Bush Resists Using R-Word but Comes Close

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Washington (AP) Tough times. Difficult times. A sour time.

President Bush used those words yesterday to explain that he knows the economy has slumped, even as gas and food prices have soared. But he continued to resist fully embracing the term “recession.”

Yesterday, the president tried to shift the focus to congress, saying he long ago sent lawmakers proposals to deal with many of the nation's economic problems, only to see them sit or be replaced with approaches he finds unacceptable.

Democratic leaders blame Bush for proposing policies that would worsen the problem, not help, and say it's their duty to reject them.

Bush did say he'd consider a summer suspension of federal gasoline taxes. Presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton have suggested that approach.