Friday, January 30, 2004

They Clinton'd Gore, Gore'd Dean and now they are trying to Dean Kerry

One of the arguments that have been made in favor of Kerry is that, because he is a vetern and because he voted for the war in Iraq he would be less vulnerable to attacks on his national security stance.

Apparently Dubya's campaign manager didn't get that memo:

With Sen. John Kerry surging to the front of the Democratic pack, the head of President Bush's re-election effort took aim at him Friday, charging that the Massachusetts senator's voting record shows a weakness on national security issues.

"We value Senator Kerry's honorable and heroic service in Vietnam. But we question his judgment in consistently voting to cut defense and intelligence funding critical to national security," said Ken Mehlman, Bush's campaign manager, speaking at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting.

Mehlman charged that Kerry tried to cut $8 billion from intelligence budgets during the 1990s, and that his proposals "were so reckless" that he couldn't find any co-sponsors in the Senate.

Mehlman also said that when Kerry first entered the Senate in the mid-1980s, "he sought to cancel the very weapons systems that are winning the war on terror and maintaining our military strength. He opposed Ronald Reagan's efforts to fight communism in our hemisphere and opposed the first Gulf War."

The head of the Bush campaign also brought up a comment Kerry made last April, days before U.S. and coalition forces entered Baghdad, that regime change was needed not only in Iraq but also in Washington.

"While our troops were at risk in Iraq, John Kerry compared the commander in chief to Saddam Hussein, calling for regime change in the United States," Mehlman said.

Mehlman's comments have been carefully crafted in Rove Labs for the last several months, just waiting for the time to strike. These are pretty harsh attacks, but they are only the first round. They must really have some nasty stuff in the quiver if they are going to hit with things like this now.

To repeat what I have said on this blog a thousand times: there is no such thing as a candidate who is safe from the most scurrilous of attacks from the Republicans.


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