Skip to comments.DRUDGE: BUSH NOW ADMITS BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY...
Posted on 02/27/2006 3:16:50 PM PST by laurieheldsEdited on 02/27/2006 3:36:11 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FEB 27, 2006 18:01:23 ET XXXXX
BUSH NOW ADMITS BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY
President Bush now says his 2004 victory over Sen. John Kerry, who is mulling a comeback in 2008, was inadvertently aided by al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
And Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, who steadfastly refused to defend Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth when he ran Bushs campaign, now calls them heroes who played a crucial role in vanquishing Kerry.
Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent for the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, scores another exclusive for Tuesday editions with explosive excerpts from his new book, STRATEGERY.
For the first time, the president says he was helped by bin Laden, who put out a videotaped diatribe against Bush the Friday before the 2004 election.
Bush said there were enormous amounts of discussion inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called an interesting entry by our enemy into the presidential race.
What does it mean? Is it going to help? Is it going to hurt? he said in an exclusive interview for the new book STRATEGERY. Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because youre not sure of the effect.
I thought it was going to help, he decided. I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesnt want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.
Mehlman agreed, citing polls that show Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats on matters of national security.
It reminded people of the stakes, he said in an interview for STRATEGERY. It reinforced an issue on which Bush had a big lead over Kerry.
Even the mainstream media fretted about the tapes potential to help Bush. Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite told CNN that White House strategist Karl Rove probably set up bin Laden to this thing.
The bin Laden tape was not the only curveball thrown at Bush in the closing days of the campaign. The NEW YORK TIMES published a story faulting the administration for failing to safeguard a cache of weapons in Iraq that went missing around the time of the U.S. invasion more than eighteen months earlier.
Some Republicans regarded the story as a political stink bomb, much like the revelation just before the 2000 election that Bush had once been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Bush said the weapons flap was different from the DUI story, which defined me personallyas opposed to my policies. And theres a difference.
The Times quoted Kerry accusing the president of incredible incompetence and calling the missing explosives one of the great blunders of Iraq.
Bush responded by turning Kerrys newfound concern over weapons against him.
After repeatedly calling Iraq the wrong war, and a diversion, Senator Kerry this week seemed shocked to learn that Iraq was a dangerous place, full of dangerous weapons, Bush deadpanned, drawing laughter from an audience in Pennsylvania.
Mehlman was similarly incredulous that Kerry would deviate from his long-held position that Bush had exaggerated the weapons threat in Iraq.
I was stunned that he brought it up, the campaign manager said. He was essentially saying it was wrong to remove Saddam Hussein, even though weve just discovered all these dangerous weapons in the country.
Politics is like a chess game, he added. If you dont think a few moves ahead, then you always end up like Homer Simpson going, Doh!
Even more helpful to the Bush campaign was the flap over Kerrys Vietnam service. For the first time, Mehlman is now defending the Swift Boat veterans, who questioned Kerrys Vietnam record and savaged his claim that U.S. soldiers were war criminals.
These are people who are incredible, Mehlman said of the Swifties. You may disagree with what theyre saying. But these are heroes. These are people that suffered in prison camps for America.
And to respond and say, These are bums who dont have a right to speak. But other veterans who agree with us do, is responding with a hammer and not a scalpel, he added. The Kerry campaign seemed unable to use a scalpel. Instead, they had to use a hammer for everything.
After the election, Rove and other Bush officials initially downplayed any role the Swift Boat Veterans might have played in the campaign. But now there is widespread acknowledgment in the White House that the veterans were pivotal in vanquishing Kerry.
I felt they had a very big impact, Mehlman said.
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said in an interview that the Swift Boat Veterans had an impact to Kerrys detriment. I think they tended to put him on the defensive.
But that impact would not have been possible if Kerry had not spent so much time emphasizing his Vietnam record, Mehlman said.
I think the mistake that Kerry made was making the entire essence of his campaign that he served in Vietnam, he said. Ultimately, it wasnt that relevant of an issue.
Besides, by focusing on Vietnam, Kerry invited criticism of his 1971 congressional testimony that fellow Vietnam veterans were war criminals, Mehlman said.
No ones taking away his service, he emphasized. The question was his judgment when he came back.
Ultimately, Kerrys emphasis on Vietnam proved self-defeating.
It reinforced something about him, Mehlman said. By the end of the campaign, from a character perspective, he came across as a guy who is just ambition over everything.
He contrasted Kerry unfavorably with former Sen. Bob Dole, Kansas Republican, who was severely wounded in World War II, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Stupid statement, out of context, I'm sure.
This could be interesting.
BUSH IN LEAGUE WITH BIN LADEN! THIS PROVES IT! /tinfoil
Amen. That is so cheap of Drudge.
Drudge is scraping the bottom of the barrel for news....
This is the second off in la la land thing Drudge has had today.
Doug Thompson I'll bet......
....and yet so in character.
The jihadists have hacked drudge maybe...??
Of COURSE it's taken out of context... BUT....
Kerry kept on his laughable path, while Binnie kept popping his head up to remind us all of exactly how WRONG kerry and the Liberals are on this issue!!
Kerry bouncing between "The World Supports Me!!" and "I can Kill more ragheads than you can" didn't help.....
Bin Laden's campaign commercial for Kerry DID help Bush. It certainly didn't hurt him.
somedays I think drunken pranksters hacked Drudge's website...but then again, who can tell anymore?
Some days I wonder about Drudge.
NOW OFFICIAL, KERRY LOST ELECTION DUE TO HIS IDEOLOGICAL POSITIONS SEEN AS HELPING AL QUIDA
This has been self evident for a while...not much news.
It's excerpts from "Strategery"
actually this is from Bill Sammon's new book based on his interviews with Pres Bush. he was interviewed by Sean Hannity today and will be on H & C tonight to talk about it.
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