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While Fundraising, Bush Mounts Attack on Obama

By Dan Eggen
LIVONIA, Mich. -- President Bush came to suburban Detroit Wednesday to mount a clear attack on Sen. Barack Obama, though he never actually mentioned the Democratic candidate's name.

Instead, Bush suggested through red-meat GOP rhetoric that Obama was just another liberal Democrat intent on raising taxes and retreating from Iraq. He also told GOP supporters at a $750,000 fundraiser here that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "has been tested and will not flinch" from making the tough decisions required of a president.

"We need a commander-in-chief who understands that we must defeat the enemy overseas so we do not have to face him here at home, and that man is John McCain," Bush said during the speech at the Max M. Fisher National Republican Award Dinner, named for a prominent Michigan GOP official.

The 20-minute speech was a relatively rare public fundraising event for Bush, whose 29 GOP fundraisers this year have generally been held inside private homes. The speech also underscores Bush's increasing engagement with the presidential campaign after months in which he and his aides have sought to keep him above the fray.

Bush has taken few if any concerted jabs at Obama, at least by name. Comments by Bush in May, comparing those who would talk to extremist groups with Nazi appeasers, were widely seen as an attack on Obama, though the White House said it was not intended as such.

At Laurel Manor in suburban Livonia, Bush laid out a traditional Republican attack on Democrats and, by extension, Obama, accusing them of seeking to raise taxes, support liberal judges and go wobbly on terrorism and the Iraq war.

"The Democratic Party has consistently shown they would take America in the wrong direction," Bush told the crowd of about 325.

The only mention of Obama during the entire event came from Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who attempted a joke in which he argued that media outlets had portrayed the presumptive Democratic nominee as Jesus Christ.

"Apparently Barack Obama was born in a manger," Cox said. "...Whether there was any room at the inn, I don't know."

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 25, 2008; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , John McCain  
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