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Chambliss opponents link senator to Bush
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JOHN'S CREEK -- As the nation's financial crisis deepened Monday, opponents of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he has been in lockstep with the Bush administration that created the economic turmoil.

At a candidate forum in suburban Atlanta, Democratic Senate hopeful Jim Martin accused Chambliss of "blindly following" Bush administration's lax regulatory policies that have led to the current economic chaos.

"George Bush and Saxby Chambliss have had their chance and they have proven that trying to build our economy from the top down simply doesn't work," Martin said Monday at the forum hosted by State Farm Insurance Co.

Libertarian Allen Buckley said Chambliss has "Potomac fever."

"If you have a single patriotic bone in your body you cannot vote for Saxby Chambliss," Buckley said. Buckley said Chambliss' call to make the Bush administration tax cuts permanent will cause the deficit to balloon out of control without accompanying spending cuts.

Chambliss skipped Monday's forum. He remained in Washington as Congress scrambled to resuscitate a $700 billion bailout plan after it went down to a stunning defeat on the House floor. The bill's failure sent the stock markets plunging.

Chambliss' wife, Julianne, appeared on his behalf Monday.

She said her husband was not looking to cast blame for the current crisis but was working to find a solution.

A spokeswoman for Chambliss was more blunt. She sharply questioned Martin's attack, saying the former state lawmaker was using as evidence votes that Chambliss cast during the Democratic Clinton administration.

"Martin can't point to a single vote that wasn't a Bill Clinton bill with bipartisan support," Michelle Hitt Grasso said.

Still, all eyes were on the future of the financial bailout bill in Washington.

Martin said Monday he would not have voted for the bill. Even though it had been improved to include things like limits on executive compensation, he said, it still lacked sufficient regulatory and consumer protections.

Chambliss has not said if he would support the current bailout bill but suggested something must be done to prop up the nation's struggling financial institutions.

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