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Clark: Americans 'embarrassed' by Bush

Candidate attacks president's economic plan, Iraq strategy

Clark, left, talks with New York Rep. Charles Rangel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner Saturday.
Clark, left, talks with New York Rep. Charles Rangel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner Saturday.

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(CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark has attacked President Bush's economic plan as a failure, and said the war in Iraq was "unnecessary" and lacks a way to succeed or end.

Speaking after an event in Washington at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual conference, Clark, 58, told reporters that the American people are "really embarrassed" by the administration's leadership.

"We're in there without a strategy to win, and without a strategy to exit properly, and now the president's asked for $87 billion to prosecute it," said Clark.

"I think the reality is really striking the American people that this is an administration that doesn't have an effective foreign policy, and it doesn't have an effective strategy for prosecuting the war on terror," he added.

Clark, who only joined the race 10 days ago, is a former CNN military analyst who led U.S. and allied forces in NATO's 1999 air war in Kosovo.

Just this week, the retired general unveiled his first major domestic policy initiative, proposing a three-part, two-year $100 billion economic incentive plan that would be funded from reductions in those parts of Bush's tax cut program that benefit families with high-end incomes.

Clark said the president's tax cuts have made the country poorer.

"I've done more with a better plan for jobs here in eight days than this president's done in two and a half years," Clark said.

His plan, Clark said, "calls for pulling back the tax cuts for those Americans that are making $200,000 a year and above, and using that money in a way that will advance our national interest. It's creating jobs. It's focused like a laser beam on job creation."

The money in Clark's plan would focus on improving homeland security, bolstering public education, meeting health care costs, and financing law enforcement and social services.


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