Bush Touts Economy en Route to Europe

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With high gas prices and the struggling economy on his mind, President Bush left Washington Monday for a U.S. - European Union summit in Slovenia.

The trip is Bush's farewell tour as President to several major European capitals.

While in Europe, the President will meet with the leaders of France, Germany and Britain to express his confidence in the U.S. economy.

Bush and the European leaders are also expected to talk about how to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Easing Worries

Earlier Monday, Bush sought to ease worries about the struggling economy. Financial experts have said the recent stimulus plan only gave the economy a nudge, instead of the expected push.

"A lot of Americans are concerned about our economy. I can understand why," he said. "Gasoline prices are high; energy prices are high."

He said the U.S. economy is "large and it's open and flexible.

"Our capital markets are some of the deepest and most liquid," he said. "And the long-term health and strong foundation of our economy will shine through and be reflected in currency values."

The weakening dollar is seen as a factor in the rising costs of oil and other commodities.

"The U.S. economy has continued to grow in the face of unprecedented challenges," the President said. "We've got to keep our economies flexible; both the U.S. economy and European economies need to be flexible in order to deal with today's challenges."

Source: The Associated Press

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