KERRY NOT SURE GOD ON AMERICA'S SIDE
- To: "Bush Group"
From: "Arlene DiRocco"
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 19:14:22 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
Subject: [Bush2004] KERRY NOT SURE GOD ON AMERICA'S SIDE
FLAVOR00-NONE-0000-0000-0000000000003.0;KERRY NOT SURE GOD ON AMERICA'S SIDE; DAN RATHER IN SHOWDOWN WITH SHARPTON; MILLIONAIRE EDWARDS PRESSED ON 'AVERAGE GUY' IMAGE
Sun Feb 29 2004 ET
Democrat frontrunner John Kerry is not sure God is on America's side in the war terrorism. Kerry made the startling comments during Sunday's Democrat presidential debate in New York City.
Elizabeth Bumiller of the NEW YORK TIMES asked Kerry: "President Bush has said that freedom and fear have always been at war, and God is not neutral between them. He's made quite clear in his speeches that he feels God is on America's side.
"Is God on America's side?"
KERRY: Well, God will -- look, I think -- I believe in God, but I don't believe, the way President Bush does, in invoking it all the time in that way. I think it is -- we pray that God is on our side, and we pray hard. And God has been on our side through most of our existence.
Meanwhile, Rev. Al Sharpton stared-down CBS anchorman Dan Rather and accused the media of selecting the party's nominee.
SHARPTON: I want us to be able to respond, or then tell us you want a two-way debate.
RATHER: Here's where the thing is. We certainly want to hear, I think you will agree, the voters have spoken.
SHARPTON: No, the voters have not spoken. We've only had -- he's won one primary. He's come in fourth seven times.
BUMILLER: How many delegates...
SHARPTON: What you're trying to do is trying to decide for the voters how we go forward. The voters need to hear this morning from four candidates, or say the media now is going to select candidates.
RATHER: Reverend, we've heard from you, we're going to hear from you. I don't understand what the argument is.
SHARPTON: I had to fight to speak on Haiti, I had to fight to speak on trade. You got a guy with one primary that you're pretending he's -- Gary Hart won more primaries than Mondale.
Let's have an open debate and go into Super Tuesday, or say that you guys want to decide the nominee.
RATHER: Reverend, debate them, not me.
SHARPTON: If I get time, I would love to do that.
RATHER: You've been on, but the clock's been running on you. I wanted to hear what you had to say...
KERRY: Can I just finish?
RATHER: Finish what you have to say, Senator, then we're going to go to Reverend Sharpton.
Sen. John Edwards hit turbulence when asked by WCBS reporter Andrew Kirtzman if his "working class" message is overshadowed by his wealth.
KIRTZMAN: Senator Edwards, through the campaign, and again this morning, you have spoken very eloquently and movingly about the fight against the rich and the powerful on behalf of the working class. And yet, you yourself are rich and powerful. You're worth upwards of $36 million. You have a $4 million house in Georgetown, a $1 million beachhouse in North Carolina, a $1 million home in Raleigh.
Do you think your supporters know that you live this way?
EDWARDS: Well, first of all, in fairness, if you're going to list our assets, I hope you'll list John Kerry's too -- because he's got a lot more than I've got.
EDWARDS: Here's the truth. The truth is that I come from the same place most Americans have come from. I grew up in a family where my father worked in the mill, working -- didn't make me any different than most people in this country. I mean, he worked hard, he had a high school education. I was the first person in my family to go to college.
KIRTZMAN: But they've heard that part, but have they heard the other part, is the question.
KUCINICH: Why should that disqualify him? I mean, that's crazy. You know what? He has spoken...
KUCINICH: John, let me defend you on this.
Because I'm saying that the fact that he's speaking about these issues relating to two Americas, that there's poverty in this country, and those issues ought to be addressed, I'm glad you're talking about it, John, and I...
SHARPTON: And I am, too. But I think, Andrew, the point is...
SHARPTON: I will let you finish, like you did me.
I think the point is, though, the reason I say there's more than two Americas is because he could come from there to where he is. And many of us can't because of other obstacles: because of race, because of sex, because of sexual orientation.
So the reason I disagree with just two Americas is, he could go from a mill to $36 million. Many people can't do it.
And I might add, there was nothing more biased in the South than some of those mill towns, where some of us couldn't even work in the mills.
So I think that his story should be told, but it should be told in the broader context of why everyone can't have the same kind of achievement.
KIRTZMAN: I've got to interrupt you, because Dennis was defending...
KIRTZMAN: I will give you the turn. I just want to remind you of the question that I...
EDWARDS: I remember the question.
KIRTZMAN: Do you think your supporters know you live this way?
EDWARDS: Yes, sir, I think that most of them do. They know I've done very well.
And the truth is this. Let me just put this in the simplest terms I know how. I come from the same place that most Americans come from. I am running for president of the United States so that millions of American get the same chances that I've had. I mean, it's just that simple.
And Al Sharpton is completely right about one thing. This is not just wealth and class. It's race -- we have two health-care systems in America. We have two public school systems. We have two governments, one for the insiders and the lobbyists and one for everybody else.
What this is about for me, in its simplest terms, is trying to make sure that other Americans get the same chance that I've had.
I don't want to see us, those of us who've had the great luck to have done pretty well in this country, to pull the ladder up behind us. We want to make it available to more people, no matter where they live, who their family is or what the color of their skin is.
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