The White House declined, and the Press Secretary refused to comment.
"I deplore this kind of politics," said McCain. "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 . . . It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said, referring to his prior Republican priimary fight with President Bush.
The ad features claims of cowardice against John Kerry leveled from individuals who never served on John Kerry's boat. In some cases, the individuals leveling the claims are the same ones who approved Kerry's glowing reviews and medals. Several members of the group are known partisan enemies of Kerry, such as John O'Neill and Texas Republican activist Merrie Spaeth, that date back to Nixon. Spaeth, notably, was the same person hired by the Bush campaign to smear McCain in the GOP primary in 2000. Spaeth also helped prepare former independent counsel Kenneth Starr in his testimony urging the impeachment of President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee.
I guess it would be asking too much for Bush to condemn his party's dirty tricks people. No matter how slimy they get, they mean well, right?!
John Kerry was wounded three times -- for his country. He ran out of his boat, chased down, and killed a Vietcong soldier -- for his country. That's something that Kerry doesn't talk about, and something that he has to live with for the rest of his life, but Jeezus... can we stop questioning the guy's courage yet? When the chips were down, he volunteered to serve his country and he did his duty.
I swear, if any other silver-spooned, stateside reservist "I can't show up to serve because Daddy got me a job in politics" punk gave any other decorated veteran this much grief, he'd get his ass kicked by his fellow soldiers. Now *THAT* would be funny to see. In a fight between George Bush and Max Cleland, you've gotta put your money on Max, even if he did lose three limbs in Vietnam.
Kerry's not the one being dishonest and dishonorable here.