Yet in that entire 5,369 word speech, the President saw fit to dedicate only 60 words to a subject that has infected his entire Administration as well as the GOP Congressional leadership: the Republican culture of corruption permeating Washington, DC.
A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington -- I support your efforts. Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility -- and that is a pledge we must never forget, never dismiss, and never betray.
No apologies for Scooter Libby's obstruction of justice and perjury indictments related to the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. No acknowledgment of Tom DeLay's ongoing criminal prosecution for money laundering. No mention of the procurement head of Bush's own budget office who was marched out in handcuffs. No discussion of GOP Congressman Duke Cunningham's resignation after pleading guilty to bribery charges.
And certainly no reference to Jack Abramoff, the corrupt Republican lobbyist and major GOP donor who has already pled guilty to five criminal felony counts, with more likely on the way.
In fact, now President Bush says that he doesn't even remember Jack Abramoff -- despite Abramoff raising more than $100,000 for Bush's 2004 re-election and serving as a member of the Bush Administration Transition Team in 2001 -- not to mention the more than 200 contacts that Abramoff's lobbying team had with Bush Administration officials in the first 10 months of 2001.
That simply doesn't pass the smell test. The American people deserve to know the truth about the extent of Jack Abramoff's relationship with the Bush Administration, and how that may have corrupted policy decisions.
That's why I have co-sponsored a "sense of the Senate" amendment, along with my colleagues John Kerry and Frank Lautenberg, urging the White House to provide the American people with a thorough account of the meetings the President, his staff, and senior executive branch officials had with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
It's time for President Bush to answer our questions about Jack Abramoff. Urge your Senators to support my amendment today!
Despite the President's rhetoric in his State of the Union address, the White House's refusal to fully disclose information about their dealings with Jack Abramoff simply exacerbates the problem.
After all, it's not George Bush's White House -- it's the people's White House -- and it is long past time they got an unobstructed look into their own government. If the President has nothing to hide, there shouldn't be a problem.
Thanks so much for your continued support.