Dean calls on Bush to work with Democrats

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean Saturday called on President Bush to work with Democrats on Iraq war policy and accused the administration of endangering U.S. troops by sending them to war without a clear mission.

“We’ve made it clear that we will work with the president to find a solution,” Dean said. “In response, the president continues to say, ‘My way or the highway.’”

Dean sought to rebuke the president’s claims that Democratic political posturing has put U.S. troops at risk. Bush told the nation Saturday that Democrats’ attempts to influence war policy will delay critical funding for troop training and equipment.

“President Bush and his Republican allies did not have a clear plan when they misled our nation into this war and they do not have a clear plan to get our troops out,” Dean said. “Republicans sent our brave men and women in uniform to Iraq without proper body armor, equipment or training.”

Dean blamed the administration for straining America’s armed forces, citing Friday’s Pentagon announcement that 12,000 additional National Guard units will be deployed to Iraq. Dean also offered recent scandals over veterans’ health care as “an appalling example of the way that President Bush and the Republicans in Congress have failed our men and women in uniform.”