Bush Campaign Chief Calls Democrats Weak on Security. UPDATE: Dems Insist Republicans Pull Bush Ad

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
UPDATE: 11-24 / Dems Insist Republicans Pull Bush Ad

My question is how does Ken Mehlman KNOW that democrats would be weak on security? Is he simply guessing at what they would do or not do if in office?

LATimes.com

BOCA RATON, Fla. ? The manager of President Bush's reelection campaign portrayed Democratic candidates Saturday as weak on terrorism and defense, saying the 2004 race would offer a choice between "victory in Iraq or insecurity in America."

The remarks by campaign chief Ken Mehlman underscored the prominent role that the Bush team expects national security to play in the president's reelection effort. But his comments also led Democrats to renew accusations that Bush was exploiting the Iraq war and the fight against terrorism for political gain.

In a speech to Republican governors at a conference in Palm Beach County, Mehlman spoke at length about Bush's response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He said the administration had dismantled terrorist cells in Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Tampa, Fla., Buffalo, N.Y., and northern Virginia; filed criminal charges against 286 people; and detained more than 3,000 suspects in 90 countries.

"As long as George W. Bush is president, the front lines of the war on terror will be Baghdad and Kandahar, not Boston and Kansas City," Mehlman said.

He went on to accuse unnamed Democrats of trying to "weaken the very laws that bring terrorists to justice."

"When liberty's survival is threatened by terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere, our leading critics offer weakness and vacillation," he said. "Instead of support, they would cut and run." While touching on tax cuts and other issues, Mehlman made war and terrorism the centerpiece of his campaign overview for 2004.

"Eleven months from now, we will choose between victory in Iraq or insecurity in America," he said. "Eleven months from now, we will choose between more money in the pockets of America's families or more money in the coffers of the federal government in Washington. And 11 months from now, we will choose between a leader of principle or a politician of protest, of pandering and of pessimism."

Mehlman's remarks came a day before the Republican Party was to start running a television ad that also trumpets Bush's record on terrorism. Democratic candidates for president have denounced the ad, and aides were quick to criticize Mehlman's comments for much the same reasons.

"Clearly, President Bush has made a decision to politicize the war on terror," said Erik Smith, a spokesman for Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri. "Not only is it beneath this president to do so, but it's particularly repugnant while we have troops in the field of battle." Bush, he added, is using troops "as political pawns."

Tricia Enright, a spokeswoman for Democratic candidate Howard Dean, said the president's advisors "obviously recognize that the American people are concerned about Bush's handling of foreign policy" ? most of all the war in Iraq.

"We're not safer here at home, and the American people are certainly feeling that way," she said.

In January 2002, Karl Rove, Bush's top political advisor at the White House, touched off a similar clash with Democrats when he spoke openly about the political influence of the war in Afghanistan.

In a speech to Republicans in Austin, Texas, Rove urged GOP congressional candidates to stress the war in their campaigns. Democrats expressed outrage, but Republicans followed his advice ? and went on to pick up seats in the November election.
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
My question is how does Ken Mehlman KNOW that democrats would be weak on security? Is he simply guessing at what they would do or not do if in office?

LATimes.com

BOCA RATON, Fla. ? The manager of President Bush's reelection campaign portrayed Democratic candidates Saturday as weak on terrorism and defense, saying the 2004 race would offer a choice between "victory in Iraq or insecurity in America."

The remarks by campaign chief Ken Mehlman underscored the prominent role that the Bush team expects national security to play in the president's reelection effort. But his comments also led Democrats to renew accusations that Bush was exploiting the Iraq war and the fight against terrorism for political gain.

In a speech to Republican governors at a conference in Palm Beach County, Mehlman spoke at length about Bush's response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He said the administration had dismantled terrorist cells in Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Tampa, Fla., Buffalo, N.Y., and northern Virginia; filed criminal charges against 286 people; and detained more than 3,000 suspects in 90 countries.

"As long as George W. Bush is president, the front lines of the war on terror will be Baghdad and Kandahar, not Boston and Kansas City," Mehlman said.

He went on to accuse unnamed Democrats of trying to "weaken the very laws that bring terrorists to justice."

"When liberty's survival is threatened by terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere, our leading critics offer weakness and vacillation," he said. "Instead of support, they would cut and run." While touching on tax cuts and other issues, Mehlman made war and terrorism the centerpiece of his campaign overview for 2004.

"Eleven months from now, we will choose between victory in Iraq or insecurity in America," he said. "Eleven months from now, we will choose between more money in the pockets of America's families or more money in the coffers of the federal government in Washington. And 11 months from now, we will choose between a leader of principle or a politician of protest, of pandering and of pessimism."

