Kerry Asked to Renounce Dean’s Bombing Remarks
Presidential candidate John F. Kerry said Wednesday he did not share fellow Democrat Howard Dean’s position that President Bush’s decision to send troops to Iraq appeared to have been a factor in the Spanish train bombing.
The chairman of Bush’s reelection campaign called on Kerry to repudiate the comment that Dean made during a conference call arranged by the Kerry campaign.
“The president was the one who dragged our troops to Iraq, which apparently has been a factor in the death of 200 Spaniards over the weekend,” Dean said as he defended Kerry from a Bush television ad that accused Kerry of turning his back on U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq.
Asked about the comment on his campaign plane Wednesday, Kerry said, “It’s not our position.”
Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot said Dean blamed the deaths on Bush and the war on terror when they were caused by a global terror network.
“If Sen. Kerry understands the nature of this threat and the need to take on terror, then he should immediately repudiate these troubling comments, and stop all efforts on behalf of his surrogates to blame America for these attacks,” said Racicot, former governor of Montana.
An international investigation is focusing on Islamic militants possibly linked to Al Qaeda as the culprits in the Madrid train bombings last Thursday. A man who identified himself as an Al Qaeda spokesman said on a videotape found in a trash bin that the bombings were in retaliation for Spain’s backing of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Dean, who ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary and now is supporting Kerry’s campaign, said he was repeating the connection made on the tape.