'The President Took Us Into This War Recklessly'

Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) prepares to respond to the State of the Union address. In his prepared text, he said the middle class
Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) prepares to respond to the State of the Union address. In his prepared text, he said the middle class "is losing its place at the table." (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Following is the Democrats' response to President Bush's State of the Union speech, by Sen. James Webb of Virginia:

Good evening.

I'm Sen. Jim Webb from Virginia, where this year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown, an event that marked the first step in the long journey that has made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on Earth.

It wouldn't be possible, in this short amount of time, to actually rebut the president's message, nor would it be useful.

Let me simply say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and health care for all Americans and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of the great city of New Orleans.

Further, this is the seventh time the president has mentioned energy independence in his State of the Union message, but for the first time, this exchange is taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic Party.

We are looking for affirmative solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy programs.

We look forward to working with the president and his party to bring about these changes.

There are two areas where our respective parties have largely stood in contradiction, and I want to take a few minutes to address them tonight.

The first relates to how we see the health of our economy, how we measure it and how we ensure that its benefits are properly shared among all Americans.


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