Wading into California's 2-month-old budget debacle, Democratic vice presidential candidate Al Gore on Tuesday linked the crisis to Bush Administration economic policies, asserting it will take a change in the White House before states get relief from their crushing financial woes.
Wrapping up a three-day Western campaign swing, Gore said in Los Angeles that President Bush's policies have led to "the worst economic performance since the Great Depression," thus putting most states under severe financial strains.
"The 'read-my-lips' recession," as Gore likes to describe Bush's economic policies, has "put a tremendous burden on every state government," he said.
"It makes every conflict worse. It makes every problem worse," Gore said. "The reasons are very simple: When unemployment goes up, and if the economy goes down, then state tax revenues fall off, expenditures increase--for Medicaid and welfare and other programs designed to alleviate the distress that comes with unemployment," he said.
Gore made his remarks at a brief news conference before he left Los Angeles to campaign in Colorado.
Earlier in the day, the Tennessee senator taped an interview with Whoopi Goldberg, whose new television talk show is to air later this month. Reporters were barred from the taping.