Mehlman's remarks came a day before the Republican Party was to start running a television ad that also trumpets Bush's record on terrorism. Democratic candidates for president have denounced the ad, and aides were quick to criticize Mehlman's comments for much the same reasons.

"Clearly, President Bush has made a decision to politicize the war on terror," said Erik Smith, a spokesman for Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri. "Not only is it beneath this president to do so, but it's particularly repugnant while we have troops in the field of battle." Bush, he added, is using troops "as political pawns."

Tricia Enright, a spokeswoman for Democratic candidate Howard Dean, said the president's advisors "obviously recognize that the American people are concerned about Bush's handling of foreign policy" ? most of all the war in Iraq.

"We're not safer here at home, and the American people are certainly feeling that way," she said.

In January 2002, Karl Rove, Bush's top political advisor at the White House, touched off a similar clash with Democrats when he spoke openly about the political influence of the war in Afghanistan.

In a speech to Republicans in Austin, Texas, Rove urged GOP congressional candidates to stress the war in their campaigns. Democrats expressed outrage, but Republicans followed his advice ? and went on to pick up seats in the November election.
One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
 

SViscusi

Golden Member
Apr 12, 2000
1,200
8
81
Originally posted by: daniel1113
Originally posted by: SViscusi
If Republicans are so strong on security why did 9/11 happen?
It is impossible to blame 9/11 on any single group.
I realize that, and I'm not blaming 9/11 on republicans or Bush, but it's stupid to call the other side weak on security when the worst terrorist attack in our history happened when your side was in charge.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: SViscusi
Originally posted by: daniel1113
Originally posted by: SViscusi
If Republicans are so strong on security why did 9/11 happen?
It is impossible to blame 9/11 on any single group.
I realize that, and I'm not blaming 9/11 on republicans or Bush, but it's stupid to call the other side weak on security when the worst terrorist attack in our history happened when your side was in charge.
Especially when their Commander in Chief knew something major was imminent, but decided to go spend a month on his ranch instead of taking action.
 

daniel1113

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2003
6,448
0
0
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: SViscusi
Originally posted by: daniel1113
Originally posted by: SViscusi
If Republicans are so strong on security why did 9/11 happen?
It is impossible to blame 9/11 on any single group.
I realize that, and I'm not blaming 9/11 on republicans or Bush, but it's stupid to call the other side weak on security when the worst terrorist attack in our history happened when your side was in charge.
Especially when their Commander in Chief knew something major was imminent, but decided to go spend a month on his ranch instead of taking action.
Sounds more like Clinton than Bush... this is why I wouldn't go around pointing fingers at Bush. Just as much could be said about Clinton.
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
Nope, don't see it. Evidence? Examples?
Lets from the left we have

1. Eagerness to yell quagmire.
2. The willingness to vote for military action, but not actually mean it.
3. Wanting to mix politics into the military action(there has been a constant complaints from the left about there being too few or too many troops being used for actions. This is a recipe for diaster.)
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
Lets from the left we have

1. Eagerness to yell quagmire.
2. The willingness to vote for military action, but not actually mean it.
3. Wanting to mix politics into the military action(there has been a constant complaints from the left about there being too few or too many troops being used for actions. This is a recipe for diaster.)
From the right we have . . .
1) Eagerness to yell VICTORY in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2) The willingness to vote for military action but disavow unseemly consequences; ?civilian casualties? (oops, didn't count) . . . ?transfer tubes at Dover? (no pictures please, nothing to see here).
3) Wanting to mix politics into the military action (Saxby Chambliss=patriot . . . Max Cleland=Saddam and Usama appeaser).

You are certainly correct that the Democrats are far from the grand prize. But Republicans are arguably worse. Two plus years after 9/11 . . . the ports are not secure, air cargo is not secure, our food supply is not secure, our water supply is not secure, major rail is not secure, nuclear plants . . . close. Let's be clear, terrorism is not a new phenomenon and US foreign policy has been crappy for much of the 20th century. Bushies claim his policies are responsible for no new attacks since 9/11 . . . but that's coincidence NOT causation. US intervention/intelligence is so strong we've got Padilla and Moussaui detained for close to two years but cannot "make up" any charges.

Bush's war on terrorism has managed to make America the focus instead of terrorism and significantly impairs absolutely vital coalitions . . . namely cooperation within the Middle East (not to mention populous non-Arab, Muslim nations like Indonesia and Malaysia).
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
Nope, don't see it. Evidence? Examples?
Lets from the left we have

1. Eagerness to yell quagmire.
Nope, that makes them strong on security. They recognize that the "Happy happy, joy joy" strategy isn't working and we need something more realistic.


