WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry doesn't have a Republican-leaning French cousin. President Bush is not pushing legislation that would have other countries pay off the deficit. Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is not retiring to study Scottish Common Law.
And Democrats and Republicans did not agree on anything Thursday.
Playing traditional April Fool's (search) politics, the parties and presidential campaigns mocked their opponents with bogus announcements that didn't always get a laugh.
In one of the day's more believable pranks, the Democratic National Committee (search) announced that Republicans had agreed to a series of televised presidential debates.
"This day, April 1, will indeed go down as a historic day in presidential politics," DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe and Republican National Committee (search) Chairman Ed Gillespie said in a joint statement that proved to be false.
On a day when Kerry's campaign did issue a debate challenge to Bush, some media outlets were confused, calling both parties for more details and prompting the DNC to issue a clarification.
"At a glance, we will admit it looks quite formal," DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera said about their statement.
For its turn, the RNC announced that Kerry's French cousin had called to support Bush.
A cartoon spoof on the RNC Web site also poked fun at the Massachusetts senator's support of higher gas taxes and his claims of backing from anonymous foreign leaders.
"All of it has his French cousin so upset, he called to say he's voting for Bush," the GOP said in a statement that ended with an April Fool's greeting in French.
Kerry's campaign took a dig at Bush over rising deficits and U.S. jobs lost overseas, attributing a fake quote to the president explaining why other countries should be responsible for the U.S. deficit: "Why should every kid born in America be stuck with $35,000 in debt -- when we can just outsource it and stick it to every kid on the planet?"
Addressing Pennsylvania's heated Republican Senate primary between Specter and Rep. Pat Toomey, a news release from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee headlined "Specter to Retire" irked a handful of duped reporters.
"One thing I learned from this is how few people read past the subject line or headline in a press release," said DSCC spokesman Brad Woodhouse. "There were some media outlets that didn't think it was all that funny."