Dems Tick Down Last 100, Umm 103, Days in Campaign

By Sarah Larkins | July 7, 2008 | 8:23 PM EDT

( - Congressional Democrats, on Thursday unveiling their legislative agenda for the remainder of the mid-term election season, said they would focus on six issues -- national security, better jobs and wages, college access for all, energy independence and lower gas prices, affordable health care and retirement security.

"We have a hundred days to go before the election. That's why we're here, to remind each of you ... We are a party of strength, we're in a position of strength," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from Nevada.

His math was a little off. As of Thursday, there were actually 103 days until the Nov. 7 elections.

But Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) unloaded anyway, attacking not only Republicans running for Congress, but the president too.

"George Bush and his rubber stamps in Congress have taken the country so far in the wrong direction, Americans are crying out for a new direction," Schumer said in a press briefing.

"The American people are asking, 'Okay, we know we don't want [the Republicans]. What are you going to do?' And that's what New Direction ... is about."

Schumer said his party's "New Direction for America" will involve "simple ways to talk about the things that we're going to do when we take back the House and the Senate." Schumer said. Democrats will hold more than 200 New Direction events before the elections.

According to a Fox News Poll this month, 42 percent of voters said they would support the Democratic candidate in the mid-term elections. Nearly half of the voters also said they would be less likely to support a candidate if President Bush campaigned for that person.

Schumer said even Republicans recognize the importance of taking a new direction.

"All the ads that we've seen [from Republicans] don't mention one word: Bush. Very few of them mention a second word: Republican," he said. "Look at all the new ads that our Republican opponents are coming up with. You'll see that they know there needs to be change too. They're talking like Democrats, but it won't work."

However, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) criticized what he said was vague language in the Democratic agenda.

" So what is their 'new' direction?" Cornyn said. "It's hard to tell. For example, the minority leader of the House of Representatives recently said that the economy was headed in the 'wrong direction' - after 33 months of consecutive job gains. And the Senate minority leader issued a press release saying American efforts in Iraq were headed in the 'wrong direction' - the day after American forces killed terrorist leader [Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi.""

Still, Schumer said he was confident that about success in November. "People are tired of staying the course, people are tired of the same old thing," he said. "We're feeling pretty good about '06."

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