White House denies confusion on strategy

Nov. 13, 2005 at 8:51 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- White House officials deny there is a tug-of-war going on among Republican strategists as President George Bush's poll numbers are tanking.

"Certainly there's a recognition that at 38 percent or 39 percent job approval (for Bush) in polls, no one is satisfied with the status quo," one presidential aide told the Los Angeles Times. "We need to be communicating more effectively with the American people."

The disagreement is between moderates and hardliners, with the moderates worrying Bush has "fallen under the spell" of Vice President Dick Cheney and political adviser Karl Rove, and has moved so far to the right that he has alienated many voters, the newspaper said.

The hard-liners think Bush has erred by not being conservative enough, and some believe White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is plotting to water down the president's agenda.

Meanwhile, aides said they are hard at work on proposals for Bush's State of the Union address. While it is still two months away, it is the official answer to questions about when and how the president will begin rebuilding his popularity.

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