Magazine article Newsweek

GOP: Naysaying Kerry's Nay

Magazine article Newsweek

GOP: Naysaying Kerry's Nay

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Klaidman and Evan Thomas

Last week was one of John Kerry's roughest in his still-young presidential campaign. On a daily basis the Bush-Cheney team savaged him as a weak-on-defense flip-flopper, while GOP operatives scoured his long Senate record for ammo. One line of attack: his October 2003 vote against spending $87 billion for the occupation and rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan. At the time, Kerry, who'd voted for the Iraq war resolution in October 2002, was trying to catch up to Howard Dean, the soaring antiwar candidate. Now the Massachusetts Democrat has played right into the hands of his critics. At a rally in West Virginia last week Kerry told supporters, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it." The Bush campaign pounced. "You can't make this stuff up," says a high-ranking aide. "With that one statement he just confirmed everything we want to say about him, which is that he wants to be on every side of every issue. …

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