Gov. Locke gives Democratic response

Washington state Gov. Gary Locke, in the Democratic response to President Bush’s State of the Union Address Tuesday, said the president needs to do more to persuade the world that war with Iraq is justified.

Locke also said that while Democrats back Bush in his showdown with Saddam Hussein and demand for unfettered weapons inspections, they believe he must continue to work with allies.

“We must convince the world that Saddam Hussein is not America’s problem – he’s the world’s problem,” Locke said. “We urge President Bush to stay this course, for we are far stronger when we stand with other nations than when we stand alone.

Locke charged that Bush’s tax-cutting economic policies favor the rich, threaten to push the nation deeper into debt and shortchange a number of domestic fronts.

“To be strong abroad we need to be strong at home,” he said. “And today, in too many ways, our country is headed in the wrong direction.”