- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2006

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman yesterday told an election-year gathering of party faithful that Democrats want to retreat from the war on terror, raise taxes and appoint judges to legislate liberally from the bench.

Do House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean really want the National Security Agency to “hang up” when foreign terrorists “dial their sleeper cells here in the United States,” he asked the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis, Tenn.

“Was [Senate Democratic leader] Harry Reid really proud when he announced last year, ‘We killed the Patriot Act?’ And do these Democrat leaders really think we would be safer by cutting and running in Iraq?” he asked.

In a speech aimed at boosting his party’s enthusiasm and energy for this year’s midterm election, Mr. Mehlman also ridiculed House Democrats for repeated delays in revealing their election-year agenda. They’ve said it will be the equivalent of the Republicans’ 1994 Contract With America, which led to Republican control of Congress.

“Not only can they not settle on an agenda, they can’t even agree on a slogan,” Mr. Mehlman said.

In what he called the “spirit of bipartisanship,” Mr. Mehlman offered Democrats several slogans, including “Together, we can retreat from the central front in the War on Terror.”

The Democratic National Committee, in response, said Mr. Mehlman was simply offering his party a smoke screen.

“Ken Mehlman’s childish temper tantrum is a desperate attempt to change the subject from the Republican incompetence and growing list of failures,” DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney said

“The American people aren’t buying it anymore. This election comes down to the one question Bush Republicans don’t want people to ask themselves: Do you want change or more of the same?”

Comparing Democratic leaders to shady “used-car salesmen,” Mr. Mehlman said their record shows that their answer to everything is to raise taxes.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Nancy Pelosi called for higher taxes. To support our troops in Iraq, [New York Sen.] Hillary Clinton’s plan: higher taxes,” he said.

If the Democrats win in November, Mr. Mehlman said they will “strike ‘Under God’ from the Pledge [of Allegiance] … take private property from one person and give it to another … deny parents the right to know if their minor daughter is having an abortion.”

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