The thing is, you just haven’t answered. Your strategy has been to put Vietnam at the centerpiece of this campaign season, and you’re succeeding. Now that your entire basis for being Commander-In-Chief is being directly challenged, you can’t respond to the allegations, you can only deflect and remind people that Bush wasn’t in Vietnam. It’s hard to take your party serious on that issue, John, because you proudly ran and supported a draft-dodger for 8 years on your ticket. You’re hardly the party to lecture America on the value of military service.
But here you are, front and center. You tell your opponents to “bring it on”….well, it’s been brought, John. So respond.
Here’s what you said about President Bush’s service:
“The issue here is, as I have heard it raised, is was he present and active in Alabama at the time he was supposed to be,” said Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran. “I don’t have the answer to that question and just because you get an honorable discharge does not in fact answer that question.”
Here’s what President Bush said about yours:
Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said ‘‘no one will ever question Senator Kerry’s service in Vietnam.'’
The President called Kerry’s war service noble, saying his opponent is justifiably proud of his record in Vietnam. “He views it as honorable service, and so do I,” said Bush.
So while you publicly question President Bush on his service and intentionally leave the impression that his honorable discharge doesn’t really prove his claims of service, he’s out praising your service, assuring you nobody in his administration will question it.
In fact, Moveon.org is running ads questioning President Bush’s service. I assume you’ve condemned those, right? Your spokewoman said, “what MoveOn.org is doing is perfectly fine, while what the Swift Boat Veterans are doing is “dishonest” and “dishonorable.”
You claim Bush isn’t condemning the ads against you, but in fact, Bush has condemned ALL 527 ads, saying, “They’ve said some bad things about me. I guess they’re saying bad things about him. And what I think we ought to do is not have them on the air.”
In fact, Terry McAullife, the leader of your political party said, “I look forward to that debate, when John Kerry, a war hero with a chest full of medals, is standing next to George Bush, a man who was AWOL in the Alabama National Guard.”
Now that you know he won’t personally question your service (unlike you personally questioning his), and you know he’s against the 527 organizations skirting campaign finance laws, you have to try and attach guilt by association. It’s an awkward strategy for you to take considering the facts.
You said that because the 527 group behind the ads questioning your service received $100,000 from a guy who also donates money to Republicans, that’s evidence of President Bush’s ties. Well if we’re going to use that as the baseline, let’s just look at the universe of 527s, shall we?
Of the top 50, 41 (84%) are funded by Democrats and advance Democrat issues, 5 (10%) are Republican-supported groups and the others are just issue- or industry-based organizations.
The number one 527 group in terms of money raised ($41 million+) is Joint Victory Campaign 2004. Some top contributors to this group are George Soros, who’s given over $4.5 million, Steve Bing, who’s given almost $7 million. In fact, there are 33 supporters who have given more to this single group than Bob Perry has given to the Swiftboat vets. This group is a joint effort of numbers 2 and 3 on the list, America Coming Together and The Media Fund. In fact, The Media Fund’s president and founder is Harold Ickes, deputy White House chief of staff under President Clinton. Talk about your Democrat front men.
And then we have #6 on the list, Moveon.org. George Soros has given more than $2.6 million to this group. In addition to their current ad questioning President Bush’s service record, they solicited, hosted and broadcast the ad comparing George W. Bush to Hitler. In fact, George Soros said, ” ï¿½[defeating Bush] is the central focus of my life… the 2004 presidential race is a matter of life and death.ï¿½
So we have a former Clinton staff member establishing an organization that has raised $28 million to attack Bush, a billionaire supporter of the Democrats who has given MILLIONS to organizations that constantly run attack ads on President Bush, even going so far as to host an ad on their website comparing the President to Hitler.
Under your standard:
“Here’s what you really need to know about them — they’re funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They’re a front for the Bush campaign.'’
I guess all we really need to know about those 527 organizations is that they’re funded by MILLIONS of dollars from Democrat contributors….and thus, they’re a front for the Kerry campaign.
Thanks for clearing it up. Consider the challenge met. Anything else you’d like brought on?