John Kerry said on August 19th - "The president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that," Kerry told a firefighters' union conference in his hometown of Boston. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on."
John Kerry on August 21st - At a fund-raiser attended by about 750 people, Kerry said the attacks by a group of Vietnam veterans and former Swift Boat commanders have intensified "because in the last months they have seen me climbing in America's understanding that I know how to fight a smarter and more effective war" against terrorists. "That's why they're attacking my credibility. That's why they've personally gone after me. The president needs to stand up and stop that."
And here's some evidence that he's scrambling to stop his polls from hemoraging:
Kerry tries to change the subject
August 25, 2004
BY NEDRA PICKLER
NEW YORK -- Democrat John Kerry accused Republicans of ''fear and smear'' attacks and urged them to turn their focus to the problems facing voters Tuesday as an effort by anti-Kerry Vietnam veterans continued to roil the presidential campaign.
Kerry sought to turn the campaign debate back to issues on which he thinks he can win -- and away from questions raised by fellow veterans about his honesty in recounting his service in the Vietnam War. He also tried to paint Bush as the candidate who has been dishonest.
''My duty, as I understand it, is to be a president and commander in chief who finds the truth and tells the truth instead of misleading the American people,'' Kerry said.
The Kerry campaign continues to battle the fallout from veterans who have criticized him. Robert ''Friar Tuck'' Brant, a member of the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, said Kerry called him Sunday and asked him if he was aware of the group's activities.
''I said, 'I am one, John,''' said Brant. ''There was a moment of hesitation and he said, 'I appreciate your honesty.' He said, 'Well, why are you?'''
Brant said he told Kerry that he was most upset about Kerry's protests after returning from the war, when he accused soldiers of committing atrocities. ''I said, 'You know that's not true,''' Brant said. ''That's been simmering in me about 35 years.'' AP