According to this morning Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cleland "dodged" Patterson after the Republican "offered to deliver the letter to Bush if Cleland would accept a letter of response." Patterson said of the tripe amputee, "He would not face me. . . . He kept rolling away from me. He's quite mobile."
Bush Adviser Says Kerry On "Verge Of Hemorrhaging" Over Swift Boat Issue.
Meanwhile, Bush campaign advisors claim that it is helping President Bush in the polls and with independent voters. "Kerry is bleeding on this issue," one Bush adviser told US News Bulletin. "He's on the verge of hemorrhaging."
New Kerry Ad To Highlight Attacks On McCain From 2000.
CNN reported yesterday that the Kerry campaign "is set to launch a TV version of an Internet ad as part of its Swift Boat defense strategy. It features John McCain during the 2000 GOP presidential primary accusing George W. Bush of ties to a veteran's group that attacked McCain." According to the New York Times McCain said yesterday "he wanted the Kerry campaign to stop using images of his own 2000 primary fight against Mr. Bush in its advertising."
McCain Says Debate Over Kerry's Anti-War Comments Appropriate. USA Today reports this morning that at a lunch with USA TODAY and Gannett News Service, Sen. John McCain "said it's appropriate to debate whether Kerry was right to oppose the war when he got home, but not appropriate to accuse someone of lying about a situation in which 'bullets are flying and people are dying' because 'there are always different versions about what happens in combat.'"
LATimes Says Most Americans Agree With Kerry's Post-Vietnam Stance.
The Los Angeles Times today editorializes on the Swift Vets controversy, focusing on the group's second ad, which deals with Kerry's congressional testimony in 1971 in which he appeared to accuse US troops of committing atrocities in Vietnam. Says the Times, "It turns out that the attack on John Kerry's war record was just Act 1. Now the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (and, miraculously, all the right-wing media) have turned to Kerry's antiwar record. . . . This at least is a real issue, unlike the manufactured nonsense about his war medals." The Times says, "The fact is that the argument over Vietnam was settled long ago, and a majority of Americans decided that Kerry was right. . . . George W. Bush, by the way, dodged the second part too."
McCain To Express "Displeasure" About Swift Boat Ads To Bush.
The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that while McCain "said he took the president at his word that he was not behind the Swift boat advertisements, he is irked enough at them that he said he would personally 'express my displeasure' to the president."