- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 2, 2001

PHILADELPHIA (AP) President Bush, a devoted sports fan, attended the annual Army-Navy football game yesterday, but he told the teams that his thoughts also were with members of the armed services fighting terrorism in Afghanistan.
"My mind is on the game today, but my mind is elsewhere, too. My mind is with the men and women who wear our uniform as we wage a noble cause," Mr. Bush told the midshipmen in a locker room pep talk before visiting the Cadets.
"Know that our cause is just because it is right," he said. "Make no mistake about it we will prevail."
To Army players, the president said: "The enemy made a mistake. We will win. There's no doubt in my mind about it. Thanks for your commitment to your country. It is a fabulous country."
Later, Mr. Bush was escorted to midfield as the crowd of 67,000 stood and applauded. He shook hands with the team captains and tossed a coin in the air heads, called correctly by Navy. Just before the coin toss, four jets flew over Veterans Stadium, an explosive boom making their appearance, followed by six helicopters hovering overhead.
Mr. Bush stayed through part of the third quarter before leaving for Camp David. Army went on to win 26-17.
He watched the first half from the Navy side, switching to the Army stands at halftime. He shook hands with Navy students when he walked down the stands and crossed between a line of cadets in gray coats and midshipmen in blue uniforms. He then marched up the Army side, shaking hands there, too.
Mr. Bush, who threw out the ceremonial opening pitch of World Series Game 3 at Yankee Stadium in October, said he hoped his presence at the football game would help project a sense of normality for Americans.
"I have no fear coming to the game," the president told CBS, which broadcast the game. "What I'm really here to do is to say to the country how proud I am of our military folks."
Earlier yesterday, Mr. Bush appealed for Congress to pass his stimulus package and help Americans hurting from an economic downturn that has grown worse since the terrorist attacks.
In his weekly radio address, Mr. Bush sparred with congressional Democrats over whether his proposal would help the growing number of people put out of work because of the attacks and the onset of a recession.
Mr. Bush wants to extend jobless benefits by 13 weeks in the states most affected by terrorism and offer Medicaid coverage for uninsured workers and emergency grants for job training.
"We must bring quick help to those who need it most, and we must restore our economy's growth," Mr. Bush said. "It's the holiday season. It's a time to reach out to Americans who are hurting, to help them put food on the table and to keep a roof over their heads."
Democrats responded by saying the president's plan does not do enough, and they attacked the House-passed package as a sop to corporations.
"Unemployed workers need that money, and they will use that money immediately, spending it and in turn helping stimulate the economy," said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada in the Democrats' radio address. "These are difficult and unusual times, but we must not run up the national debt with risky, unfair tax measures that won't help the economy recover."
Mr. Bush said he wants to lower taxes on employers so they can expand and hire. He noted that he also asked Congress to speed along the income tax reductions passed in spring "so that people can keep more of their own money to spend or pay their debts."

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