McCain Wants Bush To Condemn Kerry Service Smears - Bush Declines
John McCain has blasted the new ad run against John Kerry by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, an outfit led by folks who didn’t serve next to Kerry and who are funded and assisted by Bush donors and the same people who smeared McCain in 2000 for Bush. What’s more interesting is that McCain has called for the White House to condemn and disassociate itself from the ads. But now it gets interesting. Why?
Because the White House so far refuses to do so. So when will John McCain do something about it?
Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.
The White House declined.
"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, comparing the anti-Kerry ad to tactics in his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.
"I deplore this kind of politics," McCain said. "I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam. I think George Bush served honorably in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War."
I think it is legitimate for those opposed to Kerry to make an issue out of his service, since Kerry has made it a big part of his message. But by going down this road, it also makes Bush’s lack of service fair game for the left to hammer once again as well. To me, this is an example of how Karl Rove’s is too clever and overrated for his own good. For better or worse, the Bush National Guard story had been successfully buried by the White House and their media friends. Now, Rove has allowed a surrogate to make an issue out of something that can only backfire on Bush by giving the liberal 527’s the opening to not only attack the motives and credibility of this group, but to also reintroduce the National Guard comparison to boot.
And after the 527’s run a few ads questioning the credibility of this group and its ties to Rove and Bush, and raise the “Bush avoided combat” angle, they can conclude the commercial with McCain’s quotes. At that point, swing voters get a powerful message about the desperation of the White House. But just as important, John McCain will have to decide if he still wants to be actively involved in the campaign of a man who has ties to the same people who smeared him and his family four years ago and now engages in new attacks again against another veteran.
It’s your call John.