Trail Tales: Who's Really Smarter?

Published October 26, 2004

| FoxNews.com

The election is one week away, and President Bush and John Kerry were wooing voters Tuesday in Wisconsin. Public polls in the major swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are so close that both camps have cause for optimism and room for doubt.

Who's Really Smarter?

Despite all the talk questioning Bush's ability to pronounce words and claims that Kerry is a fussy intellectual, some pseudo-scientists are saying the Massachusetts senator's IQ may actually be lower than the president's.

Steve Sailer, a columnist for Vdare.com, has a few interesting things to point out in his column about the brainwaves of the presidential candidates.

"There's been a lot of talk about how Senator Kerry has a lot higher IQ than Bush … the thing is, though, there's very little hard evidence out there," Sailer told FOX News on Tuesday.

At the age of 22, both men took the IQ-type tests required of candidate military officers — Bush took one to get into the Air National Guard and Kerry took one in his efforts to become a Navy officer. Sailer said that Kerry scored in the 50th percentile — about average for all who applied with him but "well above average intelligence" of others.

On his Air Force Qualifying Test, the president "scored a little bit better, better than about 2/3 of the applicants," Sailer said.

While the two tests aren't perfectly comparable, Sailer says they provide no evidence that Kerry is smarter and that, if anything, Bush is smarter than Kerry.

Bush got a 1206 on his SATs, the college entrance exams, and maintained a C+ average at Yale University. His graduate management aptitude test score and grades at Harvard Business School are not known, however.

Kerry's grades and academic test scores remain wholly unavailable, but he did not graduate from Yale with honors.

Bush actually has higher IQ — in the mid 120s, Sailer said, while Kerry's is about an even 120.

"The question is, first of all, is Bush really as dumb as Democrats like to say? The answer is no, he's a clever man. Is Kerry quite as smart as people think he is? Probably not," Sailer told FOX News.

But the president can do some things to get rid of the blundering idiot image, Sailer said.

"I think what we've seen is that, it would probably do the president some good for somebody to sit down and say 'Mr. President, you have degrees from the two most popular colleges in the United States' and you can fly a fighter jet but 'you can really buckle down and sweat the details a little bit more than you're doing,'" Sailer said.

Tons of Political Ammunition

Almost 400 tons of missing explosives in Iraq is proving to be a firecracker in the race for the White House.

Senior Defense officials said they are looking into assessments by the International Atomic Energy Agency that say the high-yield explosives went missing from Iraq's al-Qaqaa weapons facility following the coalition invasion of Iraq. The Iraq Survey Group is taking the lead in determining where they might have gone.

NBC Nightly News aired a package Monday night on the missing explosives. The package used footage shot by an NBC reporter embedded with the 101st Airborne as they took control of a weapons installation in southern Iraq one day after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The video demonstrates that at the time of the operation, no "powerful explosives" were present at the installation, which means they did not necessarily go missing during the time of the U.S. occupation.

On the trail Monday, Kerry called the incident "one of the great blunders" of the war.

"Terrorists could use this material to kill our troops, our people, blow up airplanes and level buildings," Kerry said. "The unbelievable blindness, stubbornness, arrogance of this administration to do the basics have now allowed this president to once again fail the test of being the commander in chief."

Bush shot back quickly.

"My opponent has the wrong strategy for the wrong country at the wrong time," the president said at a campaign stop.

When asked by MSNBC's "Hardball" host Chris Matthews if Bill Clinton urged Kerry to push the issue of Iraq or more domestic issues during a joint campaign event in Philadelphia on Monday, Kerry said Clinton was "very concerned about this ammo dump thing."

"He thinks that -- and I think that -- represents the way in which this administration has miscalculated again and again and again in Iraq," Kerry said in the interview, which aired Monday night. "And this is serious, because just a small amount, if only a few tons of it fell into the hands of terrorists, it's more than enough to blow airplanes out of the sky, buildings to the ground, it's deadly serious. And it's so basic to what we should have been doing over there."

Appearing on "Larry King Live," Kerry's running mate, John Edwards, also addressed the ammo issue.

"The reality is that they didn't secure them. The Bush administration didn't secure these materials. They haven't taken the steps necessary to be successful in Iraq. And we're seeing the consequences of it every single day," said the North Carolina senator.

Blood Thinner Than Oil

There goes the invitation to the Western White House.

Seven distant relatives of President Bush have created a Web site urging visitors: "Please, don't vote for our cousin." The Bush relatives, Kerry supporters, say they've never met the president but disagree with his policies ranging from the war in Iraq to the environment.

