Bush Slams "Isolationist-Protectionist" Democratic Candidates
“There are voices in my country that urge America to adopt measures that would isolate us from the global economy. I firmly reject these calls for protectionism.”
President George W. Bush
World Economic Forum
Sharm el Sheikh International Congress Center
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
May 18, 2008
President George W. Bush touted the Democracies of Iraq and Afghanistan during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt today.
President George W. Bush stands with Iraqi leaders after their meeting Sunday, May 18, 2008, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. With him from left are: Hoshyar Zeban, Foreign Minister, Vice President Abd al-Mahdi, and Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih. (White House photo by Chris Greenberg)
President Bush also slammed Democrats for their isolationist-protectionist agenda.
America is a much younger nation, but we’ve made our mark by advancing ideals as old as the pyramids. Those ideals of liberty and justice have sparked a revolution across much of the world. This hopeful movement made its way to places where dictators once reigned and peaceful democracies seemed unimaginable: places like Chile and Indonesia and Poland and the Philippines and South Korea. These nations have different histories and different traditions. Yet each made the same democratic transition, and they did it on their own terms. In these countries, millions every year are rising from poverty. Women are realizing overdue opportunities. And people of faith are finding the blessing of worshiping God in peace.
All these changes took place in the second half of the 20th century. I strongly believe that if leaders like those of you in this room act with vision and resolve, the first half of 21st century can be the time when similar advances reach the Middle East. This region is home to energetic people, a powerful spirit of enterprise, and tremendous resources. It is capable of a very bright future — a future in which the Middle East is a place of innovation and discovery, driven by free men and women.
In recent years, we’ve seen hopeful beginnings toward this vision. Turkey, a nation with a majority Muslim population, is a prosperous modern democracy. Afghanistan under the leadership of President Karzai is overcoming the Taliban and building a free society. Iraq under the leadership of Prime Minister Maliki is establishing a multi-ethnic democracy. We have seen the stirrings of reform from Morocco and Algeria to Jordan and the Gulf States. And isolation from the outside world is being overcome by the most democratic of innovations: the cell phone and the Internet. America appreciates the challenges facing the Middle East. Yet the light of liberty is beginning to shine…
One of the most powerful drivers of economic growth is free trade. So nations in this region would benefit greatly from breaking down barriers to trade with each other. And America will continue working to open up trade at every level. In recent years, the United States has completed free trade agreements with Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Bahrain. America will continue to negotiate bilateral free trade agreements in the region. We strongly supported Saudi Arabia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, and we will continue to support nations making the reforms necessary to join the institutions of a global economy. To break down trade barriers and ignite economic growth around the world, we will work tirelessly for a successful outcome to the Doha Round this year.
As we seek to open new markets abroad, America will keep our markets open at home. There are voices in my country that urge America to adopt measures that would isolate us from the global economy.
I firmly reject these calls for protectionism. We will continue to welcome foreign investment and trade. And the United States of America will stay open for business.
In an unprecedented move this year, Congressional Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi decided to kill the Colombia free trade agreement. Her efforts will damage the economic and security interests of the U.S. while trashing our best ally in Latin America.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama has denounced the Free Trade Agreement with ally Colombia but has pushed for trade with anti-American Communist Cuba.
More… Dick Morris suggests that Bush could help Republicans if he were to get out of the White House and promote his record– including that we are winning in Iraq and that the economic numbers are not as bad as most people think.