Bush's big push; U.S. leader tries to rescue reputation with national address

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Bush, facing an image crisis, admitted Thursday he failed Americans in the response to hurricane Katrina, pitched an anti-poverty plan and promised to pay the bulk of one of the world's largest reconstruction projects.

Part of the whopping cost, estimated at more than $200 billion US in the short term, should go to free housing for the poor along the Gulf Coast and better job training, Bush said in a televised address aimed at rescuing his reputation and placating voters outraged about the tragedy, particularly blacks.

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