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August 7, 2004
Bush To Kerry: Make Up Your Mind On Terror Fight

George Bush struck all the right notes in his campaign appearance yesterday in New Hampshire, a state in which he and John Kerry remain deadlocked. In addressing the crowd about removing Saddam Hussein from power, Bush challenged Kerry to make up his mind about the fight against terrorism instead of trying to have it both ways:

President Bush challenged Democratic rival John Kerry on Friday to give a yes-or-no answer about whether he would have supported the invasion of Iraq "knowing what we know now" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

"I have given my answer," Bush told a cheering crowd. "We did the right thing and the world is better off for it." ...

Bush also said Kerry's criticism of his Iraq policies merely shows the Democrat doesn't understand who America is up against.

"My opponent said something the other day I strongly disagree with - he said that going to war with a terrorist is actually improving their recruiting efforts," Bush said, referring to a remark Kerry made Monday. "Now, that's upside-down logic," Bush said. "It shows a misunderstanding of the enemy."

Anti-American forces were training in the 1990s, Bush said. "They don't need an excuse for their hatred, and it is wrong to blame America for the anger and evil of the killers. We don't create terrorists by fighting back. We defeat the terrorists by fighting back," he said.

Expect Bush to hammer Kerry on the quality of executive leadership in the coming months. Yesterday, when asked if Kerry would have invaded Iraq had Saddam refused to disarm -- as if that were a new question in 2003! -- Kerry had this to say:

"You bet we might have," Kerry said...

You bet we might have? Way to project strength and decisiveness, Senator Kerry! Hey, Saddam had only been refusing to verifiably disarm for a mere twelve years, so what's the rush? Just because we suddenly found ourselves in a war and had this mad idiot refusing to obey terms of the Gulf War cease-fire and supporting terrorists, that's no reason to take action -- not without giving him a couple of more years to comply, and tie down our armed forces in the region while we watch him pass along whatever technology he has to our enemies. After a couple of more years, Kerry might have actually done something about it. I assume his qualification would be the ever-important UN agreement to use force, if Kerry felt like asking.

This theme is a winner. Bush should ride this all the way to November.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 7, 2004 8:50 AM

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