A Cautious Man
March 18, 2004
You Best Remember Who Your Friends Are
In the last few days, the Bush campaign has been ramping up its claims that Democratic challenger John Kerry is weak on defense. Looks like Senator Kerry is getting a little help from one of his friends:
Bush's chief Republican rival in 2000, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday he does not believe Kerry is weak on defense even though they disagree on some issues. McCain, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a friend of the Massachusetts senator, said a discussion of Medicare and other issues should replace negative campaigning.Mr. Bush may start to regret having his "nasty boys" work over Senator McCain four years ago. As Senator Kerry has said, "Bring it on!"
"He's responsible for his voting record, as we all are responsible for our records, and he'll have to explain it," McCain said of Kerry on "Today" on NBC. "But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense. I don't agree with him on some issues, clearly. But I decry this negativism that's going on on both sides. The American people don't need it, and the end result will be lower voter turnout, particularly amongst younger Americans."
[Edited to add] This is priceless. Senator McCain appears to have made the rounds of the morning news programs.
Asked on NBC’s “Today” if he thought Kerry was weak on defense, McCain said: “No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense. He’s responsible for his voting record, as we are all responsible for our records, and he’ll have to explain it. But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense. I don’t agree with him on some issues, clearly. But I decry this negativism that’s going on on both sides. The American people don’t need it.”
When asked on “The Early Show” if Kerry’s election would compromise national security, McCain responded: “I don’t think that — I think that John Kerry is a good and decent man. I think he has served his country.”