September 03, 2004

"Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty," Kerry said. "Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation...Handing out billions [in] government contracts without a bid to Halliburton while you're still...

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) spoke at a
Midnight rally in Ohio, less than 45 minutes after the
increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking
_resident finished pretending he was Harry Truman. The
symbolism of the event is compelling. It highlighs how
well JFK understands what's going on here...It is
MIDNIGHT in America..."Let us not talk falsely now,
the hour is getting late."

Lois Romano and Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: John F.
Kerry lashed back at his Republican critics early
Friday morning, denouncing the GOP convention for its
"anger and distortions" and belittling Vice President
Cheney for avoiding the military draft during the
Vietnam War era.
Just 40 minutes after President Bush completed his
acceptance speech in New York, Kerry -- in his
sharpest and most personal remarks yet -- called Bush
"unfit" to lead, saying he misled the country on the
Iraq war and citing his failed record on jobs, health
care and energy costs.
"I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this
country questioned by those who refused to serve when
they could have and by those who have misled the
nation into Iraq," Kerry thundered at the midnight
rally, in remarks that campaign aides say signals the
debut of a more confrontational campaign style."I'm
going to leave it up to the voters whether five
deferments makes someone more qualified than two tours
of duty," Kerry said. Cheney received a series of
deferments from 1962 to 1966 for college and graduate
school and then for having a child.
"Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty," Kerry said. "Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing
nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes
you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions [in] government contracts without a bid to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit."

Cleanse the White House of the Chicken Hawk Coup and
Its War-Profiteering Cronies, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57365-2004Sep2.html


washingtonpost.com
Kerry Takes Off Gloves

By Lois Romano and Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 3, 2004; Page A26


SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, Sept. 3 -- John F. Kerry lashed
back at his Republican critics early Friday morning,
denouncing the GOP convention for its "anger and
distortions" and belittling Vice President Cheney for
avoiding the military draft during the Vietnam War
era.

Just 40 minutes after President Bush completed his
acceptance speech in New York, Kerry -- in his
sharpest and most personal remarks yet -- called Bush
"unfit" to lead, saying he misled the country on the
Iraq war and citing his failed record on jobs, health
care and energy costs.

"I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this
country questioned by those who refused to serve when
they could have and by those who have misled the
nation into Iraq," Kerry thundered at the midnight
rally, in remarks that campaign aides say signals the
debut of a more confrontational campaign style.

More than 15,000 people attended the rally in front of
a historic city building here. The event was quickly
scheduled to respond to the four days of harsh attacks
from the GOP convention this week, questioning Kerry's
fitness to be president. The decision to come out
swinging followed meetings with an expanded team of
advisers that includes two Clinton White House
veterans who will help direct Kerry's message.

The campaign chose to fight back in this battleground
state in a city that Al Gore won by 324 votes in 2000,
and where the jobless rate was pushing 9 percent in
July.

Saying that Cheney has described him as "unfit for
office," Kerry, whose Vietnam War service has been
questioned by a group of Swift boat veterans whom he
has accused of working with the Bush campaign, broke
with his usual practice of not questioning the
military credentials of his opponents.

"I'm going to leave it up to the voters whether five
deferments makes someone more qualified than two tours
of duty," Kerry said. Cheney received a series of
deferments from 1962 to 1966 for college and graduate
school and then for having a child.

"Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for
duty," Kerry said. "Misleading our nation into war in
Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing
nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes
you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million
Americans go without health care makes you unfit to
lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family
control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this
nation. Handing out billions [in] government contracts
without a bid to Halliburton while you're still on
their payroll makes you unfit."

Cheney, who was not personally involved in the
contracts, gave up the chief executive's post at
Halliburton when he ran for vice president but has
continued to receive deferred compensation.

The tougher rhetoric comes as the Kerry camp is
beginning an $8 million advertising blitz that will
accuse the president of a string of broken promises.
Six of the ads will air in swing-state markets right
after the president visits them on a post-convention
tour: Cleveland; Milwaukee; Scranton and Erie, Pa.;
Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Parkersburg, W.Va.

"We're going to be very aggressive throughout the fall
in painting the real picture of George Bush,"
communications director Stephanie Cutter said of the
new spots. "We are going to remind voters of what
George Bush said in 2000 and what he did. It is a much
more aggressive stance."

An ad that will run in Pennsylvania, for example, will
say that Bush promised health care for seniors four
years ago but that now millions remain without health
insurance and drug prices are soaring.

The Kerry camp announced two milder ads Thursday to
turn the campaign debate back to domestic issues after
the GOP's most high-profile speakers assailed the
senator from Massachusetts as weak on national
security.

"It's time for a president who understands that a
stronger America begins at home," Kerry says in one
ad, which will run on cable networks. "It's time to
stop rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas.
To get health care costs under control. And to end
America's dependence on Middle East oil."

The ad concludes with a classic Democratic message:
"The fundamental choice in this election is between a
president who will fight for the middle class and a
president who sides with the special interests in this
country."

The second Kerry spot will air in Ohio, where Bush is
to campaign Saturday: "It's America's heartland, but
it's been hit hard. In the past four years, Ohio has
lost 230,000 jobs. President Bush insists the economy
is just fine. We know America can do better."

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt turned the
"special interests" charge back at Kerry, saying the
senator has helped block medical malpractice reform.
"He's picked the side of the trial lawyers over
doctors and patients," Schmidt said.

The president's campaign, meanwhile, released three
positive ads Thursday night, highlighting domestic
initiatives from Bush's convention speech.

One ticks off Bush's agenda: "Lower health care costs.
Allow small businesses to band together to get
insurance rates big companies get. Tax-free health
savings accounts [that] families own. Stop junk
lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. . . . Every
eligible child with health coverage." In another, the
president touts "a fairer, simpler tax code" and
promises to "strengthen Social Security."

Kerry has run mainly positive spots for six months in
the face of relentless negative advertising by Bush.

Kurtz reported from New York.

2004 The Washington Post Company


Posted by richard at September 3, 2004 01:45 PM