The Web site was launched in late September "to help America heal from the sickness it has suffered since George Bush was appointed president in 2000."

"I don't really feel like it's a betrayal," said Sheila House, the president's second cousin and co-creator of the site. "I'll definitely admit that we're using the relationship as a hook to get people to talk about politics."

The people behind the Web site are grandchildren of Mary Bush House, the sister of Prescott Bush, who was the father and grandfather of the two Bush presidents. That makes them second cousins of the president.

The idea came about when Kerry spotted Sheila House's cousin, Jeanny House, at a rally waving a sign that read "Bush Relative for Kerry." They shook hands and Kerry joked about creating a Web site, Sheila House said.

The site, which includes the headline, "Because blood is thinner than oil!" offers testimonials from the Bush relatives.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kutcher: 'We Got Punk'd'

Ashton Kutcher, stumping for Kerry and Edwards in the actor's home state of Iowa — considered a battleground state — said Monday that he and others who voted for Bush in 2000 "got punk'd."

The "That '70s Show" star is also the host of the MTV show "Punk'd" in which celebrities are the subjects of practical jokes.

"I voted for him because I thought he was like me. I thought he was a good old boy like me," Kutcher said, speaking before Edwards took the stage in Dubuque.

But Kutcher, 26, said Bush has proven him wrong. And he had a message for the president: "You're not going to fool me again."

Just then, a man in the audience yelled: "You got punk'd!"

"Yah, we got punk'd," the Cedar Rapids native said. "I'm here to take responsibility for my mistakes."

The actor also has appeared several films, including "Dude, Where's My Car," "The Butterfly Effect" and "Just Married."

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

On Bush's Trail

The president and Mrs. Bush visited Greeley, Colo., Monday morning for a rally, where the incumbent unveiled some new language attacking Kerry on the topic of national defense. He was joined on the trail by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters Monday that "we haven't really made up our mind yet" as to whether he would campaign for Bush in the last week of the presidential race.

The Terminator is considering a single trip to Ohio — there and back the same day, probably Friday.

"Now I can squeeze in a quick trip because I have my own plane," he said, according to various California newspapers. "So there is a way of doing it. But I'm not going to hop around from state to state because the people did not elect me to do that."

The Choice

At the event in Greeley, Bush said: "Now we are nearing the first presidential election since September the 11th, 2001. The people of the United States will choose the leader of the free world in the middle of a global war. The choice is not only between two candidates, it is between two directions in the conduct of the War on Terror. Will America return to the defensive, reactive mind set that sought to manage the dangers to our country? Or will we fight a real war with the goal of victory?"

Kerry Not 'Square on Reality' on UBL

"Now my opponent is throwing out the wild claim that he knows where bin Laden was in the fall of 2001 and that our military had a chance to get him in Tora Bora," the president said. "This is an unjustified and harsh criticism of our military commanders in the field. This is the worst kind of Monday-morning quarterbacking. And it is what we've come to expect from Senator Kerry. In fact, our commander in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks, recently wrote, 'The senator's understanding of events do not square with reality.'"

Franks, who also led the war in Iraq, wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times last Tuesday that listed several errors Kerry has made in his claims about the attempted capture of the Al Qaeda leader. Franks included in those errors Kerry's suggestion that the U.S. military "outsourced" the capture of bin Laden to Afghan troops.

On Kerry's Trail

Kerry was campaigning in Dover, N.H., Monday morning, then he met up with former President Bill Clinton for the candidate's main event in Philadelphia. Former Vice President Al Gore was in Florida, also campaigning for the Massachusetts senator. Kerry's running mate, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, appeared on "Larry King Live" Monday night, while Kerry was on "Hardball."

Bubba on the Stump

Clinton, who has been recovering from quadruple bypass surgery, was noticeably thinner and his words were a little slower than usual. But he looked good.

"If this isn't good for my heart, I don't know what is," Clinton said as he took the podium to resounding applause and cheering. "I know well that no one's presence can change a single vote, but I hope my reasons can change a few votes."

He added: "From time to time, I have been called the 'Comeback Kid' -- in eight days, John Kerry's going to make America the comeback country."

Waistline Politics

During a campaign appearance for a Republican candidate to the California Assembly, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made fun of Sen. Ted Kennedy's weight. The Massachusetts senator is the Terminator's uncle by marriage. Schwarzenegger is married to Kennedy niece Maria Shriver.

