President Bush was in Alabama Monday as part of his Southern campaign swing. While addressing a group of small business owners and employees, he took credit for signs of economic recovery. Bush told an audience at a Birmingham-based company that his administration has more work to do to create more jobs for Americans.
The President said the formula for economic growth, largely three rounds of tax cuts, were fueling a recovery. The President spoke at CraneWorks, a family owned business that has seen a 70% revenue growth in the last year and added 15 employees since January.
Democrats have tried to blunt the economic news by questioning whether one quarter of growth can be sustained long enough to create new jobs. Alabama's unemployment rate in September was 5.5%, down from 5.7% in August and below the national rate of 6.1%.
But parts of Alabama still struggle with double-digit jobless rates. For those areas, Bush has proposed "re-employment accounts," where the unemployed could apply for grants of up to $5,000 to pay for job hunting or training.
After the president's economic speech, the president attended a $2,000-per-person fund raiser that's expected to raise $1.85 million for the Bush/Cheney re-election fund.
Before his Alabama trip, President Bush toured Kentucky and Mississippi where he campaigned for republican gubernatorial candidates.
The president's visit to Mississippi wasn't without incident. A woman drove her car straight into the building where he was speaking. Authorities swarmed the car and removed the driver.
The secret service says the woman didn't intend to harm the president. Her family says she was stressed over recent problems in her life. She was looking for her mother who was inside the building listening to the president speak.