Kerry Aides Blame Media For Attention To Swift Boat Ads
Also on CNN's Inside Politics, commentator Howard Kurtz said "Kerry aides privately blame the media for giving so much attention to a $500,000 ad-buy in three states, especially when the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Times and Washington Post have uncovered numerous inconsistencies in accounts by some of the Swift Boat Veterans." But "they admit they were late in returning fire over an issue that goes to the emotional heart of Kerry's candidacy. The Kerry response is also airing in just three states, but like the original attack ad, is guaranteed to get plenty of free media airtime."
Dole Stands By Criticism Of Kerry Even After Senator Calls Him.
The Financial Times says today the White House "declined to criticise Bob Dole, the former Republican presidential candidate and (WWII) veteran, who suggested over the weekend that there was truth to the Swift Boat Veterans' allegations that Mr Kerry lied about his Vietnam experiences to get his medals, and lied during 1971 congressional testimony in claiming that US soldiers committed war crimes in Vietnam." On ABC World News Tonight's lead story last night, Dole was shown saying of Kerry, "Three purple hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they were all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out." Kerry "called Bob Dole and said he did bleed. Dole told Kerry he respects him and didn't mean to be mean-spirited, but stands by his criticism. Dole said this is hardball."
Swift Boat Veterans Deny They Are A Front Group For Bush.
CNN reported that the Swift Boat Veterans "put out a statement, responding to the Kerry camp's charge that they are a front for the president. The group behind the anti-Kerry ads says it is 'totally an independent organization, and members would speak out about Kerry's Vietnam record whether he were a Republican, Democrat or Independent.'" USA Today, meanwhile, quotes retired admiral Roy Hoffmann, the Swift Veterans group's founder, who said, "It would make no difference if John Kerry were a Republican, Democrat or an independent. . . . Swift Boat Veterans would still be speaking the truth concerning John Kerry's military service record in Vietnam, his actions after returning home and his lack of qualifications to be the next commander in chief."
Woman Who Works For Group Is An Officer In PAC Affiliated With Dick Armey.
The New York Times says "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, in another indication of its web of ties to the Republican Party, acknowledged that a woman who helped set it up and works for it is an officer of the Majority Leader's Fund, a political action committee affiliated with the former House majority leader Dick Armey of Texas. The name of the woman, Susan Arceneaux, is given as the contact person on the post office box that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth lists as its address." She is "treasurer of the Majority Leader's Fund."
Bob Perry Won't Attend Fundraiser With Rove, DeLay.
Houston home builder Bob Perry, described by the Dallas Morning News as the "key bankroller for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is listed as the co-host of a New York City fund-raiser next week for the Harris County GOP, whose guest list includes President Bush's top political adviser." But Bill Miller, a spokesman for Perry, "said that while the prolific GOP donor has given money to the local party, he was surprised to find his name on the invitation. 'He told me, "I never approved the use of my name. I'm not going to be there,"' Mr. Miller said." Perry also "does not plan to attend the convention in New York City."