State of Union

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

As President Bush puts the final touches on the State of the Union speech, the White House is warning Democrats girding for a big fight over Social Security.

Press Secretary Scott McClellan declares: "This is not the time to be drawing lines in the sand."

McClellan was reacting to Democratic leader Harry Reid's prediction that all 44 Senate Democrats will oppose Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security.

McClellan says Bush wants to "extend his hand" to Democrats tonight, hoping to work together on fixing a system that the administration says is going broke.

Aides say Bush did a sixth and final run-through of the speech Wednesday morning in the White House family theater.

Thursday, Bush will launch a five-state travel blitz to drum up support for creating private retirement accounts with payroll tax money. The trip is targeting vulnerable Senate Democrats in states he won last year.


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