Bush Says Economic Outlook "Bright"

(WHITE HOUSE) -- President Bush says America's "economic horizon is as bright as it's been in a long time."

The president called reporters to the Rose Garden this morning to cheer the latest employment numbers: a gain of more than 200,000 jobs last month. Bush credits "good old-fashioned American hard work" -- and a strong dose of tax cuts.

He also points to this week's report on third-quarter growth, and recent figures on inflation and productivity, and declares, "This economy is in good shape."

The national unemployment rate held steady in November at five percent. However, job-creation was the strongest since July. Despite the recent figures, Americans have been telling pollsters they take a dim view of Bush's economic policies.

An AP-Ipsos poll last month had respondents disapproving by 61 to 37 percent -- and Bush's overall job performance scores were the lowest of his presidency.

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