Skip to comments.WAR HERO DOLE SAYS KERRY IS TO BLAME FOR SCRUTINY OF HIS VIETNAM RECORD
Posted on 08/22/2004 4:27:46 PM PDT by Pikamax
- Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole suggested Sunday that John Kerry apologize for past testimony before Congress about alleged atrocities during the Vietnam War and joined critics of the Democratic presidential candidate who say he received an early exit from combat for "superficial wounds."
Dole also called on Kerry to release all the records of his service in Vietnam.
Separately, President Bush's re-election campaign continued to deny links to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an anti-Kerry group running ads in three states, after the resignation of a campaign volunteer who appeared in the group's new ad.
With Kerry taking a break from campaigning, running mate John Edwards said Bush needs to tell the group to pull its ads, a step the White House and the Bush campaign refuse to take. The White House and Bush's campaign note that Kerry has benefited from more than $62 million worth of similar advertising against the president.
"This is the moment of truth for President Bush," Edwards said in North Carolina. "The American people have to hear directly that these ads need to come off the air." Kerry also fought back in another new ad.
Dole told CNN's "Late Edition" that he warned Kerry months ago about going "too far" and that the Democrat may have himself to blame for the current situation, in which polls show him losing support among veterans.
"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, `I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.
"Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam," said Dole, whose World War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm.
Dole added: "And here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out."
Kerry's supporters rose to his defense.
"Senator Kerry carries shrapnel in his thigh as distinct from President Bush who carries two fillings in his teeth from his service in the Alabama National Guard, which seems to be his only time that he showed up," John Podesta, former chief of staff in the Clinton White House, said on ABC's "This Week."
Bush served stateside in the Guard during the Vietnam years. Podesta's reference was to the White House's release of documents earlier this year showing Bush's dental visits during his Guard years after questions arose about whether he had always reported for duty.
Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman also blamed Kerry for the ongoing debate, complaining on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "Kerry himself has attacked the president for his service during the Vietnam years," while the Republican's campaign has "so strongly praised" Kerry's tour of duty in Vietnam.
The Bush campaign also said the Federal Election Commission should immediately dismiss what it termed a "frivolous" complaint by Kerry's campaign alleging coordination between the re-election effort and the Swift Boat group.
The White House and the Bush campaign for weeks have denied any connection to the Swift Boat organization, whose early financial support came largely from a prominent Texas businessman with longtime ties to the state's top Republicans, including Bush.
The group's latest ad includes a Bush-Cheney volunteer, retired Air Force Col. Ken Cordier, condemning Kerry's 1971 congressional testimony that Dole spoke of. Cordier was a prisoner of war during Vietnam.
"Colonel Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement," a Bush campaign statement said. "Because of his involvement Colonel Cordier will no longer participate as a volunteer for Bush-Cheney '04."
A new Kerry TV ad urged the president to "denounce the smear" and 'get back to the issues" because America deserves better." The 30-second commercial, to air in the same three states as the Swift Boat group ad - Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin - compares Kerry's situation to the 2000 primary campaign when "Bush smeared John McCain."
McCain has condemned the ads and called on the president to do so, too.
In response, Bush's campaign released a copy of a letter it was sending to television station managers on Monday defending itself from the claims in the new Kerry ad.
Questions mounted over the motives of Kerry's critics, two of whom had praised his service in 1996, even as Kerry's supporters faced questions about the candidate. Among the allegations is that Kerry lied about being in neutral Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.
"I don't think anyone knows for sure whether or not they were in Cambodia that night, but they were near Cambodia on Christmas Eve," John Hurley, who heads a pro-Kerry veterans group, said on "Fox News Sunday." "He was five miles into Cambodia on a different occasion."
Another allegation is that Kerry was not under enemy fire as after-action reports say he was, an incident for which he received a Bronze Star, one of five medals earned in Vietnam.
"The after-action reports were written from Kerry's spot reports from that day," said Kerry critic Van Odell, also appearing on the same program. "None of us knew he even got the Bronze Star until more recently."
Actually, I think what Dole was doing (when he gave advice to Kerry a while back) was shrewdly laying the groundwork for what he (Dole) is saying now. I'll bet you Dole has long resented Kerry's slander of other Vietnam Vets, and knew that his (Dole's) advice to Kerry would fall on deaf ears...but would lend credibility to Dole's criticism later on. Way to go, Dole! It's going to be very tough for the Dems to dismiss Dole.
After his funeral, his wife invited us to view his "shrine."
I never knew one person could have so much fruit salad on his tunic. It took me over an hour to read his commendations from Korea and Viet Nam.
Awesome. I am sure he was quite the character too.
