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Iowa Presidential Watch's

The Democrat Candidates

Holding the Democrats accountable today, tomorrow...forever.

John Kerry

excerpts from the Iowa Daily Report

July 2003

… “Kerry backs subsidies to help Boeing fight Airbus” – headline from yesterday’s Seattle Times. Coverage by the David Postman, the Times chief political reporter:  Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry says the United States should subsidize Boeing like France does Airbus. ‘I'm tired of Airbus playing all kinds of subsidy games,’ Kerry said yesterday. ‘We have to fight back, and I think the government has to do more to help leverage Boeing's position.’ Kerry, D-Mass., said he would aggressively challenge European subsidies of Airbus through the World Trade Organization. Boeing and the United States have claimed that Airbus' European government support is illegal under WTO rules. Kerry says the United States ultimately will have to use business-tax cuts and other economic measures to create an industrial policy that gives Boeing what its foreign, subsidized competitor has. ‘I think it's get-tough time,’ Kerry said from California yesterday afternoon before flying here for his speech to state Democrats. ‘We've watched while products get dumped in the United States and our people sit on their asses. We have to fight back.’ His comments about Boeing come at a time when the company's future in Washington state is unknown, and efforts to persuade Boeing to expand here have taken on great political meaning…. ‘I'm not for tariffs. I'm not for going into a trade war,’ Kerry said. ‘But if these guys are using unfair practices, I'm not going to sit by and watch.’ Kerry arrived in Seattle yesterday afternoon and held a quick fund-raiser at the Mercer Island home of Alex Alben, an executive with RealNetworks, said Kerry's spokesman, David Wade. Kerry then rode with party activists on a bus to Tacoma, where he was the featured speaker at the state party's annual dinner to honor former Gov. Al Rosellini.” (7/2/2003)

Looming question for the coming days: Will the bitter Dean-Kerry battle become bitterer as competition increases for coveted New Hampshire victory? Andrew Miga’s report in yesterday’s Boston Herald about Kerry camp’s reaction to Dean’s latest success: “Howard Dean, in a blow to bitter rival Sen. John F. Kerry, raced ahead of the Democratic presidential pack by raising more than $6.6 million over the past three months…Dean's surprise fund-raising surge jolted Kerry {D-Mass.}, with whom he is dueling in New Hampshire, a must-win primary for the Bay State senator. The Kerry camp had hoped to regain momentum this quarter after being edged for the money lead three months ago by Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). ‘Howard Dean's money reminds observers that the top tier in this campaign can only be so big and this may mean that we are moving closer to a two-man race,’ said Kerry aide Kelley Benander. Kerry and Edwards are expected to raise about $5 million for the latest quarter, which ended yesterday.”(7/2/2003)

Somebody had to do it and it appears that Greg Pierce – in yesterday’s “Inside Politics” column in the Washington Times – did. Under the subhead “Last-minute appeals,” Pierce did a postmortem on the frantic efforts by the various wannabes to inspire contributors during the final hours before Monday’s FEC deadline. Pierce’s report: “Several presidential hopefuls in the nine-member Democratic field sent out urgent pleas for last-minute cash as the second quarter's close approached Monday. ‘Only a Few Hours Left,’ said a campaign e-mail from Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri. ‘The clock is ticking,’ North Carolina Sen. John Edwards told prospective donors in another online pitch. ‘There are only 12 hours left before the critical June 30 fund-raising deadline,’ Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut senator, wrote in an e-mail message. ‘Before 12 midnight (Central Time), please visit my Web site and make a contribution to my campaign.’ Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, posted real-time totals every half hour on the Internet and urged donors to ‘hit a grand slam for Dean.’ Mr. Dean's overall total of about $7.1 million for the second quarter topped early estimates from other Democratic candidates. Officials with the campaigns of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and Mr. Edwards said they expected second-quarter totals of about $5 million. Added to their first-quarter figures of more than $7 million, they could still lead the early Democratic money race overall. Mr. Gephardt was aiming for $5 million in the second quarter, Mr. Lieberman hoped for $4 million and Sen. Bob Graham of Florida expected to report $2 million to $3 million in contributions, officials with those campaigns told AP. Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun said she raised about $150,000 during the quarter. Al Sharpton and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio did not provide estimates.” (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Other reports have indicated that Kucinich expected to report “about $1 million” for the second quarter while Sharpton supporters said he would report receiving about $100,000 in contributions.)  (7/3/2003)

… “Kerry vows to repeal portions of tax cuts” – Headline from yesterday’s Union Leader -- but it’s really a wide-ranging anti-Bush attack. (Iowa Pres Watch Note: A cynic would suggest that Kerry has intensified his attacks on the president in recent hours since Dean moved to center stage in the battle for NH and elsewhere.)  Coverage by Union Leader correspondent Jerry Miller: “Democratic Presidential hopeful John Kerry yesterday said he would repeal portions of the Bush tax cuts that he said would benefit the wealthy and criticized the President for not properly funding the AmeriCorps program. Kerry also insisted the administration must ‘internationalize’ the war against Iraq as quickly as possible in order to ‘defuse the sense of occupation.’ Kerry appeared before a crowd of more than 150 employees and invited guests at the corporate headquarters of Fisher Scientific, a manufacturer of scientific equipment.  The Bay State Democrat was introduced by Fisher chief executive officer Paul Montrone. Montrone said the 19-year Senate veteran ‘understands what it takes to create jobs and move the economy.’ ‘This is the most anti-science administration we’ve had in this country in years, if not ever,’ Kerry said. In Rollinsford, Kerry said he does not believe any of the candidates have been as tested as he has, given the four elections he has won in Massachusetts. ‘I’ve been fighting for the issues I believe in since the day when I returned from Vietnam and stood up against Richard Nixon and earned the right to be on his enemy’s list,’ Kerry said. He criticized the Bush administration for failing to fund the AmeriCorps service program.  ‘This is the biggest say-one thing-do-another administration I’ve ever seen, Kerry said to a roomful of about 100 supporters in the American Legion Hall. In Portsmouth, Martha Fuller Clark, the 2000 and 2002 Democratic nominee in New Hampshire’s first congressional district, announced her support for Kerry. Kerry has the strongest leadership, the experience and the courage to stand up to Bush, Clark said. He also said he was strong on women’s issues and abortion rights. At Fisher, Kerry’s biggest applause line came in a reference to Bush’s landing on an aircraft carrier and his deplanement in a flight suit. ‘Landing on an aircraft carrier in a borrowed suit doesn’t make up for a failed economic policy,’ he said. Should the administration propose an invasion or military action of either Iran or Syria, Kerry said he will ‘lead the effort to restore common sense.’ Such a policy would be ‘extraordinarily dangerous,’ he added. Kerry said internationalizing the conflict in Iraq would help reduce the burden on American taxpayers and reduce the deaths of American troops. However, Kerry declined to characterize the recent deaths of American forces as a guerrilla war. “(7/3/2003)

