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Bush Legacy Tour Visits Tennessee

This story was written by Tiffany Gibson, Sidelines

The Bush Legacy Tour stopped in Nashville to inform voters of Bush's failed policies and how Senator John McCain helped pass them.

Americans United For Change, an issue-advocacy group that formed in 2005 to fight George Bush's effort to privatize Social Security, sponsors the tour.

"The purpose of the tour is to cement Bush's legacy in the history books while he's still in office," said Julie Blust, press secretary for the Bush Legacy Tour. "While we still have a lot of the issues still on the table like the War in Iraq and the health care crisis, we want to look at his contribution to these things and how negative they have been."

Blust said Bush cannot be held solely accountable for the economy's downfall, and one of the goals of the Bush Legacy Tour is to inform people of the activities occurring in Congress.

"We also want to hold accountable the allies he has in Congress, because he had a lot of help from certain senators such as Sen. Lamar Alexander," Blust said.

Inside the Bush Legacy Tour bus, facts and statistics are displayed on the walls while a timeline illustrates Bush's actions during his two terms.

Some of the statistics cover topics of health care, the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina.

In 2001, 85,000 children were uninsured in Tennessee, and in 2008 there is 118,000 children without insurance, according to the Bush Legacy Tour.

The statistics also discuss Tennessee casualties in the Iraq War, which was 0 in 2001 and has now reached a total amount of 586 wounded and 86 dead.

Sen. Alexander's voting history is also on the walls of the bus. Some of his key votes include voting for a second round of Bush's proposed tax cuts, totaling in $350 billion. In 2005, Alexander voted in favor of the energy conference report that excused oil and gas industries from clean-water laws.

According to Blust, Alexander supported Bush 89 percent of the time.

"All Americans ought to see [the tour] and see what kind of problems we really have," said Andy Bryan, Nashville resident. "I was recently down in New Orleans because my granddaughter lives down there, and I took the tour, and it was really sad to see."

"That is something this administration has ignored and it ought to be a real legacy for Mr. Bush," Bryan said.

The tour's intention is to also inform people of the policies that McCain and Bush agree on.

"We are certainly highlighting McCain's policies and the fact that he votes with Bush 90 percent of the time," Blust said. "And that is something we think voters and everyone should know."

Blust said McCain's campaign has tried to stray from the Bush agenda, but it's nearly impossible with his voting record.

Tatianh Vaughn, state employee and Nashville resident, said that McCain stands for the same things as Bush, and that is a major turn off to her vote.

"I wouldn't want to elect McCain, because he's been in the White House so long, and he's basically going to follow what Bush is doing," Vaughn said.

Pam Holloman, administrative assistant and Nashville resident, said that she agrees with Vaughn and thinks that might have an affect on McCain's campaign.

"[Bush] let the boys stay too long," Holloman said. "The war has been too long."

Blust said that most of the people that tour the bus support its purpose, and find it very informative.

However, Blust said she has encountered some people that are very unaware of the issues and refuse to believe Bush's policies have failed.

"We have folks that disagree and feel like the economy is doing well ad that nothing is wrong with our health care system," Blust said. "Most of the people that come through the bus really support it."