Kerry Says It Is "Possible" Bush Will Reinstitute Military Draft
Sen. Kerry was in Florida yesterday, where he continued to hammer away at the President's credibility on a variety of issues, from the economy to Social Security and Iraq. The Miami Herald says that the senator held a town hall meeting with seniors in West Palm Beach, where he "sought to shore up his support among the avid voting bloc. . .blasting the Bush administration's prescription drug program as a boon to pharmaceutical companies and a disappointment to seniors on fixed incomes." The New York Times notes Kerry said that "on Social Security and Medicare, as on Iraq, Mr. Bush had failed to level with the American people. . . . 'When your horse is drowning in midstream, it's a good time to shift.'"
However, it was Kerry's response to a question from his audience about the possibility that Bush would reinstitute the draft that made the most news. The Washington Post reports that, during the Q&A session, Kerry was asked "about unsubstantiated reports that have been circulating on the Internet and elsewhere that Bush has a plan to reinstate a military draft after the election, if he wins a second term. Kerry did not knock down that speculation. 'If George Bush were to be reelected, given the way he has gone about this war and given his avoidance of responsibility in North Korea and Iran and other places, it is possible. I can't tell you,' he said. 'I will tell you this: I will not reinstate the draft unless the United States of America faced the kind of global attack or conflagration where everybody in America understood through an open, democratic process we needed to defend this nation in that means.'" The Washington Times says "the answer, coming after his charge on Friday that Mr. Bush is planning a surprise post-election call-up of National Guard and reserve troops, is the second time in less than a week that Mr. Kerry has said the president's pursuit of the war in Iraq could have a far-reaching impact at home." The "promise drew a standing ovation from the crowd here."