From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and Elizabeth Wilner
President Bush has a new riff in his rallying cry, accusing Democrats of not having an agenda to fight terrorism. Bush in Springfield, MO today: "So if you happen to bump into a Democrat candidate, you might want to ask this simple question: What's your plan? If they say they want to protect the homeland, but oppose the Patriot Act, ask them this question: What's your plan? If they say they want to uncover terrorist plots, but oppose listening in on terrorist conversations, ask them this question: What's your plan?... If they say they want to win the war on terror, but call for America to pull out from what al Qaeda says is the central front in this war, ask them this question: What's your plan?"
To which the audience finally responded, "What's your plan?"
It's true that Democrats have not proposed much by way of an agenda on fighting terrorism. According to House Democrats' "Six for '06" agenda released earlier this year, which is basically an outline of what they'd tackle in their first 100 legislative hours in the majority, they would: require the Iraqis to take responsibility for their country and begin a phased redeployment of US forces from Iraq in 2006; double the size of US special forces to destroy Osama bin Laden and terrorist networks like al Qaeda; and implement the September 11 commission's recommendations to secure America's borders and ports. (How they plan to get these items past a GOP-run Senate and signed into law remains to be seen.)
Despite Bush's efforts to call attention to this vague anti-terror agenda, polls show that the onus is still on him because of public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war. He showed no sign of seeing any irony of having thousands of people chanting to him, "What's your plan?"