2. The willingness to vote for military action, but not actually mean it.
Null content, at least as you presented it. What, specifically, did the Democrats do here that makes them "weak on security" in your opinion?


3. Wanting to mix politics into the military action(there has been a constant complaints from the left about there being too few or too many troops being used for actions. This is a recipe for diaster.)
Nope, I don't buy this on several counts. First Republicans in general and Bush-lite specifically have mixed politics into this military action. That fact, in and of itself, doesn't demonstrate that either party is strong or weak on security. In particular, I could argue the Bush administration is weak on security: they lost focus on the real terrorist threat in Afghanistan and invaded Iraq due to the imperialist political agenda of PNAC.

Second, re. "constant complaints from the left", see #1. Many from the Pentagon have raised the same complaints and expressed concerns about Rumsfeld's meddling and micromanagement. Which is worse for security, complaining about the number of troops or ignoring the opinions of your experts?

Third, re. "recipe for disaster," that's an assumption on your part. I contend it is weaker to ignore a problem than to call attention to it.

In short, the fact that a Bush PR flack calls Democrats weak on security doesn't make it true. By itself, it is empty partisan noise.

 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
14,676
136
What makes the Dems weak on security? Maybe that they keep asking Bush to deliver the funds he promised for states and munis to be better prepared in the event of an attack? Funds that are unavailable because of fatcat taxcuts, corporate pork and military adventurism?

Nah...

Get ready for an incredible amount of fear-mongering from the Bushies over the next 11 months. I mean, it worked in the aftermath of 9/11, it should still work now... Their utterly cynical exploitation of that national tragedy for purely partisan ends knows no shame, and no end.
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
Nope, don't see it. Evidence? Examples?
Lets from the left we have

1. Eagerness to yell quagmire.
Nope, that makes them strong on security. They recognize that the "Happy happy, joy joy" strategy isn't working and we need something more realistic.

In afghanistan and iraq, the democrats were eagerly calling for a quagmire. They did not think our military capable of doing the job.


2. The willingness to vote for military action, but not actually mean it.
Null content, at least as you presented it. What, specifically, did the Democrats do here that makes them "weak on security" in your opinion?


Kerry or Edwards, or was it both of them, voted to give the president the ability to use military action against Iraq if needed, only to later say, they did not intend for the military to be used. This kind of thinking is what lead Bin Laden to beleive we were a "paper tiger".




3. Wanting to mix politics into the military action(there has been a constant complaints from the left about there being too few or too many troops being used for actions. This is a recipe for diaster.)
Nope, I don't buy this on several counts. First Republicans in general and Bush-lite specifically have mixed politics into this military action. That fact, in and of itself, doesn't demonstrate that either party is strong or weak on security. In particular, I could argue the Bush administration is weak on security: they lost focus on the real terrorist threat in Afghanistan and invaded Iraq due to the imperialist political agenda of PNAC.

Second, re. "constant complaints from the left", see #1. Many from the Pentagon have raised the same complaints and expressed concerns about Rumsfeld's meddling and micromanagement. Which is worse for security, complaining about the number of troops or ignoring the opinions of your experts?

Third, re. "recipe for disaster," that's an assumption on your part. I contend it is weaker to ignore a problem than to call attention to it.

In short, the fact that a Bush PR flack calls Democrats weak on security doesn't make it true. By itself, it is empty partisan noise.

The entire time, in Afganistan or Iraq, the left was claiming there were either too many troops or not enough. They either complain about the expense of doing this(ie there are too many troops), or there are too few(the military does not know what they are doing). I think the generals in charge of these operations have shown themselves to be quite capable.

On top of all this, the left is ready to hand out national security over to the UN.

The left does have a problem when it comes to national security.
 

Miramonti

Lifer
Aug 26, 2000
28,651
98
91
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
Nope, don't see it. Evidence? Examples?
Lets from the left we have 1. Eagerness to yell quagmire.
Nope, that makes them strong on security. They recognize that the "Happy happy, joy joy" strategy isn't working and we need something more realistic. In afghanistan and iraq, the democrats were eagerly calling for a quagmire. They did not think our military capable of doing the job.
2. The willingness to vote for military action, but not actually mean it.
Null content, at least as you presented it. What, specifically, did the Democrats do here that makes them "weak on security" in your opinion? Kerry or Edwards, or was it both of them, voted to give the president the ability to use military action against Iraq if needed, only to later say, they did not intend for the military to be used. This kind of thinking is what lead Bin Laden to beleive we were a "paper tiger".
3. Wanting to mix politics into the military action(there has been a constant complaints from the left about there being too few or too many troops being used for actions. This is a recipe for diaster.)
Nope, I don't buy this on several counts. First Republicans in general and Bush-lite specifically have mixed politics into this military action. That fact, in and of itself, doesn't demonstrate that either party is strong or weak on security. In particular, I could argue the Bush administration is weak on security: they lost focus on the real terrorist threat in Afghanistan and invaded Iraq due to the imperialist political agenda of PNAC. Second, re. "constant complaints from the left", see #1. Many from the Pentagon have raised the same complaints and expressed concerns about Rumsfeld's meddling and micromanagement. Which is worse for security, complaining about the number of troops or ignoring the opinions of your experts? Third, re. "recipe for disaster," that's an assumption on your part. I contend it is weaker to ignore a problem than to call attention to it. In short, the fact that a Bush PR flack calls Democrats weak on security doesn't make it true. By itself, it is empty partisan noise.
The entire time, in Afganistan or Iraq, the left was claiming there were either too many troops or not enough. They either complain about the expense of doing this(ie there are too many troops), or there are too few(the military does not know what they are doing). I think the generals in charge of these operations have shown themselves to be quite capable. On top of all this, the left is ready to hand out national security over to the UN. The left does have a problem when it comes to national security.
One small step for man, one giant leap charrison.
 

Genesys

Golden Member
Nov 10, 2003
1,536
0
0
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
Nope, don't see it. Evidence? Examples?
the clinton administration. that should be the only example you'll ever need. How many embassies needed to be bombed, how many US Ships needed to be attacked, how many times must he let Osama get away, and how much spending on the military would he have to cut for you to consider him and the rest of the party [and since he pulls the strings of the democratic party] a bad idea for national security.
 

Miramonti

Lifer
Aug 26, 2000
28,651
98
91
Egregiously overusing our military strength (and supporting other nations doing the same) does not strengthen national security but threatens it.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
Some choice democratic responses to the first Bush Ad running in Iowa. Question: Don't they know there aren't any democrats in Iowa? Second Question: Clark's statement suggests that Bush pledged not to exploit 9-11 for political purposes. When did Bush pledge that?

"It's wrong. It's erroneous, and I think that they ought to pull the ad," Daschle told NBC's "Meet the Press" program on Sunday.

"We all want to defeat terrorism," the South Dakota senator said. But "to chastise and to question the patriotism of those who are in opposition to some of the president's plans I think is wrong."

Presidential candidate Wesley Clark said the ad is wrong and ought to be pulled. It violates "the pledge the president made to not exploit 9-11 for political purposes," Clark said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy called it an "attempt to stifle dissent." On ABC's "This Week," Kennedy said "dissent is a basic part of what our whole society is about."

Speaking in a televised interview, presidential candidate and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman said the ad was misleading, nothing more than an attempt "to get the public's mind off the joblessness in America, the bad prescription Medicare drug bill ... the energy bill, which sells out to lobbyists."
 

308nato

Platinum Member
Feb 10, 2002
2,674
0
0
Ever seen the photo of American troops training for combat in Europe (the Louisiana Manuevers) ? Milk trucks with "TANK" painted on the side and machine gun crews training with weapons made of rain gutters ?

Carter gutted SAC's budget so much, we had to tow the hangar queen BUFF's around daily to make it look like we had a 100% combat ready Wing for the soviet spy birds daily overflights to take our smiling pics. It was great serving under a democratic CIC.

In a nutshell, thats why.
 

CaptnKirk

Lifer
Jul 25, 2002
10,053
0
71
In Clintons 2nd term he ordered an attack on a known al Queda terrorist camp in Afganistan
one that had been assembled under Reagans watch with GOP blessing - to fight the Soviet Invaders.
A barrage of Cruise missles just missed Osama then, and it was retaliation to the Naval ship bombing
that had been linked by the CIA to al Queda activity at that time and place.

The republicans were so intent on getting a piece of Monica and smearing Clinton that they
actually denounced the attack on al Queda as not important, and not in our best interests as
they were so damn hung up on the Ken Starr fiasco.
Yeah - GOP was really tough on terrorism and defense weren't they.

Just like Bush and his handlers dismissed the information of pending terror attacks that
the Clinton Administration tried repeatedly to provide to the Bush Administration when they
first came into office - not important, irrelevant is what they said. Bush was even told that
there was and immeninent threat of activity involving commercial aircraft just weeks before
the 9-11 attacks happened, they said we didn't think it was a real threat, we never thought
that they would actually use the airplanes like that - hell they had already used aircraft and
airports before that, why was it a suprise ? Because they didn't listen to advisers from the other
party or because they didn't pay it any attention, since fund raising was more important ?

Bush on Vacation = Asleep at the Wheel.
Unforgivable.

Lying to the Public to get his way and deceive the population about the actual facts ?
Nixon did that too - unacceptable.
 

justint

Banned
Dec 6, 1999
1,429
0
0
Originally posted by: CaptnKirk
In Clintons 2nd term he ordered an attack on a known al Queda terrorist camp in Afganistan
one that had been assembled under Reagans watch with GOP blessing - to fight the Soviet Invaders.
A barrage of Cruise missles just missed Osama then, and it was retaliation to the Naval ship bombing
that had been linked by the CIA to al Queda activity at that time and place.

The republicans were so intent on getting a piece of Monica and smearing Clinton that they
actually denounced the attack on al Queda as not important, and not in our best interests as
they were so damn hung up on the Ken Starr fiasco.
Yeah - GOP was really tough on terrorism and defense weren't they.

Just like Bush and his handlers dismissed the information of pending terror attacks that
the Clinton Administration tried repeatedly to provide to the Bush Administration when they
first came into office - not important, irrelevant is what they said. Bush was even told that
there was and immeninent threat of activity involving commercial aircraft just weeks before
the 9-11 attacks happened, they said we didn't think it was a real threat, we never thought
that they would actually use the airplanes like that - hell they had already used aircraft and
airports before that, why was it a suprise ? Because they didn't listen to advisers from the other
party or because they didn't pay it any attention, since fund raising was more important ?

Bush on Vacation = Asleep at the Wheel.
Unforgivable.

Lying to the Public to get his way and deceive the population about the actual facts ?
Nixon did that too - unacceptable.
I don't think it was possible for either president Clinton or President Bush to truly understand the effectiveness and boldness of Al Qaeda particularly in regards to striking domestic targets. Hindsight is a beaaattcchh.

 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
Some choice democratic responses to the first Bush Ad running in Iowa. Question: Don't they know there aren't any democrats in Iowa? Second Question: Clark's statement suggests that Bush pledged not to exploit 9-11 for political purposes. When did Bush pledge that?

"It's wrong. It's erroneous, and I think that they ought to pull the ad," Daschle told NBC's "Meet the Press" program on Sunday.

"We all want to defeat terrorism," the South Dakota senator said. But "to chastise and to question the patriotism of those who are in opposition to some of the president's plans I think is wrong."

Presidential candidate Wesley Clark said the ad is wrong and ought to be pulled. It violates "the pledge the president made to not exploit 9-11 for political purposes," Clark said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy called it an "attempt to stifle dissent." On ABC's "This Week," Kennedy said "dissent is a basic part of what our whole society is about."

Speaking in a televised interview, presidential candidate and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman said the ad was misleading, nothing more than an attempt "to get the public's mind off the joblessness in America, the bad prescription Medicare drug bill ... the energy bill, which sells out to lobbyists."
Boo Friggen Hoo... "stifle dissent"? WTF is he smoking?:p Sounds to me like the shoe fit a few people and they felt the need to call for it's removal;) Well, tough - it's politics - it's been going on against Bush for months now. Time for the free ride to end :D

CkG
 

outriding

Platinum Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,676
1,497
136
Originally posted by: Genesys
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: charrison
One only has to look at the action from the democrats to determine this.
Nope, don't see it. Evidence? Examples?
the clinton administration. that should be the only example you'll ever need. How many embassies needed to be bombed, how many US Ships needed to be attacked, how many times must he let Osama get away, and how much spending on the military would he have to cut for you to consider him and the rest of the party [and since he pulls the strings of the democratic party] a bad idea for national security.
Lets add up the death toll from the 8 years clinton was in office vs. the death toll dubya has been office.

you also have to take in effect how many bombings happen worldwide. in places where it is common ( isreal and palenstien ) the "experts" dont know how to counter act car bombings. also almost everything that was targeted in the clinton era were already in "hot spots".

also can you give any links to people in security in the US that complained about the job during the clinton era ?
there have been a number of times in dubya term that the CIA AND the US ARMY that have questioned the job of intelligence that we have been recieving. without knowledge there will never be a way of countering terrorists and so far this administration has been running on empty.

 

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