The nicest part was how his wife beamed and laughed when he talked about finding the magic lamp.
would the CIA give a covert job to a guy who is taking home movies of his medals?
First, Mr Edwards has to realize that the 'group' is a legally formed 527 group and that it would be illegal for Mr Bush to tell the group to pull its ads. Doesn't this John Edwards fellow know anything about the law?????????
Edwards & Kerry know full well that Bush can't stop the Swiftvet ads. However, they also know that the public likely doesn't know that, and that the pro-Kerry media won't explain it to the public.
I'm waiting for Lanny Davis to tell Sen Dole to shut up, because he wasn't on the boat with Kerry..
This is what Kerry gets for making his Vietnam service the biggest focus of his campaign. He's opening a bunch of old wounds that have come back to haunt him. It is his own fault.
Yep, Bob took it to a higher level...Did McCainiac critisize both ads? I only remember the first one...
"McCain has condemned the ads and called on the president to do so, too. "
Bob Dole never mentioned his war time service. Kerry does. Jack Hamm, the Pittsburgh Steelers' great put it well once: "true greatness does not need to be defined or explained." Kerry's not in that category at all and its obvious to Dole and every one but the deluded.
" USS Grimley "
I meant USS Gridley-but, when I think of Kerry, it's a normal progression to think of the Martin Short character on SNL-Ed Grimley and his famous line- " I'm going mental, I must say."
The swifties have done a Wallmart. They took a 150,000 donation and turned it into a billion dollars of impact. Good on them.
Did you see some host on Fox asking if the Swift Vets had any "documentation" from 1969, then looking amazed that they did not. Who would have thought they needed it 35 years later?
That's ALL it will take to show the Swift Boat Vets to be liars!
A Simple X-Ray!
>>I wonder what McCain thinks about the new ad.<<
E-mail him---I did.
Asked him when he was going to stand up for his fellow POW's, Viet Nam Vets, and President Bush who he claims to support.
Kerry served in Vietnam but came home to condemn the war and condemn everyone who had been, was currently, or ever would go there. But he flaunts his heroism. And he says that George Bush is a wimp because he didn't go to Vietnam after the time that Kerry adjudged it immoral. Bush, meanwhile, did not do anything illegal or immoral regarding the Vietnam war. It amuses me to see Kerry and his ilk trying to figure out how he can be a hero and still a traitor, and somehow a paragon of virtue patriotically. Kerry is ultimately a traitor. Never mind what he might have been before. He's a traitor. Traitor trumps hero. You get a Silver Star for actions taken in a narrow situation over a short period of time, but you earn your traitor credentials by grievious matters with sufficient reflection and full consent of the the will. That's the way Kerry became a traitor. That's the way Catholics commit mortal sins, too. Did Kerry not dump his family with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will? Was it not a grievious matter. Where the hell are the priests and bishops with respect to this moral reprobate? He dumps his family so he can marry a fat but very rich bitch. He takes very anti-Catholic positions on abortion, etc. while sticking his tongue out for any communion anywhere. Kerry is so morally and intellectually confused that he will have to be condemned to hell unless he repents, as he needs to, and withdraws from political life, his illicit marriage, and everything which seems to be destinining the hair-boy for hell.
Very nice! That post should be repeated on every Kerry thread, IMO!
I would think that this is probably related to the rice in the butt episode that got him his 3rd purple heart, and that when Kerry gets in the water his thigh would swell up.
I think that after Dole saw the new swiftvet's ad he felt motivated to speak out. The best part is it came as a complete surprise to almost everybody. He gave it to kerry with both barrels blazing. Couldn't have come at a better time for the swifties with the new ad starting tomorrow.
Dole's coming out against Kerry is a blow from which Kerry wil not recover. There is no way the Dems can attack Dole, who lost use of an arm in World War II. You can bet the Kerry camp is miserable tonight.
Exactly. The Swifties had limited funds and could only afford to run their ads in three battleground states. Thank you, Kerry for making such a fuss --- every network is now covering this and runs the ads -- so all 50 states get to see it ---- sweet!
Right on, Senator Dole. What we know Kerry did and said when he came back from Vietnam outweighs whatever good he did in Vietnam, even if Kerry did in Vietnam what he said he did.
This is the crux of Kerry's problem. Nothing the Swift Boat Vets can say could possibly damage him more than what he himself said in 1971 at those hearings.
The American public needs to know...
It will be a template and example that will be studied and debated for years by the PolSci's.
Dole has a savage wit, but that does not carry well in a campaign. He was best at stalling the Senate, blocking Clinton, and making choice remarks. He was probably told to cool the caustic wit in his campaign. It would have been more memorable if he had been himself.