Posted 12:22pm March 6
by Vanessa Maltin
U-WIRE Washington Bureau
As Massachusetts Senator John Kerry swept decisive victories in nine of the ten contested states in the Super Tuesday primaries, the Bush campaign began addressing a serious race against the senator in November.
With little doubt that Kerry will be his competitor in November, The Associated Press reported that President George W. Bush called the 60-year-old senator to congratulate him on his victory.
The Washington Post reported that Kerry subsequently said to reporters covering him, “He [Bush] called to congratulate me. I said I hope we have a great debate about the issues before the country.”
In a recent letter responding to accusations from Sen. John Kerry that Bush supporters were questioning his patriotism, Bush campaign chairman, Marc Racicot assured Kerry that he was mistaken. “In fact, that simply wasn’t the case,” Racicot said. “Our campaign is not questioning your patriotism or military service, but your votes and statements on the issues now facing our country.”
Racicot, citing that 74 percent of the $6.95 million that Kerry spent on television ads went towards directly attacking the President, also addressed the issue of Kerry’s negative campaign message and asked that he change his focus to a more positive message — for his own campaign and his parties.
“We intend to run a campaign on the issues and each candidate’s record on those issues,” Racicot said. “We hope that in the future you and your surrogates will do the same — each candidates 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.”
According to the Political Action Committee, MoveOn.org, the Bush campaign plans to release a $3.6 million ad blitz in his bid for reelection Thursday.
As the campaign brought in over $1.2 million from 1000 supporters at a lunch in Louisville, Kentucky last week, other campaign officials began galvanizing students across the country to help with Bush’s reelection efforts. More than 150 Bush supporters participated in a pre-game rally organized by Bush-Cheney ’04 and Michigan Students for Bush at the Michigan-Ohio State game.
Brendan Kirwin, a senior at the University of Michigan, said that despite Bush officials coming to his University campus he doesn’t feel he can trust George W. Bush to work for the people of this country in a positive and honorable way.
“He [Bush] has placed the interests of a number of powerful, capital-driven groups ahead of the people which depend on him to move our country into an era of peace and well-being,” Kirwin said. “Anyone who has been paying attention to what is happening within his administration can see that this is the case.”