President Calls Prime-Time News Conference

4-28-05 - WHITE HOUSE (AP) President Bush holds a rare prime-time news conference tonight in hopes of bolstering his Social Security and energy plans.

On Social Security, aides say the president intends to get more specific about his idea for revamping the system with private retirement accounts. And on energy, he'll issue a fresh call for passage of the plan that's languished for four years on Capitol Hill.

Tonight's session is just the fourth night-time White House news conference of Bush's presidency – and the first since he was re-elected.

However, in recent weeks Bush's poll numbers have slumped amid concern about rising gas prices and the implications of his Social Security plans.

Spokesman Scott McClellan says the news conference is timed to coincide with the end of a two-month campaign blitz on Social Security. McClellan says the issue's about to enter a new "phase" -- which Bush hopes will mean congressional action.