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The Morning Grind / Political Hot Topics

Economic numbers a boost for Bush, but Dems ask 'where are the jobs?'

President Bush took credit for economic growth Thursday, saying 'The tax relief we passed is working.'
President Bush took credit for economic growth Thursday, saying 'The tax relief we passed is working.'

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CNN's Bill Schneider says the state of the job market in 2004 could be a key factor in the presidential election
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CNN's Jonathan Karl reports on California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger's meetings with U.S. congressional leaders to secure aid for his state.
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CNN political analyst Bill Schneider takes the pulse of young voters to find out if they're more liberal than older voters.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Check out the links below to hot political stories around the country this morning.

The Bush White House

• President Bush says his tax cuts are the reason for "the surge in economic growth." While the 7.2 percent figure was welcome news, the Bush team knows without an increase in jobs, '04 is going to be a tough year.

The New York Times: White House takes credit for surge in economyexternal link

• Democrats gunning to replace Bush were quick to point out that without more jobs, the new numbers were simply "irrelevant."

The Boston Globe: Democrats dismiss data on economic growth under Bushexternal link

• During his trip to Ohio, the president added another $1.4 million to his campaign war chest.

USA Today: Bush stumps for funds in Ohio, Texasexternal link

The White House 2004

• The Gephardt camp was fairly quiet about the likelihood that Howard Dean will pick up the SEIU endorsement next week.

The Los Angeles Times: Dean may get union's blessingexternal link

• Howard Dean's somewhat contradictory statements now and back in '92, on gun control emphasize the difficulty Democrats are having "with an issue that many say helped cost their party the White House and a handful of congressional seats in 2000."

The New York Times: Dean walks a tightrope over positions on gun controlexternal link

• With the outcome in Iraq uncertain and a high unemployment rate, many Americans remain undecided about who they'll support in next year's election. One thing is certain however: "the stage is set for an election that could be as tight as the historic deadlock that sent Bush to the White House in 2000."

USA Today: Year before election, many are undecidedexternal link

• Mike Kelley, an aide to Dick Gephardt, says he did not use a "derogatory slur" during a confrontation with a Howard Dean staffer. The head of the Iowa Democratic party says both sides need to cool it.

The Des Moines Register: Gephardt aide calls allegation 'baffling'external link

• Chrissy Gephardt defended Kelley at a Drake University event last night.

The Des Moines Register: Gephardt's daughter defends campaign aideexternal link

• Joe Lieberman picks up the endorsements of some former McCain backers.

The Union Leader: Lieberman, Kerry pick up state endorsementsexternal link

• Even without Ashton Kutcher, Edwards managed to raise about $100,000 at Wednesday night's star-studded fund-raiser.

The News and Observer: Star power pays off for Edwardsexternal link

Fires in California

• Players from both parties are commending Gray Davis for setting aside any residual recall bitterness and dealing with the wildfire crisis head-on.

The Los Angeles Times: Davis responds to fires as if recall never happenedexternal link

Compiled by Sasha Johnson.

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