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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Sunday, September 26, 2004

    Stoking the locals with help from Fox 

    MADISON — Upon landing here Sunday, Sen. John Kerry encountered a small crowd of fans. He offered some choice anti-Bush quotes and a dire assessment of conditions on the ground in Iraq.

    "My friends entire regions of Iraq are now controlled by terrorists," he said. "American forces ceded to the terrorists areas of control. Yet President Bush keeps insisting that the situation is improving, keeps insisting that freedom is on the march, keeps insisting that the country is going back."

    Kerry also reminded his audience of Bush's appearance on an aircraft carrier in May 2003 beneath a sign that said "Mission Accomplished."

    "I will never be a president who just says mission accomplished, I will get the mission accomplished," he said.

    In a taped interview with Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly to be aired this week, Bush said he had no second thoughts about the announcement and that he was merely thanking the troops. Asked if he still would have declared major combat operations over, Bush replied "absolutely."

    "When the president landed on that aircraft carrier, 150 of our young sons and daughters had given their lives," Kerry said Sunday. "Since then tragically, since he said mission accomplished, tragically over 900 have now died."

    posted by Jim Kuhnhenn at 6:22 PM



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