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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Dole Defends Swiftees in Call From Kerry

I think that Kerrry should take Dole's advice. He should just shut up about Veitnam and most of thsi will go away.
Monday, Aug. 23, 2004 4:42 p.m. EDT

Dole Defends Swiftees in Call From Kerry

Presidential candidate John Kerry telephoned former Sen. Bob Dole this morning to complain about Dole's demand a day earlier that he apologize to Vietnam veterans for protesting the war, the one-time Republican presidential candidate revealed Monday afternoon. "John Kerry called me this morning, which surprised me," Dole told radio host Sean Hannity.

"He said he was very disappointed, we'd been friends. I said John, we're still friends, but [the Swiftvets] have First Amendment rights, just as your people have First Amendment rights.

Dole told Kerry, "I'm not trying to stir anything up, but I don't believe every one of these people who have talked about what happened are Republican liars.

"And very frankly, Bush is my guy, and I'm tired of people on your side calling him everything from a coward to a traitor to everything - a deserter."

Dole said he urged Kerry, "Why don't you call George Bush today and say, 'Mr. President, let's stop all this stuff about the National Guard and Vietnam - and let's talk about the issues."

Dole said Kerry responded, "I haven't spent one dime attacking President Bush."

But the Republican war hero shot back, "You don't have to. You've got all the so-called mainstream media, plus you've got MoveOn.org and all these other groups that have spent millions and millions of dollars trying to tarnish Bush's image."

"Don't tell me you don't know what some of these people are doing," he told Kerry.

"Everybody likes quiet heroes," Dole added, saying he told Kerry, "John, everybody knows you were in Vietnam and the less you say about it, the better."

Dole said he tried to end the tense conversation cordially by telling Kerry, "I wish you good luck, up to a point."

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