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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the President's speech to the American Legion in Utah earlier today:
"In a speech designed to bolster a flagging Republican Party that is increasingly worried about heavy losses in November, the President implied that Democrats believe the terrorist threat is receding. Earlier this week his Secretary of Defense harshly accused Democrats of failing to take the war in Iraq and the war on terror seriously. That could not be further from the truth and it does our country no good for Republican leaders to cast those aspersions.
"We Democrats believe terrorism is a real threat. We are absolutely committed to defeating those who would hurt our country and people. Democratic leaders for the last century clearly demonstrated that to be our Party's policy.
"But we believe that the Bush Administration has made terrible mistakes in both Iraq and the war on terror. Thus, Democrats are pushing for a new direction in Iraq and we are advocating stronger security policies to fight terrorists abroad and prevent terrorist attacks at home. Implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission is an important first step.
"Americans are tired of the false choice presented again and again by the President of staying the course in Iraq or abandoning the war on terror. Americans are looking for leaders who recognize the mistakes that have been made and the weaknesses of our strategy, and who will instigate the changes necessary to make our nation safer."