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President Bush Stumps for Senator Talent

President George Bush was in Springfield today to make a last minute push to raise support for U-S Senator Jim Talent.

KSMU was there to cover both the event inside and the protests outside.

We'll bring you the protest story at 5:30, but first, KSMU's Matt Petcoff reports on what happened inside Springfield's Expo Center.

Republican supporters of Senator Jim Talent and President George Bush turned the Expo Center into a party that resembled a high school pep rally more than a presidential speech.

Signs touting support for Talent from veterans, farmers and even Cardinals fans were everywhere.

Many of the other onlookers cheered and waved pom-poms.

Many recognizable political figures were at the rally, including Governor Matt Blunt and his father House Majority Whip Roy Blunt.

Before the President spoke, Talent addressed the crowd with a confident outlook towards the election.

When President Bush took the podium to stump for Talent, he reiterated how important it is to re-elect a Senator Talent.

President Bush says Talent's work in the senate shows he's a friend to farmers and small business owners.

But, the two topics the President spent the most time on were the economy and the war in Iraq.

First, President Bush said Talent was part of the reason Americans have more money in their pockets now than they did just a few years back.

The President went on to say how these actions have contributed to a strong economy and the lowest unemployment rate in more than 5 years.

However, some democratic officials don't share the Presidents enthusiasm about these recent statistics.

Matthew Patterson is the Executive Director of the Greene County Democratic Party.

He says he feels the numbers may be misleading the American public.

After discussing the economy, the President switched gears, addressing another hot button issue playing part in this election.

He says Americans will look back at the decisions made during this time involving the War on Terror and that Talent has played a part in protecting our country.

The President says the Patriot Act and continued offensive efforts over-seas is all part of the plan to protect America.

And, while Democrats continue to be critical of the current situation, he says criticism doesn't count as a plan that would make America safer.

But, Matt Patterson says ensuring American's safety isn't just a Republican ideology.

However, many of the Republican supporters in attendance, like Nicholas Inman, feel the Republican Party and the President are making all the right moves.

So, while different polls and different political columnists continue to predict the outcome of this close race, President Bush says he won't be paying any attention to what is predicted.

Despite both Senator Talent's and President Bush's confidence, recent polls show Talent is tied with Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill.