Monday, February 23, 2004


Sunday, February 22, 2004
Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign Chairman Governor Marc Racicot’s Letter to Senator John Kerry

Senator Kerry:

As the chairman of the President's campaign, we look forward to a debate with the eventual Democratic nominee on President Bush's steady leadership in these times of historic change. He has an optimistic vision and agenda that will move America forward toward greater prosperity, greater security, greater freedom and greater compassion. The American people are eager to hear how the War on Terror will be won, and how we can lead the United States to even greater prosperity here at home.

Steady leadership requires making principled decisions based on what is important to the American people – not advocating policies that would derail our economic recovery and weaken our ability to win the War on Terror.

As you know, our campaign has praised your military service to our nation. Our campaign does not condone any effort to impugn your patriotism. Your letter claims that supporters of our campaign questioned your service and patriotism. In fact, that simply wasn’t the case. Our campaign is not questioning your patriotism or military service, but your votes and statements on the issues now facing our country.

Senator Chambliss addressed your Senate record of voting against the weapons systems that are winning the War on Terror. Your proposals and votes as a Senator should be known to the voters as they evaluate the candidates, including: your proposal to cut intelligence spending by $1.5 billion for the five years prior to 2001 (S. 1290, Introduced 9/29/95), your 1996 proposal to cut defense spending by $6.5 billion (S. 1580, Introduced 2/29/96), and your support for canceling or cutting funding for the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the B-1B, the F-15, the F-16, the M1 Abrams, the Patriot Missile, the AH-64 Apache Helicopter, the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and the Aegis Air-Defense Cruiser. (Brian C. Mooney, "Taking One Prize, Then A Bigger One," The Boston Globe, 6/19/03)

As we debate these issues, I also ask you to elevate the remarkably negative tone of your campaign and your party over the past year. Your chief surrogate, Senator Edward Kennedy has said that the war to remove Saddam Hussein was “made up in Texas.” The chairman of your party has accused the President of being “AWOL.” During the first days of combat in Iraq, you yourself called for “regime change in the United States.” Of the $6.95 million that your campaign has spent on television ads, 74 percent of those ad dollars have funded a direct attack on the President.

We intend to run a campaign on the issues and each candidate's record on those issues. We hope that in the future you and your surrogates will do the same. Each candidate's record on defense, on national security, on the War on Terror and on the economy is central to his vision for the future and will be central to this debate.

We look forward to that debate with you or with any Democrat that emerges as your Party's nominee.


Marc Racicot
Campaign Chairman
Bush Cheney '04

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