By DEVLIN BARRETT Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton cited frustrated scientists and a comedian Thursday as she assailed President Bush's record on scientific study and pledged to rescind his restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The presidential candidate also said she would bar political appointees from altering or removing scientific conclusions from government research without a legitimate reason for doing so.
"The Bush administration has declared war on science," the New York senator said. "When I am president, scientific integrity will not be the exception it will be the rule."
Her address to the Carnegie Institution for Science was a preview of what she said would be more detailed proposals in coming weeks on energy and environmental issues.
Clinton focused mostly on policy proposals, but she also drew laughs for paraphrasing the faux right-wing fury of Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, saying "this administration doesn't make decisions on facts, it makes facts based on decisions."
The speech was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Sputnik satellite by the Soviet Union. The launch, which caught U.S. scientists by surprise, helped start the U.S.-Soviet space race and led to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The candidate said as a little girl she was fascinated by Sputnik, but that today's scientific challenges often come from political ideology instead of foreign powers.
"For six and half years under President Bush, it has been open season on open inquiry," Clinton said. "By ignoring or manipulating science, the Bush administration is putting our future at risk and letting our economic competitors get an edge in the global economy."
She said Bush's limits on federal funds for embryonic stem cell research amounts to a "ban on hope."
Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz countered that Clinton "manipulates basic mathematics in her attempts to explain how she will pay for hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending."
On the campaign trail, Clinton has repeatedly slammed what she calls Bush's "war on science" and accused the administration of allowing conservative political ideology to interfere with research and scientific evidence. She cites administration officials who have questioned the scientific evidence of global warming and who have suggested a link existed between abortion and breast cancer.
As president, Clinton said she would:
- Expand human and robotic space exploration and speed development of vehicles to would replace the space shuttle.
- Launch a space-based climate change initiative to combat global warming.
- Create a $50-billion strategic energy fund to research ways to boost energy efficiency and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.