Bush Says Economy Is Sound

FREDERICKSBURG, VA. — President Bush is working to reassure Americans about the economy. But he says “there’s definitely some storm clouds and concern” because of the nation’s credit crunch and mortgage problems.

The president spoke to about 80 Rotary Club members in Virginia. The speech was intended to show he is aware of the public’s edgy mood these days. Consumer confidence has eroded as turmoil in the housing and credit market have battered the economy.

Bush chose to highlight positive economic news, such as job growth. And he said his administration has a strategy for tackling the nation’s economic woes.

In his remarks, the president took aim at his favorite target: the Democratic Congress. Bush said that Congress “cannot take economic vitality for granted.”

The audience of roughly 80 people listened to Bush with respectful silence. Yet a line that normally gets him applause – a promise to veto any tax increase – drew no reaction at all.