Isle Democrats say Bush's speech doesn't add up
Hawaii Democrats watching President Bush's State of the Union speech said they were disappointed that there was no new plan for dealing with the war in Iraq.
Senior Sen. Daniel Inouye said the president proposed a new plan that the country cannot pay for. "If you study it as a package, it is not balanced," Inouye said.
"We will give his speech a fair shake, but somehow it does not balance," Inouye said.
He noted that Bush called for more troops to be sent to Iraq, expanding the Army by 92,000 troops, curing AIDS and stopping the bloodshed in Darfur.
"These things don't come free," Inouye said.
Hawaii's newest member of Congress, Rep. Mazie Hirono, said she had hoped that Bush "would come up with a new direction in the Iraq war."
"There is no evidence to show that his plan is the best. The Democrats have said that we would redefine the mission and look for diplomatic efforts and rebuild Iraq," Hirono said.
Hirono complained that the Bush plan to add more troops in the next six months "defies the reality of what is happening on the ground."
Sen. Daniel Akaka said he learned nothing new from the president's speech.
"Time and time again we have heard President Bush say there are milestones that the Iraq government must achieve in order to gain greater independence and stability in Iraq. And time and time again, we have not seen these milestones achieved," Akaka said.
Mike McCartney, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said: "Americans should take a new direction. People's lives are at stake and we need a firm new direction to end the war."
Hawaii's Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and state GOP Chairman Sam Aiona were in meetings and did not watch the speech, a spokesperson said.