Gephardt, Kerry criticize GWB for ‘bring the on’ challenge. Under the headline “Taunting the president,” Greg Pierce – in his “Inside Politics” column – reported in yesterday’s Washington Times: “Two Democratic presidential hopefuls stepped up their criticism of President Bush yesterday, saying the commander in chief's ‘bring them on’ comment regarding Iraqi forces amounted to taunting the enemy. During a campaign appearance in Concord, N.H., Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat, said Mr. Bush's comments were hardly presidential, and he complained that the president had not leveled with the American people about how tough the war's aftermath would be. On Wednesday, Mr. Bush said American troops under fire in Iraq aren't about to pull out, and he challenged those considering attacks on U.S. forces, saying, ‘Bring them on.’…’He's president — you don't taunt the enemy,’ Mr. Gephardt told a group of about 35 at the state library. ‘You try to keep our troops safe, you try to help them in what they're doing. ... This phony, macho business is not getting us where we need to be.’ Administration officials said Mr. Bush's tone was not meant to invite attacks on U.S. troops, but rather to express confidence in the strength of the U.S. military.  One of Mr. Gephardt's rivals, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, said Mr. Bush's comment was ‘unwise, unworthy of the office and his role as commander in chief, and unhelpful to American soldiers under fire…The deteriorating situation in Iraq requires less swagger and more thoughtfulness and statesmanship.’”  (7/5/2003)

Teresa Heinz Kerry won’t touch “touchy issue” about Cape Cod wind farm proposal that would ruin her ocean view. Headline from yesterday’s Boston Herald: “Teresa on wind farm: Ask John” Herald’s Andrew Miga reported: “Teresa Heinz Kerry, an ardent and often outspoken environmentalist, yesterday refused to wade into the controversy over a proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm - a potential land mine for her husband's presidential campaign. ‘Because it's such a touchy issue and a Massachusetts issue, she's waiting,’ said her spokeswoman, Chris Black. ‘On Massachusetts issues, her feeling is that you should ask (Sen. John F. Kerry). She has not taken a formal position on the wind farm.’ Heinz Kerry's reluctance to take a stand comes as her husband, the Massachusetts Democrat, faces criticism from environmentalists, including Greenpeace, for not backing the 130-turbine windmill farm seven miles off Cape Cod.  Heinz Kerry appeared to be following the lead of the senator, who is waiting to take a position until after the Army Corps of Engineers completes its environmental study of the Cape Wind proposal. ‘I would be surprised if, at the end of the day, her position is not the same as the senator's position,’ said Black. ‘They are very close on environmental issues and share a love for the ocean and the New England coast.’ Kerry, who is running for president as a strong alternative energy advocate, must weigh fierce Bay State opposition to the project against his urgent need to win liberal Democratic votes in key primary states where rival Howard Dean threatens him. Heinz Kerry, one of the nation's leading philanthropists, has given generously to environmental causes. She also owns a mansion on Nantucket's Brant Point. Cape Wind's plan has sparked a bitter battle on Cape Cod, where many fear the 40-story-tall turbines across a 24-square-mile grid could spoil ocean views and ruin tourism. Advocates say the windmills could provide more than half of the Cape's electricity needs without generating any pollution.”(7/9/2003)

Kerry, claiming to be ahead of schedule on fundraising and organization, shuns early media blitz – but plans flurry of fall activities and formal announcement. Headline from the Boston Globe: “Kerry campaign opts to pick up pace in fall…Plans key speech at Old Ironsides” The Globe’s Glen Johnson, from Nantucket, reports:  “Senator John F. Kerry is planning a burst of campaign activity this fall, including a formal announcement speech possibly set against a backdrop of the USS Constitution, in a concerted effort to elevate his presidential candidacy among the Democratic contenders and cast himself as the party's most credible alternative to President Bush. At the conclusion of two days of meetings with 21 top political aides, the Massachusetts Democrat pronounced himself satisfied with the state of his campaign and eager to get to the voting that begins in January. ‘If someone would have told me two years ago we would be in the strong position we're in today for my first national campaign, I would not have believed it,’ Kerry said in an interview on the seaside lawn of a summer vacation home on Nantucket. ‘We're ahead of schedule in terms of raising money -- we have more cash on hand than any of the other candidates -- and we have very strong ground operations in the early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina…Obviously there are sort of some message challenges, but they are normal.’ Kerry refused to provide details about the outcome of his staff meetings, but he confirmed that he will make a public declaration of his presidential candidacy probably in September or October, possibly set against the image of the Constitution in Boston Harbor. The backdrop of ''Old Ironsides,'' the Navy's oldest commissioned warship, would not only pay tribute to the region's history, but the candidate's unique Navy combat experience…In Kerry's case, the speech will not only be aimed at elevating his national profile, but also distinguishing him from the rest of field. The campaign is also planning to unveil a number of high-profile endorsements this fall, aimed at convincing voters of Kerry's credibility as a candidate. Those supporters include Henry Cisneros, a Hispanic who was housing secretary in the Clinton administration. He prematurely revealed his support for Kerry in a recent interview with a Texas newspaper. Kerry said he and his aides made no decision about when to begin advertising in the early-voting states, but he acknowledged that the topic was discussed at the meeting. ‘I'm confident that whatever campaign spends money will go up in numbers'' in public-opinion polls, Kerry said. Howard Dean, a former governor of Vermont, saw such results in recent weeks after he became the first candidate to air TV commercials. Nonetheless, Kerry said, ‘It's too early, in my judgment.’”(7/10/2003)

