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House speaker blasts Bush as ‘a total failure'

President Bush has been a “total failure” in everything from the economy to the war to energy policy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

In an interview on CNN, the California Democrat was asked to respond to video of the president criticizing the Democratic-led Congress for heading into the final 26 days of the legislative session without having passed a single government spending bill.

Pelosi shot back in unusually personal terms.

“You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject,” Pelosi replied. She then tsk-tsked Bush for “challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino defended Bush.

“What the president said is a fact – this is the longest a Congress has gone in 20 years without passing a single spending bill, so it's clear that the speaker is feeling some frustration at their inability to do so.”

Pelosi's outburst was a departure. Her usual practice in public has been to call Bush's policies a failure – not his presidency or him, personally. Pelosi's remarks are the latest evidence of the Democrats' throw-caution-to-the-wind approach to Bush's presidency.

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