President Addresses Supportive Crowd in Little Rock This Morning

November 10, 2003 - posted at 12:53 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Governor Mike Huckabee introduced President Bush today in Little Rock by reading praising remarks from Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia. Miller recently wrote a column saying why he would vote for Bush rather than any of the nine Democratic candidates.

Bush in turn thanked the governor for the kind words and noted his recent weight loss with a sharp nickname -- Skinny.

Bush said he hardly recognized Huckabee when he stepped off of Air Force One this morning and then continued to thank Arkansans for their support in 2000, when he carried the state's six electoral votes.

Bush said the people of Arkansas put the wind at his back coming off of a tough campaign in 2000, when he stopped in northwest Arkansas the night before the election.

"Congratulations to the Hogs,''  he said about the Razorbacks defeat of the Texas Longhorns earlier in the season.

Bush laid out his case for re-election, running down the list of his administration's action since taking office.

He cited:

-- successes in making america safer in the aftermath of september eleventh and the war in Iraq.

-- tax cuts that are turning around the u-s economy and more jobs will be coming.

-- his No Child Left Behind Act.

Bush expanded on the mission of Americans in Iraq, saying that resistance fighters are trying to weaken the country's resolve.

Bush pledged that America will not be intimidated by them. ``We will win this essential victory in the war on terror.''

He said he is encouraged by signs of the improving economy. He said he would remain committed to programs to help people find jobs.

He pledged to take action to store up Medicare and provide coverage for prescription drugs. He said it's time for the House and Senate to reconcile their differences on the drug bill and get it to his desk.

He came down hard on frivolous lawsuits in the health care industry, saying that his bill for liability reform is held up in the Senate.

He criticized the U.S. Senate for holding up many of his judicial nominees, saying they ``need to stop playing politics with American Justice.''

Bush said the nation also needs a new energy bill to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Bush said he will introduce a bill to encourage minority ownership of homes and businesses. He pledged to crack down on corporate executives who cook the books.

Bush closed by saying that he believes america's best days are ahead. He heads to Greenville, South Carolina for another campaign stop.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)