… “Kerry says more troops from other nations needed in Iraq” – top New Hampshire Primary headline from yesterday’s Union Leader. Excerpt of report from Concord by AP’s Joe Magruder: “More international troops are needed in Iraq to ‘win the peace,’ a task American soldiers there now are not well trained for, Sen. John Kerry said. Asked at a campaign stop what he would do about Iraq if he were president today, the Democratic presidential hopeful said he would promptly go to NATO and the United Nations to get troops from other nations involved in the pacification and rebuilding effort. Unlike President Bush, ‘I wouldn't have the prideful problem of doing that,’ Kerry said, a reference to the administration's strained relations with allies such as France and Germany during the buildup to the war. ‘You need to get other troops in there on the ground in order to minimize the sense of American occupation and minimize the danger to American soldiers,’ Kerry said. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in an interview Tuesday with CNBC that there are now ‘some 43 countries that are talking to us about various size deployments’ in Iraq. Kerry spoke to a supportive crowd of about 150 at a reception at a home. On a sweltering evening, he stood on the front porch as the crowd on the lawn spilled out into the street. He said estimates vary, but there are about 146,000 U.S. troops trying to bring order to postwar Iraq. ‘They need more troops to do this,’ he said, referring to international forces. ‘One hundred forty-six thousand ... is not adequate.’" He defended his vote before the war to give the president authority to use force in Iraq if necessary. ‘I believe that I voted absolutely correctly,’ he said. But he said Bush failed to plan well enough for the task facing U.S. soldiers after they toppled the Iraqi regime. ‘I don't see that plan in place,’ he said. The Massachusetts senator brushed off a suggestion that Bush is riding high despite problems at home and abroad. Kerry said it's early in the campaign and there are plenty of signs of discontent with Bush. He said the key to winning next year is mobilizing. ‘I'm asking you to join me in a street army, in a crusade,’ he said.”(7/10/2003)

… “Digging for dirt? Kerry camp denies scrounging for skeletons in Dean’s Vt. closet” – Headline from yesterday’s Boston Herald. Excerpt from report by Herald’s Andrew Miga: “In the latest twist to their political feud, Sen. John F. Kerry's presidential campaign yesterday flatly denied a published report it sent staffers to Vermont to dig up dirt on rival Howard Dean and his wife. ‘The American Spectator story is a complete fabrication and we have asked for a retraction,’ said Kerry spokeswoman Kelley Benander. The conservative political magazine, quoting an anonymous Kerry aide, reported last week that the Bay State Democrat, rattled by Dean's insurgency, was ‘sending staff to Vermont to pull together whatever dirt they can find out about not only Dean but also his wife, who continues to work as a physician in the state.’  The article, noting Dean has refused to say if he performed abortions on young women he counseled, asserted that Kerry's research ‘appears to be focusing on Dean's career as a practicing physician.’ Staffers from the Spectator could not be reached for immediate comment. Dean spokeswoman Dorie Clark said the former Vermont governor was not aware of any such effort by the Kerry camp. Benander confirmed that aides to Kerry, who hired Clinton White House opposition researcher Mike Gehrke last spring, have begun scouring the public backgrounds of Democrats on the White House campaign trail as well as President Bush. ‘We are certainly getting up to speed on the public records of all the candidates in the race, including our own,’ she said. ‘We also thoroughly scrub John Kerry's background to prepare him from attacks from George W. Bush and his right-wing allies.’ Tensions between the Kerry and Dean campaigns have run high in recent weeks as Dean has risen among the ranks, threatening Kerry in New Hampshire and topping the rest of the Democratic pack in fund raising for the past quarter.” (7/11/2003)

Kerry, apparently bored with attacks on GWB’s Iraq/intelligence situation, decides to move agenda to education – again. Excerpts from report by the AP’s Will Lester: “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry criticized President Bush on Thursday for offering slogans and rhetoric about improving education but failing to provide enough money to upgrade the nation's schools. ‘I can't wait to crisscross this country and hold the president accountable for making a mockery of the words leave no child behind,’ the Massachusetts senator told about 3,000 teachers attending a conference of the American Federation of Teachers. ‘This is the biggest 'say one thing, do another' administration that I've seen.’ Kerry said Bush's tax cuts are making it difficult for the federal government to support school programs, and he criticized an administration proposal to give control for Head Start preschool programs to the states. ‘Every single person who knows anything about Head Start or education understands what they're really trying to do is put it in a block grant and shove it off on the states which already have a lot of problems,’ Kerry said. The Democrat said administration officials ‘should tell the truth about their intentions, they ought to tell the truth about a lot of the things they're doing today.’” (7/11/2003)

Kerry, Vietnam hero and Vietnam antiwar activist: “I learned a long time ago in Vietnam what happens when pride gets in the way of making honest decisions.”  Headline from yesterday’s Boston Herald: “Kerry dares president to ‘tell truth’ about war” Excerpt from report by the Herald’s Noelle Straub: “Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday blasted President Bush for prematurely declaring an end to the war in Iraq, demanding the president ‘tell the truth’ as casualties continue to mount. ‘It's been days since the president was flown to an aircraft carrier to announce that hostilities in Iraq had ended,’ Kerry said. ‘Now, clearly, it's time for the president to step forward and tell the truth that the war is continuing and so are the casualties.’ The Massachusetts Democrat - seeking to unseat Bush in 2004 - charged the president with a litany of mistakes in Iraq, including putting too few troops in the field, failing to garner more international support and having no plan for the war's aftermath.  ‘It is time for the president to tell the truth that we lack sufficient forces to do the job of reconstruction in Iraq and withdraw in a reasonable period,’ he said…The four steps Kerry said the administration should take in Iraq are increasing overall troop strength with allied help, training Iraqi police more rapidly, laying out a clear plan for transfer of power to Iraqis, and moving more quickly to provide such basic services as electricity and transportation. Kerry said he stands by his vote approving a resolution authorizing Bush to use force against Iraq, regretting only ‘that this president did such a bad job on diplomacy.’ Kerry said it appears Bush is not encouraging allies to send troops because he's taking a ‘prideful road,’ against France and other countries that did not support the war. He added, ‘I learned a long time ago in Vietnam what happens when pride gets in the way of making honest decisions.’”(7/12/2003)

