Bush Calls Kerry's Military Service "More Heroic" Than His Own
In an interview with Matt Lauer that led the NBC Nightly News newscast on Saturday, President Bush praised Sen. Kerry's military service "in his strongest terms yet." Asked, "Did John Kerry serve heroically in Vietnam in your opinion?" Bush replied, "I think his service is heroic, yes, and he should be proud of it. And I think that we ought to move beyond the past. He's proud of his service. I'm proud of mine. And the real question is who best can lead us forward." Lauer: "You think you both served on the same level of heroism?" Bush: "No, I don't. I think him going to Vietnam was more heroic than my flying fighter jets. He was in harm's way. I wasn't. On the other hand, I served my country. Had my unit been called up, I would have gone."
Clark Criticizes Bush For Not Serving In Vietnam, Calls Him "Incompetent" Commander In Chief.
Also on Saturday, ABC World News Tonight ran a story about a Kerry campaign event in Tacoma, Washington, "where his former opponent Wesley Clark went after President Bush, criticizing him for not serving in Vietnam. Clark also said Bush is an indecisive and 'incompetent' Commander in Chief."
Laura Bush Says Swift Boat Ads Aren't Unfair. Reuters reports First lady Laura Bush "said on Sunday that campaign advertisements accusing Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of lying about his Vietnam War record were fair. In an interview with Time magazine released on Sunday, Mrs. Bush said ads by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth criticizing Kerry were no different from attack ads that have been aimed at President Bush. 'Do I think they're unfair? Not really. There have been millions of terrible ads against my husband,' Mrs. Bush told Time."
Ginsberg Still Headlining Convention Party For Bush-Cheney Team.
According to Roll Call's "Heard on the Hill" column, "Although he resigned amid controversy as outside counsel to the Bush campaign, Ben Ginsberg will still party with his party here in New York this week. In fact, he remains the headline 'special host' of the lavish late-night bash that his law firm, Patton Boggs, is throwing for the Bush-Cheney '04 team on the final night of the convention at ultra schwanky Avalon on Sixth Avenue."
McCain Notes Swift Boat Ads Got $20 Million In Free Media.
Sen. John McCain was asked on CBS' Face the Nation if he attributes recent polls showing the President moving up to the Swift Boat ads. McCain said, "I can think of no other reason. Obviously, they have dominated not just the advertising part of the media but have dominated the media for about three weeks. I've never seen anything like it in the 22 years that I've been active in politics." McCain added that "it's a small buy. A $500,000 buy has now turned into, what, $20 million worth of free media. I've never seen anything like it."
Bill Clinton Accuses Republicans Of "Bearing False Witness."
The New York Times reports Bill Clinton "offered a hard-hitting attack against the Republican Party yesterday, telling worshipers gathered at Riverside Church that President Bush and the Republicans are distorting John Kerry's war record in Vietnam." Clinton said, "Sometimes I think our friends on the other side have become the people of the Nine Commandments. It is wrong to bear false witness." The Times adds, "The remarks were echoed by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who unleashed an unusually strong assault on Mr. Bush and his party during back-to-back appearances on the Sunday-morning talk shows."
Swift Boat Donor Sits On Bush Library Committee. Newsweek reports that Bob Perry, "a Texas benefactor of the Bushes who provided the seed money" for the Swift Boat group, "sits on a committee to build a Bush (Two) library at Baylor."