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Bush puts focus on courts

By Washington Post
Published November 3, 2006


President Bush on Thursday launched a 10-state swing to rally support for Republican candidates in the final days before Tuesday's crucial midterm elections, telling voters in Montana they should return Republican Sen. Conrad Burns to Washington to help confirm conservative federal judges, avoid tax increases and fight terrorism.

At a rally in Billings, Mont., Bush hailed Burns as "a fine United States senator" who "understands the importance of having good judges on the federal bench."

"There are 50 vacancies on the federal bench, and it is vital to maintain a Republican Senate so we can confirm the men and women I have nominated to fill those positions," Bush said.

After his stop in Montana, Bush attended a rally in Elko, Nev., for Dean Heller, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House, accompanied by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who is up for re-election, and Jim Gibbons, who is campaigning for governor. Today, Bush is scheduled to hit the campaign trail in Missouri and Iowa, followed by trips over the weekend and Monday to Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas and Texas.

Burns, 71, a three-term senator who is on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, is in a close race with Democrat Jon Tester, 50, president of the Montana state Senate.

Bush expressed confidence that the GOP will keep control of the House and Senate: "We're going to win these elections because we understand the values and priorities of the American people," he said.

Bush warned that "a vote for a Democrat senator would be a vote against highly qualified judges" such as Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito Jr., who were nominated to the Supreme Court by Bush.


[Last modified November 3, 2006, 02:13:53]

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