…  At Hispanic convention in Bush Country – Austin, Texas – Kerry intensifies attacks on GWB, promises to “fight” for health coverage for every child. Excerpt of coverage by AP’s April Castro yesterday on the Austin American-Statesman online edition: “On President Bush's home turf, Democratic hopeful John Kerry on Sunday lambasted the president's record on the issues of health care, education and immigration, while making a powerful pitch for the sought-after Hispanic vote. ‘Last election, he promised so much to win your votes,’ Kerry said. ‘But President Bush won't be running on his rhetoric this time, he'll be running on his record.’ Kerry, one of the early front-runners for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, was a guest speaker at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group…’This president is accountable for making a mockery of the words leave no child behind, ‘ Kerry said, noting that one in four Hispanic children in the United States are without health insurance. Kerry said that, if elected, he would fight to ensure health coverage for every child.”(7/15/2003)

Dean vs. Kerry -- Again: Headline from the Boston Globe – “Dean, Kerry showdown looms…Leading Democrats vie for Granite State” Excerpt by the Globe’s Glen Johnson reported from Concord about the continuing New Hampshire battle between the New England neighbors: “Kerry has led by as many as 12 percentage points, but Dean's recent success in outraising the field, with $7.5 million in the quarter that ended June 30, the Internet and grass-roots effort that propelled it, and the media attention it has attracted, have raised the stakes for Kerry. A near-favorite son candidate in New Hampshire, Kerry could be severely wounded by a loss -- or merely a close victory -- in the Jan. 27 primary, especially if Dean surpasses him eight days earlier in the kickoff Iowa caucuses. Such a one-two punch is at the heart of Dean's campaign strategy. This has put a target on his back for all the candidates, especially Kerry, whose campaign team leaders say they are confident they can blunt Dean's surge… Amid that instability, candidates such as Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina are increasing their local campaign appearances, opening regional offices around the state, and working phone banks to broaden their ranks of supporters. ‘Obviously, there's an advantage’ for Kerry and Dean ‘being from next door, and it may be a challenge, but I think Joe Lieberman is up to the challenge,’ said a Lieberman spokeswoman, Kristin Carvell. Peter Greenberger, Lieberman's New Hampshire state director, added: ‘And it creates an opportunity for us because it greatly raises expectations for them.’ In an interview, Dean also dismissed talk of a contest confined to him and Kerry. ‘I know the press wants to do that; I think that's a mistake,’ the former governor said after a two-day campaign strategy session in Burlington, Vt. ‘There are other candidates who are working very hard, and I know that hard work matters. I think it's a little too early to distill it down that far. In the end, I think it will be more than just me versus John. I think there will be other candidates assessed.’ Kerry said his focus was not on Dean or the other candidates, but on his own campaign. ‘I'm going to work very hard at it,’ Kerry said in an interview on Nantucket, after his own two-day campaign planning session. ‘There's an ebb and flow to these things, and you have to be steady. That's what this process does, part of the test it poses, and you've just got to go through it.’ In a monthly opinion survey conducted by the American Research Group Inc. of Manchester that asked likely Democratic primary voters whom they would choose, Kerry and Dean have split an average of 43 percent of the vote over the first half of the year. In June, Kerry led with 28 percent and Dean was second with 18 percent.”(7/15/2003)

Neither Dean nor Kerry likes to admit how much each stands in the other's path to the nomination, although the regular potshots between their staffs prove that reality. Dean said there are no hard feelings between the men, although their earlier engagement suggested there is hostility coupled with annoyance. ‘There's certainly no animosity -- certainly on my side,’ Dean said last week between fundraising calls at his Burlington, Vt., office. Kerry, asked about Dean during an interview at The Washington Post on Thursday, refused to be drawn into a discussion about how the Dean insurgency has affected his own candidacy.(7/16/2003)

Kerry says administration is “big on bluster and short on action” in remarks at vets memorial hall in NYC. Headline from Boston Herald online yesterday: “Kerry says Bush hasn’t matched rhetoric, actions” Excerpts from AP report: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says President Bush hasn't matched tough rhetoric with strong actions and is suffering from a credibility gap on national security. ‘The gap between America's national security and this administration's deeds is widening every day,'’ Kerry said in remarks prepared for delivery at a veterans' memorial hall in New York City Wednesday. ‘Americans have a right to ask: Are we safer today than we were on Sept. 11?’ Kerry asked. ‘Are our nation's firefighters and police officers better prepared to wage the war on terror?’  The Massachusetts senator said the Bush administration has shortchanged police and firefighters by denying them ‘the equipment and support to defend America from danger. We cannot afford to leave the front lines of home security without the resources they need any more than we can afford to leave our soldiers vulnerable to attack in Iraq,’ he said. Appearing on NBC's ‘Today’ show in advance of the speech, Kerry was asked whether he thought the United States was more safe than before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. ‘In airline security and a few other things we are,’ he replied, ‘but we haven't done what we need to do for what the president and others have said is inevitable. They say there is an evitability of attack.’…’We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad while closing them in Brooklyn,’ Kerry said. Americans should trust the intelligence that guides them into war, he said. Calling the Bush administration ‘big on bluster and short on action,’ Kerry said combative rhetoric not matched by stronger homeland security is dangerous. And he called for more international help in policing Iraq.” Among specific criticisms of the Bush administration Kerry cited during his comments: Going to war with Iraq without a ‘plan to win the peace.’ …Stalling investigations of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks…Failing to invest enough in the police, fire and emergency workers responsible for the safety of the homeland. (7/17/2003)

Get used to this rhetoric – Kerry tests new anti-Bush strategy (and themes) during an off-Broadway performance in NYC. Headline from yesterday’s Boston Globe: “Criticism of Bush intensifies” Excerpt from New York report by unfortunate Globe staffer Glen Johnson (who will have to endure this Kerry craziness over coming weeks): “Senator John F. Kerry yesterday attacked President Bush's credibility over his statements justifying the war with Iraq and professing a commitment to homeland security, as the Massachusetts Democrat opened what aides said would be a broader challenge to the Republican incumbent's truthfulness. In the coming weeks, the Democratic presidential contender also plans to challenge Bush's credibility on economic, education, and other issues, arguing that the president's deeds have not matched his promises. The new campaign tack builds on a news conference Kerry held last week calling on Bush to ‘tell the truth that the war is continuing and so are the casualties.’  In the speech yesterday at the Bronx County Building, Kerry told an audience including several New York City firefighters that Bush had failed to live up to promises to strengthen homeland security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Kerry complained that police officers and firefighters are being laid off, labor rules are being changed by the administration to cut their overtime pay, and basic needs such as adequate numbers of radios, breathing equipment, and specialized tools to search a collapsed building are going unmet.  Kerry labeled the difference between where the country is and where it needs to be in terms of homeland security as ‘the preparedness gap.’”(7/18/2003)

