Kerry mounts furious counter-offensive

Kerry mounts furious counter-offensive

WATERLOO – Democrat John Kerry has mounted a furious counter-attack against George W.Bush on national security, seeking to regain momentum in their heated presidential race two weeks before polling day.

But Bush pressed his offensive on Tuesday, telling voters that his Democratic rival was neither ready nor able to command the war on terrorism after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Polls showed the two running neck-and-neck ahead of the November 2 ballot, with the Republican president clinging to the barest of leads nationally but Kerry picking up support in key battleground states.Bush stepped up his drive at a Florida baseball stadium rally in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, suggesting Kerry would give other nations a veto over US military action.”My opponent is not prepared and equipped to be the commander in chief,” he said.Turning around familiar Democratic complaints, Bush accused Kerry of resorting to “old-style scare tactics” and “the politics of fear” with his criticisms of the economy, government responsibility in a flu vaccine shortage, and warnings of a possible return of the draft.Kerry left Florida to campaign in Ohio.He, too, spoke at a baseball field, in the outfield of the Dayton Dragons.”I will fight a smarter, more effective, tougher war on terror and I will make America safer,” he said under a drizzle illuminated by floodlights.He promised to “hunt down, find, kill or capture those terrorists wherever they are”.Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, he said, were trying to “scare” Americans into voting for them.”President Bush doesn’t have a record to run on – he has a record to run away from,” he told the crowd of about 7 000 persons.Earlier, in Florida, the Kerry campaign rolled out its media artillery to counter Bush’s most withering assault on the Massachusetts senator’s security policies.The Democrats unveiled two new television advertisements that sought again to bolster Kerry’s leadership credentials, an issue they thought they had put to rest in his three televised debates with Bush.- Nampa-AFPPolls showed the two running neck-and-neck ahead of the November 2 ballot, with the Republican president clinging to the barest of leads nationally but Kerry picking up support in key battleground states.Bush stepped up his drive at a Florida baseball stadium rally in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, suggesting Kerry would give other nations a veto over US military action.”My opponent is not prepared and equipped to be the commander in chief,” he said.Turning around familiar Democratic complaints, Bush accused Kerry of resorting to “old-style scare tactics” and “the politics of fear” with his criticisms of the economy, government responsibility in a flu vaccine shortage, and warnings of a possible return of the draft.Kerry left Florida to campaign in Ohio.He, too, spoke at a baseball field, in the outfield of the Dayton Dragons.”I will fight a smarter, more effective, tougher war on terror and I will make America safer,” he said under a drizzle illuminated by floodlights.He promised to “hunt down, find, kill or capture those terrorists wherever they are”.Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, he said, were trying to “scare” Americans into voting for them.”President Bush doesn’t have a record to run on – he has a record to run away from,” he told the crowd of about 7 000 persons.Earlier, in Florida, the Kerry campaign rolled out its media artillery to counter Bush’s most withering assault on the Massachusetts senator’s security policies.The Democrats unveiled two new television advertisements that sought again to bolster Kerry’s leadership credentials, an issue they thought they had put to rest in his three televised debates with Bush.- Nampa-AFP

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