Kerry Blasts Bush's "Fantasy World Of Spin" On Iraq; Bush Says Kerry Keeps Waffling
Continuing his attack on President Bush's credibility, Sen. Kerry yesterday accused Bush of living in a "fantasy world of spin" when it comes to Iraq, and of misleading the nation about the situation in that country. Kerry made his comments in a speech to the National Guard Convention in Nevada. President Bush, campaigning in Minnesota, responded by poking fun at Kerry's comments on the Don Imus radio show, in which Imus himself said after the interview that he doesn't know where Kerry stands on the Iraq conflict.
Kerry's speech received ample coverage from all three networks. All three stories also contained snippets of Bush's response. The CBS Evening News reported that "with bloodshed in Iraq, and new intelligence reports out of Washington painting a dismal picture for the future of this war-torn country, it was John Kerry's turn to attack, addressing the National Guard today in Las Vegas. . . . Using that intelligence report, that one senior aide called 'a gift,'" Kerry said, "Two days ago, the president stood right here. He didn't tell you that with each passing day, we're seeing more chaos, more violence, indiscriminate killings. I believe you deserve a president who isn't going to ignore his own intelligence, who isn't going to live in a different world of spin, who will give the people the truth." The NBC Nightly News said "Democrats say the escalating violence in Iraq and a new pessimistic report on its prospects give Kerry new legitimacy. . . . But Republicans were ready, saying war comes with testing times and calling Kerry indecisive."
The Washington Times focuses its story on Bush's response, in which he "ridiculed Sen. John Kerry for further muddling his position on Iraq during a radio interview, which bewildered even host Don Imus, an avowed Kerry supporter. 'The radio interviewer concluded: "I can't tell you what he said,"' Mr. Bush told a rally here, drawing laughter and hoots of derision."
Kerry's Attacks On Bush Met With Silence, One Boo At Guard Convention.
ABC World News Tonight reported Kerry did not get "a terribly warm reception" from national guardsmen." In fact, the Los Angeles Times says that although he "received several standing ovations for promising improved benefits and equipment for the National Guard," Kerry "heard only silence and a boo as he accused Bush of dishonesty and a failure to lead."
McAuliffe Says Bush "Continually Lies." Newsday notes that beyond Iraq, Kerry's blistering attacks on Bush's credibility appear designed "to turn the election into a referendum on Bush's stewardship, from Medicare" to the war on terror, which is why "raising doubts about Bush's truthfulness has been a theme Kerry has hit hard this week." Along those lines and kicking it up a notch, in his appearance on CNN's Inside Politics DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe said Bush "misled us. He embellished the intelligence data to get us over there. He had no plan for what to do with peace. He said Mission Accomplished. We've lost 1,000 soldiers over there and $200 billion for what? . . . George Bush continually lies."
New Democratic Ad Assails Bush Credibility On Iraq.
The AP reports on a new Democratic ad "showing the Republican declaring an end to major combat while standing on an aircraft carrier adorned with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner. 'How can you solve problems when you won't even admit they're there?' asks the ad, which will start running Friday in battleground states and on national cable networks." The commercial is the "first of the general election by the national parties or the presidential campaigns to show Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003. In the ad, Bush says: 'Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. The United States and our allies have prevailed.'"
Morris Says Iraq Issue Hurts Kerry, Divides His Base.
Political commentator Dick Morris, appeared on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, said "Kerry's basic problem is he doesn't know why he's running for president. Is he a hawk or is he a dove? He doesn't know the answer to that. Is his focus domestic policy or foreign policy? He doesn't have an answer to that. And the reason he doesn't have an answer is that his base is so totally divided against itself, half hawk, half dove, that whenever he opens his mouth, he gets in trouble." When asked about Kerry's position on Iraq, Morris said, "I think that the whole subject a loser for him because Bush is better at it. But the specific problem he confronts is when you ask the voters who vote for John Kerry, should we pull out or should we stay in. 54 percent say pull out. 37 percent say stay in. So either way, this guy gets killed. Whereas with Bush, it's 85 stay in and 7 or 8 pull out."