… “Kerry questions Bush’s integrity” – Headline from yesterday’s Des Moines Register. Excerpts from Mount Pleasant report by the Register’s Thomas Beaumont:  “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday the controversy about the Bush administration's use of flawed intelligence before the war in Iraq is just one of several White House blunders leading up to the war. ‘This is not about 16 words,’ Kerry, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, said before a campaign stop in Mount Pleasant. Kerry was referring to a passage in President Bush's State of the Union speech in January that the White House acknowledged this month was untrue. Bush asserted that the British government had intelligence showing that Iraq sought nuclear weapons material in Africa. ‘This is about the overall approach to the war and the question of whether or not a lot of the intelligence was accurate,’ Kerry said. CIA Director George Tenet has taken responsibility for failing to stop the passage about Africa from getting into the speech. British Prime Minister Tony Blair stood by the report Thursday, calling it ‘sound intelligence.’ Kerry and rival Democrat Howard Dean, who also campaigned Friday in Iowa, scoffed at Blair's statement. But Dean, the former governor of Vermont, said Kerry and three other Democrats seeking the 2004 nomination bear some responsibility for the Bush mistake because they supported the war. Dean opposed the war. U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, U.S. Sens. Kerry, John Edwards of North Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut voted for the resolution in Congress last fall that gave Bush authority to attack Iraq. ‘I want to know why the four fellows I'm running against swallowed it hook, line and sinker, if I could figure it out from Vermont,’ said Dean, who completed a two-day Iowa visit with stops around Des MoinesKerry has said he based his vote on intelligence, but declined to say whether the questions had prompted him to reconsider the decision. ‘I know that the statements of the administration, the certitude of the existence of weapons . . . all those things have not panned out,’ he said. ‘Something's off here.’ Kerry has accused Bush of misleading Americans by his use of some suspect prewar intelligence. He broadened the attack Friday to also accuse Bush of breaking promises to create jobs and control spending, citing rising unemployment and a record federal budget deficit. ‘There is an enormous credibility issue about this administration and this president, not just about 16 words,’ he told about 75 activists during a stop at a Burlington union hall Friday. ‘The gap is about all the promises to the American people.’”(7/20/2003)

… “Kerry blames Bush for cuts, economy during visit to Q-C” – Headline in yesterday’s Quad-City Times. Excerpt from Kathie Obradovich’s report on Kerry’s campaign stop in Bettendorf: Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry told Quad-City Democrats Saturday that he blames the president’s tax cuts for the plight of working people. ‘The one person in the United States of America who deserves to be laid off is George W. Bush,’ Kerry told a capacity crowd of about 150 at the United Steel Workers of America hall. Kerry, one of nine candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, laid the nation’s economic woes at the feet of the president’s tax cuts and the national deficit. “We could put people back to work in America tomorrow if we weren’t forcing governors to cut services and raise taxes for a ... national deficit while we give $350 billion in dividends tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans,’ he said. He said the war in Iraq wouldn’t distract Americans from economic issues, even as he poked fun at Bush’s post-war appearance on an aircraft carrier. ‘Having a Navy pilot land you on an aircraft carrier in a borrowed suit does not make up for losing three million jobs,’ he said. Kerry said later that his sister, Diana, a middle-school teacher in Boston, was laid off last week. ‘Why are we laying off teachers in the United States of America? Because George Bush wants to give the richest Americans a tax cut? Shame on us,’ he said, his voice rising. In an interview, he said he wasn’t angry about his sister, but about the lack of support for teachers across the country. ‘It’s not fair for me to get upset just because my sister is in a plight. It’s just that it’s representative, and she just happens to be a teacher,’ he said. ‘I’m just upset about teachers across the country that are being laid off. It’s not the way to reflect our commitment to education in the country,’ he said. ‘It just happens to be in our family, too.’ Kerry told the Quad-City crowd that his plans to create jobs include a payroll tax holiday for working people, an increase in the personal tax exemption and a rewriting of trade agreements with other countries.”(7/21/2003)

Kerry plays political catch-up – says the current administration is the “single most say-one-thing-do another administration” during his 19 years in Congress. Headline from yesterday’s Daily Iowan (University of Iowa), which published for the first time since Kerry’s weekend campaign swing. Excerpts from report the DI’s Annie Shuppy filed from Anamosa: “A Democratic presidential hopeful made his case for greater accountability in American leadership [Saturday] to a group of supporters. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., told a crowd of 75 at the National Motorcycle Museum that the U.S. economy, education system, and foreign policy are in need of remedy. The 59-year-old former prosecutor contended that President Bush's leadership has left millions jobless and has compromised security both at home and abroad. This administration is the single most say-one-thing-do-another administration in the 19 years I've been in the Senate,’ said Kerry, who was first elected in 1984. ‘We are six months away [from the caucuses] at a moment when Iowa has the opportunity to set this country on a different course.’ Kerry defended his congressional vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, but he criticized the way Bush has carried out his responsibility. Like Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., Kerry, who has served 18 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and six years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he advocated securing support from the United Nations before invading Iraq. My vote was 100-percent correct based on the information we were given and intelligence reports,’ Kerry said…The decorated Vietnam veteran touted his ability to create jobs, make the United States less dependent on foreign oil, and formulate a health-care system that will ensure coverage for everyone. He also said he will strive to bring security back to America and reform a ‘separate but unequal’ school system that depends on a property-tax base.”(7/22/2003)

… “Kerry’s defense would be outright laughable if offered for, say, a budgetary issue.” – sentence from Daily Iowa (University of Iowa) editorial. Headline from the DI editorial: “Kerry, Dems passing the buck like Bush” Editorial excerpts: “It seems everyone is eager to cut bait from the exaggerated and manufactured evidence concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. As more evidence surfaced destroying the veracity of the Bush administration's fear-inspiring intelligence on the Iraqi threat, President Bush and his staff began passing the blame to the British intelligence and CIA Director George Tenet. And during last weekend's Eastern Iowa campaign stop, Democratic candidate John Kerry told members of the DI editorial board that he stood ‘100 percent’ by his vote in support of military action in Iraq earlier this year but qualified it with his own passed blame by saying his vote was ‘based on the information I had at the time.’ Kerry's defense allows him to retain his now seemingly antiwar campaign message while defending his middle-of-the-road and politically safe actions earlier this year. Other Democrats, including Rep. Dick Gephardt, D- Mo., have similarly talked out of both sides of their mouth to fault the Bush administration while defending their own actions. The Bush administration's haphazard acceptance of questionable information is understandable, because the faulty information forwarded its agenda. Even if all members of the upper echelon in the Bush administration knew the intelligence information regarding Iraq's attempts to purchase uranium was questionable at best, they had reason to stand behind it and hope real evidence surfaced before the faulty was revealed. While that kind of manipulation and deception is inexcusable, it is understandable. If the motivation behind Kerry's vote lies squarely on the same bad information for which Bush is bucking all responsibility, he has actually done a greater disservice than those who deliberately deceive. Kerry is a four-term senator and a member of the opposition party that lacked cohesion and credibility leading up to the war. He owed it to his colleagues and constituents to examine the credibility of the information before giving the go-ahead for military force. By passing off responsibility for that to ‘the information I had at the time,’ he fails in his duty to his party and his constituents. In electing our leaders, we put a great deal of responsibility as well as faith in the people sent to public office. Kerry and his staff should have done more research and proceeded more thoughtfully before casting such a crucial vote. Kerry's defense would be outright laughable if offered for, say, a budgetary issue. It is difficult to imagine him saying, ‘I voted for tax relief for the wealthy because the president said it was a good idea, and I trusted him. He misled me and the American people.’ It seems to be a contagious political plague lately for our leaders to want their cake and eat it, too. Kerry abandoned his party during a crucial turning point and later jumped on the anti-Bush and antiwar bandwagon. Either Kerry needs to clarify his campaign message, or he owes his constituents an apology for voting before thinking.”(7/23/2003)

Apparently Kerry hasn’t spotted the error of his ways and launches another volley at the President. The Union Leader, in a headline, offers a reason why Kerry is intensifying his anti-Bush rhetoric: “Pressured by anti-war wing, Kerry escalates Bush attacks” Another headline from yesterday’s Washington Times: “Bush sidestepped process on war in Iraq, Kerry says” Excerpt from the Times coverage by Amy Fagan: “Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry yesterday said President Bush ‘circumvented’ the process laid out in the congressional resolution authorizing action against Iraq, which Mr. Kerry supported in the Senate last year. Mr. Kerry, of Massachusetts, said the president promised to build the international coalition, work through the United Nations and go to war as a last resort. ‘It is clear now that he didn't do that sufficiently,’ Mr. Kerry told reporters in a telephone conference call yesterday. He said the Iraq war resolution supported Mr. Bush exhausting diplomatic efforts before going to war, and working through the United Nations. ‘The president circumvented that process,’ he said…Mr. Kerry defended his Senate vote in favor of the Iraq resolution, however, saying it was the right vote, ‘based on the information that we were given.’ He said he voted for it with the expectation that the United States would build an international coalition and exhaust other remedies before attacking. He said he was not voting to give Mr. Bush permission ‘to make an end run around the United Nations.’ White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said all efforts were exhausted and the administration did indeed work through the United Nations. Though the U.N. Security Council did not pass a resolution authorizing the war in Iraq, Miss Buchan pointed to the U.N. resolution passed by the Security Council in November of last year, which gave Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations. ‘After 12 years of Saddam Hussein's defiance of the world and 17 U.N. resolutions, the president determined it was imperative to act,’ she said. Miss Buchan also said there was an international coalition of countries involved in the war. Christine Iverson, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said Mr. Kerry should be more direct on the issue. ‘If Senator Kerry regrets his vote to remove Saddam Hussein, he should just say so. If Senator Kerry would change his vote to remove Saddam Hussein, he should just say so. If Senator Kerry is embarrassed by his vote because it's unpopular with the antiwar base of his party, he should just say so,’ she said. Mr. Kerry again called for an investigation into the intelligence surrounding the decision to go to war with Iraq. But he said his primary concern at this point is ensuring that we "win the peace" there. To do this, Mr. Kerry said, the administration needs to build an international force in Iraq, which it has not done. He said there are 147,000 American troops in Iraq right now and only 13,000 troops from other countries. ‘We need to internationalize this. We need to do it now. We need to do it openly,’ he said. He said some countries would like to help, but want to do so under a U.N. mandate. ‘I know for a fact that there are countries prepared to be helpful’ if they were acting under the United Nations, he said.”(7/23/2003)

Re Kerry’s “Iraqgate” initiative: Campaign  -- and life – to be more interesting for Kerry after Washington Times’ columnist McCaslin revives 11/17/97 account about Kerry’s concern about Saddam’s “stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.” Under the subhead “Kerry’s War,” John McCaslin wrote in his “Inside the Beltway” column in yesterday’s Washington Times: “Suffice it to say that Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry has made ‘Iraqgate’ the theme of his campaign. On virtually every stump he's stood on this week, the Massachusetts Democrat has complained that President Bush sidestepped the congressionally approved path to war by bypassing the United Nations, by not building an international coalition, and simply by not doing what it was that he had promised to do (actually, one could argue that the senator is wrong on all three counts). Forget that Mr. Kerry voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution. He did so, he now says, with the understanding that Mr. Bush would exhaust every remedy first. What was the big hurry, in other words. But let's revisit Nov. 17, 1997, when nobody else in Washington except the Inside the Beltway column led with an item headlined, ‘Finish the mission.’’Debate on whether to take out Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi strongman, is over as far as one Democratic senator is concerned,’ or so we had written. ‘Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts is calling for a 'strong' military attack in response to the Iraqi leader's 'horrific objective of amassing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.'’ Weapons of mass destruction? That's what Mr. Kerry called them'This should not be a strike consisting only of a handful of cruise missiles hitting isolated targets primarily of presumed symbolic value. But how long this military action might continue and how it may escalate ... and how extensive it would reach are for the [White House National] Security Council and our allies to know and for Saddam Hussein to find out!' Just as you wished, Senator.”(7/24/2003)

“Dean’s Web-a-thon reaches $5 million” – Headline from yesterday’s Union Leader. Excerpt from AP report: “Democratic Presidential hopeful Howard Dean’s Web-a-thon goes on: Dean’s campaign announced yesterday that it has collected more than $5 million over the Internet so far this year. The former Vermont governor’s campaign is the first in the 2004 Presidential race to hit that level of Internet fundraising.  Dean took in about $802,000 in a day-long Web drive last month to boost his second-quarter fundraising to more than $7 million. His campaign posted a real-time total throughout the day on June 30, the end of the last fundraising period, and urged contributors to give more to increase the amount. Dean has raised at least $775,000 over the Internet so far this month, spokeswoman Tricia Enright said.” (7/24/2003)

… Headline of the day from the Washington Times: “3 Democrats risk black vote again” The Urban League might as well schedule some time later for Lieberman, Graham and Kerry to show up to offer their apologies for not showing up in the first place. Excerpts from coverage by the Times’ Steve Miller: “Three Democratic presidential hopefuls have not agreed to appear at the National Urban League's annual convention in Pittsburgh next week, putting them at risk of again being distanced from black voters, an overwhelmingly Democratic bloc. President Bush and six Democrats have committed to speak at the nationally renowned black group's convention Monday, the first gathering that includes both the Democratic aspirants and the president. Democratic Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Bob Graham of Florida and John Kerry of Massachusetts have not committed. ‘It's a great platform for Democrats, and it will give Bush an opportunity to give a record of what he did in Africa,’ said Donna Brazile, who heads the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute. ‘This is a very important speech to give, this is not a sound bite. And if they will be following Bush, they will be able to critique his speech.’ Democratic sources yesterday said several candidates had opted out of the gala until Sunday when The Washington Times reported that Mr. Bush would attend. ‘All of them wanted to go, and some had already set the wheels in motion for it, but [the president´s appearance] made it more important,’ said one Democrat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Several calls to the campaigns of Mr. Graham, Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Kerry were not returned. Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun, the two black candidates in the Democratic field, and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina pledged to appear at least a week ago. A spokeswoman for the Urban League said that ‘in the last couple of days,’ Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio and Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had confirmed they would address the convention on Monday. The Democratic candidates who will not attend are aware of the fallout. Last week, leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were outraged that Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Kucinich and Mr. Gephardt did not participate in a candidates forum at their convention in Miami Beach, Fla.”(7/25/2003)

… The New York numbers are in – Bush $3.1 million, Kerry $1.7 million, Lieberman $1.4 million, Edwards $1.2 million, Sharpton $14,010. From DC, AP’s Devlin Barrett writes about NY and related fundraising numbers: “New Yorkers have given more than $6 million to Democratic presidential contenders in the first half of 2003, but home state candidate Al Sharpton has received just $14,010. Nationally, Sharpton lags far behind the big-name candidates in fund-raising, but the disparity only grows within New York, according to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). In the first half of 2003, according to the CRP, Sen. John Kerry led among New York Democratic donors with $1.7 million, followed by Connecticut's Sen. Joe Lieberman with $1.4 million, and John Edwards of North Carolina with $1.2 million. Coming in fourth was former Vermont governor Howard Dean, with $844,749 followed by Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri with $804,501. Sen. Bob Graham of Florida collected just under $100,000. New York is a key fund-raising state for both parties. President Bush has taken in nearly $3.1 million, figures show. Sharpton's relatively tiny $14,010 beats out only Carol Moseley Braun, a former U.S. Senator from Illinois who took in $5,750 from New Yorkers, according to the CRP. The largest share of Sharpton's money comes from Michigan, specifically the Detroit area, which contributed $36,000, followed by Pennsylvania with $17,000. New York state is third on the list, counting for just 11 percent of his campaign money. He has raised a little more than $184,000 nationwide. The activist's campaign manager, Frank Watkins, said the numbers show Sharpton ‘made the most mileage with the least amount of fuel.’”(7/25/2003)

Dean-Kerry War Report: In efforts to promote his ideas, Kerry faces “one formidable obstacle” – Dean. Headline from Friday’s Boston Globe: “Dean won’t let Kerry off the hook” Excerpts from commentary by the Globe’s Scot Lehigh: “It’s time to focus on how best to build a democracy in Iraq, Bill Clinton said on CNN this week. And as he runs for president, John Kerry would clearly love to do just that. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, the Massachusetts senator tried. Citing his Vietnam War experience, he called upon the Bush administration to put aside ‘false pride’ and seek help from both NATO and the UN in Iraq. But in attempting to shift campaign attention from the decision to wage the war to his ideas for winning the peace, Kerry faces one formidable obstacle: former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Dean insists that his campaign isn't based on contrasting his antiwar stance with the prowar positions of his leading Democratic rivals but rather on balancing the budget and jump-starting the economy. Still, Tuesday found him holding a New Hampshire event to criticize the Democratic candidates who voted for the October congressional resolution authorizing force in Iraq. ‘There are four candidates who voted for this,’ Dean said in an interview. ‘What I am not going to do is allow those four candidates to try to pretend they did something different in October from what they did.’…Although Dean doesn't single Kerry out, there's no mistaking his principal target; the example the Vermonter offers is a close approximation of the senator's rhetoric. Meanwhile, Dean is using his own antiwar stand to lay claim to the very leadership quality Kerry's campaign boasts of in their man: a tough-minded, probing independence that prompts him to ask the right questions and arrive at difficult but correct decisions…For their part, Kerry aides point to a number of Dean's prewar statements that sound like the senator's own, comments in which Dean said he thought Saddam might well have biochemical weapons and that he needed to be disarmed. (It's important to note, however, that Dean also said that absent clear evidence of a threat to the United States, he did not see the case for ''unilateral'' action in Iraq.) Convinced that their own candidate has locked up a spot in the campaign's first tier, Kerry's strategists are content to see Dean claim a place there as well, believing that his candidacy stunts those that might otherwise develop into more-formidable contenders. Certainly Dean owns the current non-Kerry campaign energy. But it may be a mistake to underestimate his staying power. Whatever the initial implausibility of a tiny-state candidate, Dean daily proves himself smart and nimble - and determined to exploit an issue that has been his own ticket to the top tier. The Vermonter should forgo attacks on his fellow Democrats, follow Kerry's lead, and focus on winning the peace, objects Jim Jordan, Kerry's campaign manager. Yet he seems resigned that the summer skirmishes prefigure an eventual clash between the two New Englanders. ‘We are happy in ... the coming months to have an ongoing debate with Dr. Dean about which candidate is most knowledgeable about foreign and military affairs, about which candidate will keep this country strong and safe, and about which candidate is most fit to serve as commander in chief,’ said Jordan. Look for that debate to be intense, energetic, and well argued - on both sides.”(7/27/2003)

