Bush: 'We Will Never Surrender'

Bush state union
CBS
President Bush urged Americans to support his fight for freedom abroad and against terrorism at home Tuesday night in his fifth State of the Union address.

"The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil," Mr. Bush said.

After a tumultuous political year dotted with scandals swirling around his administration and dismal approval ratings, Mr. Bush sought to show Congress and the nation he could still lead forcefully. Seeking to quell the rancorous tone in Washington, Mr. Bush asked legislators to conduct debate in a "civil tone."

Specifically, regarding the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush said, "however we feel about the decisions and debates of the past, our Nation has only one option: we must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in its vital mission."

He added, "In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores."

Excerpts from the speech show that Mr. Bush will call for greater federal spending on basic science research and more money for math and science education. The president was to propose training 70,000 teachers to lead advanced math and science classes in high school, said Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Science Committee, who was briefed on the speech.

Senior Administration officials say Tuesday's speech will be more like an inaugural address than the usual State of the Union laundry list — an attempt to frame the debate for the mid-term elections and draw sharp contrasts with Democrats, CBS News chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.


Click here for a complete transcript of the speech.


The president discusses troubles at home and abroad and says the nation needs to strengthen its competitiveness in the global economy. "The American economy is pre-eminent but we cannot afford to be complacent," he says. "In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors like China and India."

"Our great advantage in the world has always been our educated, hardworking, ambitious people, and we are going to keep that edge," Mr. Bush says.

The address has gone through more than 30 drafts and was undergoing final editing at the White House, where Mr. Bush got a morale boost with the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

With the war in Iraq about to enter its fourth year and more than 2,240 American troops killed, Mr. Bush says the nation must not falter in what he called the central front in the war on terror.