‘certainly don’t want to take the terrorists on and defeat them.’ That is demonstrably and absolutely wrong.
“Democrats are absolutely committed to defeating terrorists and protecting America and our people. Any suggestion otherwise embodies the unmistakable odor of political desperation.
“The party of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy does not need a lecture on how our nation must confront and defeat tyranny. In fact, during the last century, Democrats have been in the forefront of confronting and defeating the terrorists of different decades. We have led our nation in the defeat of the Kaiser, Hitler, Mussolini, the Soviet threat and most recently Slobodan Milosevic, who committed genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo.
“Democrats have always been willing and very able to lead successful efforts to protect freedom and Americans. We remain so today. But we do not intend to remain mute in the face of failed efforts to achieve that end.
“Confronted with the fact that the American people do not support them on almost all of the issues facing our nation, Republicans are once again smearing Democrats in an attempt to scare people into voting for them out of fear rather than conviction. Republicans know that if voters rely on their convictions they will vote for Democrats. We intend to set the record straight every step of the way.”