After appearing a little late for the campaign event Monday, Schwarzenegger apologized, explaining that he had been pumpkin hunting with his children.

"My kids just brought home a beautiful pumpkin, but you know what? I'm going to return it because it's a Democratic pumpkin. It has the orange color of John Kerry's tan, and the roundness of Teddy Kennedy," said the Republican governor.

Later, Schwarzenegger made a few more jokes about Kennedy's weight when discussing California's $103 billion budget.

"That's a lot of money," he said. "Another way to think about it is if you take $100 bills and put them next to each other, they will go half way, truly half way around Teddy Kennedy's stomach."

As the audience guffawed, Schwarzenegger said, "I always like to make jokes about Teddy Kennedy. I think it's always fun to do that. He's one of my favorite relatives. He comes to my house and he eats away all the cake and all the desserts that we have."

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Poll Watch

Bush is leading Kerry 51 percent to 46 percent among 1,195 likely voters, according to a national poll released by CNN/USAToday/Gallup and conducted Oct. 22-24. Independent candidate Ralph Nader garnered 1 percent support. Among 1,461 registered voters, Bush has 49 percent, Kerry has 47 percent and Nader has 1 percent.

A national poll of 881 likely voters, conducted by the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 21-24, found that the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat, both with 48 percent support. In September, this poll gave the Kerry-Edwards camp 51 percent support and the Bush-Cheney camp 45 percent support. Nader then got 2 percent support but now only has 1 percent, while 3 percent are still unsure.

Hawaii, Pennsylvania

The Bush-Cheney campaign is slightly ahead of Kerry-Edwards in Hawaii, which Gore won in 2000, according to a Honolulu Star-Bulletin-KITV poll of 559 likely voters conducted Oct. 17-20. Bush has 46 percent, Kerry has 45 percent and another 9 percent are unsure.

In Pennsylvania, Kerry-Edwards has 49 percent and Bush-Cheney has 44 percent, according to a poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall College Oct. 19-23. Of the 622 registered voters surveyed, another 7 percent are unsure. Pennsylvania is a huge battleground state as candidates vie for its 21 electoral votes.

Ad Wars

Ad: "Su Voto"

Sponsor: Kerry-Edwards campaign

English translation; ad is in Spanish

Narrator: "This is John Kerry. I ask for your support to improve our country because together we can achieve the dreams of the Hispanic community. It would be an honor to serve as your president. Together we will fight for a better future. I am John Kerry and I ask you for your vote."

Ad: "National Safety"

Sponsor: Kerry-Edwards campaign

English translation; ad is in Spanish

Woman: "We are worried about what's happening in Iraq."

Man: "We are creating more enemies, losing our friends. And my family is in more danger now than yesterday."

On screen: More than 1,089 of our sons and daughters have died in Iraq.

Woman: "We trust John Kerry and the Democrats to protect our families."

On screen: We will win the war against terrorism with John Kerry and the Democrats.

Woman: "John Kerry and the Democrats have the same values of our Hispanic community."

Funny Files

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart":

"Five leading politicians took to the morning shows. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush stopped by 'Good Morning America' for a chat, while John Kerry and Dick Cheney paid a visit to 'The Today Show.' Meanwhile, on CBS' 'Early Show,' Ralph Nader could be seen holding up a sign during their interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar."

"Our (election 2004) fiasco preview begins where the fiasco began last time: Florida. While the Sunshine State's 2000 debacle gave all of America 36 days of breezy, lighthearted fun, there were negative aspects as well, and the state has been warned by God four times this hurricane season alone to never let it happen again.

"So this time, state officials hit on an ingenuous solution: allow early voting, so their innate gross incompetence could be diffused over a longer period of time."

"Late Late Show with Jim Rome":

"John Kerry took a break from the campaign trail for a totally spontaneous hunting trip, where he just happened to run into some news cameras. Kerry was hunting in the state of Ohio, which his wife, Teresa, rented out for the day."

"Asked how many geese he shot, John Kerry replied, 'I think it's beautiful the Cheneys love their lesbian daughter."'

"'I love hunting, fishing, anything outdoors,' Kerry said as he sprayed on his tan."

"At one point during the hunt, Kerry experienced a flashback to Vietnam, and quickly shot himself in the ass for a Purple Heart."

"A very scary moment when Kerry accidentally unloaded a round into Senator Joe Lieberman, mistaking him for a wild turkey."

FOX News' Liza Porteus, Corbett Riner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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