October 15, 2003


Dean blasts Kerry on Vietnam:
Senator retorts that combat gives him executive gravitas (Sam Dealey, 10/15/03, The Hill)

Howard Dean’s presidential campaign sharply criticized Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday for seemingly flip-flopping on the importance of serving in Vietnam in presidential politics.

Kerry seeks to distinguish himself from his White House rivals -- both Democratic and Republican -- by drawing attention to his war record. But this emphasis stands in marked contrast to his past utterances about service in Vietnam as a qualification for the highest office.

“Before he became a political candidate for president, John Kerry clearly believed that military service should not be used for political gain,” said Jay Carson, a spokesman for Dean, the former governor of Vermont who is running well ahead of Kerry in recent New Hampshire polls.

“And he was right about that,” Carson added. “Unfortunately, now John Kerry and his campaign have a strategy to use that record to further his political career.”

Of course his military service matters--it redounds to his honor. It was his subsequent support for North Vietnam that was shameful, as was his opposition to the Contras. Question his judgment when it comes to opposing totalitarianism, not the value of his service.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2003 8:32 AM
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