Kerry, in broadcast to be aired today, brings up the Q-word – quagmire – in discussing Iraq, but refuses to pull trigger on an outright hit on U. S. troops or GWB. In typical Kerry fashion, he tried to find middle ground on the war situation – while Dean goes directly to the credibility issues. Headline from yesterday’s Register: “Kerry: Iraq a potential quagmire…He criticizes postwar planning, while Dean questions Bush’s credibility” Excerpts from report by Register’s Beaumont: “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry drew a parallel Friday between postwar Iraq and wartime Vietnam, but stopped short of declaring that U.S. troops had become bogged down in Iraq. ‘Our soldiers are being lost every day in Iraq because we didn't have a plan in place in order to secure it properly,’ the Massachusetts senator said during a taping of Iowa Public Television's ‘Iowa Press.’ ‘The question is how many young Americans have to die in the process of getting it right.’ Kerry's appearance on ‘Iowa Press,’ which airs Sunday, was the first event of a two-day campaign swing through Iowa, where precinct caucuses in January start the 2004 presidential nominating season. Afterward, Kerry told reporters that post-war Iraq had ‘not yet’ become a quagmire, but added, ‘It's possible that it could develop there, if there isn't a wisdom applied to these next months of decisions.’ The war has been a leading issue in the early campaign for the Democratic nomination. Kerry is among four candidates who voted last year in Congress to authorize President Bush to order the attack. The other five candidates in the field opposed the war. Kerry also campaigned in Ames, where he met with a dozen business leaders at an Italian restaurant and later addressed about 150 Democratic activists at a furniture store. He also campaigned in Marshalltown and addressed the convention of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Des Moines on Friday evening. Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, has accused Bush of misrepresenting intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction before the war to bolster the administration's case for war. He recently broadened the attack to question Bush's credibility on domestic policy issues. ‘I believe the credibility of having a tax cut and not having deficits has been destroyed,’ Kerry said. ‘I can run down a long list where the credibility of this administration is at issue.’ Rival candidate Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, has said Bush misled Americans before the war, which Dean opposed. Friday, he took a tone similar to Kerry's, attacking Bush's credibility on domestic policy during the second day of a two-day Iowa campaign swing. ‘My attitude is the president's lack of credibility on the war has opened up our ability to question his credibility on domestic issues as well,’ Dean said from Osceola. ‘We now find there are numerous times where he has said one thing and made promises that he's not only not kept but done the opposite,’ he said. ‘He claims tax cuts would create jobs. Instead we have 3 million that we've lost.’ Dean also addressed the AFSCME convention in Des Moines on Friday evening.”(7/27/2003)

… “Kerry Blasts Bush on 911 Report, Saudis…Democratic Candidate Campaigning in Carroll” – Headline from KCCI-TV (Des Moines) online. Excerpt from report on Kerry’s visit to western Iowa yesterday: “Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is calling on President George W. Bush to make public a section of a report of an investigation into the ties between Saudi Arabia and terrorist networks. Kerry spoke Tuesday during a campaign stop in Carroll. He said his proposal is timed to coincide with the president's meetings with Saudi officials in Washington. He said it's an opportunity for Bush to make the record clear. The Saudis have called on Bush to release the report as well, saying it will show they have no ties to terrorism. The Bush administration has declined, saying that would interfere with ongoing investigations. At the same time, Kerry said the U.S. is hamstrung by its reliance on Saudi oil, which weakens America's ability to influence events in the region. He said it's time for the U.S. to develop energy independence.”(7/30/2003)

In Iowa, Kerry blasts Bush for “trickle down economics” and sets new standard for size of crowd and enthusiasm during Sioux City visit. Headline from yesterday’s Sioux City Journal: “Kerry critical of Bush economic ‘trickle’ policies” Excerpts from coverage by the Journal’s Bret Hayworth: “Citing the ‘extreme’ Bush administration as ripe for ouster, Democratic Party presidential candidate John Kerry said the recent tax cuts need to be scaled back for so many more things that America needs. The Massachusetts senator said the tax cuts only help ‘the wealthiest Americans,’ while endeavors in education, health care and transportation are left wanting. Kerry said President Bush should know better than to put forth the tired platform of ‘trickle down economics,’ with the theory that tax cuts to the richest will make their way down to the working class. In a dig that drew cheers from the crowd at the Elks Lodge No. 112 in Sioux City, Kerry opined that ‘everybody I meet is kind of tired about being trickled on by George W. Bush.’ Kerry said with 3 million jobs lost since Bush took office in January 2001, the worst growth rate since World War II and with the administration turning a federal budget surplus into record deficits now estimated at $475 billion, Bush has ‘the worst economic record since Herbert Hoover was the president.’ Said Kerry, ‘The only thing that George W. Bush has created is the nine of us running for president... It ought to be clear that the person who needs to be laid off is George W. Bush.’ Kerry said no true conservative Republican would back the fiscal irresponsibility of such deficits. Kerry said as president he would repeal the tax cut to those with incomes over $200,000…The new standard for size of crowd and enthusiasm in a Sioux City 2004 public campaign stop belongs to Kerry. Since the first stumping in mid-March by Rep. Dick Gephardt, Kerry holds the high-water mark for Democrats following Monday evening's festive gathering of 210 Siouxlanders at the Elks Lodge. Lots of the attendees wanted pictures with the senator.”(7/30/2003)

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