WASHINGTON (voa) – U.S. President George W. Bush fainted at the White House. Doctors say it’s nothing to worry about. They say the kind of fainting spell President Bush had yesterday is common. Bush blacked out when he choked on a pretzel and it caused his heart rate to temporarily slow down. After the incident Bush traveled to the Midwest pushing his economic and trade policies.
The president drew laughs as he opened a speech before factory workers in Moline, Illinois, with a few jokes about the brief fainting spell he suffered while eating a pretzel Sunday before he turned to the four principles he said are the keys to creating more jobs and revitalizing the stalled U.S. economy.
Mr. Bush said maintaining a strong national security is first and foremost among the principles that also include fostering education, free trade and a national energy policy.
On national security, the President said the September 11 terrorist attacks had shaken the nation’s confidence. But he said the more American officials work to prevent other possible attacks, the more consumer confidence will return. He also reiterated his view that the best way to ensure homeland security is to find the enemy and bring them to justice.
Mr. Bush briefly lauded the $26 billion education reform package he signed into law recently, saying education is his second key to ensuring economic growth in the future. He then talked about trade, saying America needs to open up markets, not close them down.
Mr. Bush said he is confident the country will recover from the economic shock felt in the wake of September 11.
Lastly, the president said the United States is too reliant on foreign oil and needs to better develop its own natural resources. He said the country needs to develop a national energy policy that focuses on conservation.
The president’s speech highlights issues democratic and republican lawmakers are sure to take up when they return to Capitol Hill from holiday recess.
Earlier, during the flight from Washington, Mr. Bush called Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and President Bashar al Assad of Syria to talk about Middle East peace efforts and the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign.