Trail Tales: 'Sick and Tired'

The election is four days away.

Papa’s 'Sick and Tired’

President Bush’s father’s not happy with the Democrat who wants his son’s job.

“I am a little sick and tired of the Kerry people blaming the president for absolutely everything,” George H. W. Bush (search) said

Bush, the nation’s 41st president who lost his own bid for a second term 12 years ago,
was in Los Alamos, N.M., with his granddaughters Jenna and Barbara, when he expressed his distaste for John Kerry (search) making a huge issue over the mystery of the missing Iraqi explosives.

“We drove over here from Santa Fe and we ran into a couple of potholes in the road. Don't tell Kerry or he'll blame the president on that. And then he'll come out and say ‘I have a plan to fix it.’ This guy's got more plans. I've never seen so many plans — no answers, but a lot of plans,” he said.

The Boss Sings for Kerry

In what may ultimately be the single largest rally of the presidential campaign, Bruce Springsteen (search) looked out over an estimated 80,000 people in Madison, Wis., and picked his acoustic guitar and his harmonica.

He performed “Promised Land” and the Kerry campaign’s unofficial theme song “No Surrender.”

When Springsteen introduced Kerry, he told the crowd it was time to roll up their sleeves for the Democratic candidate.

“That's why I'm here today to stand along side Sen. Kerry and to tell you that the country we carry in our hearts is waiting. And together we can move America towards our deepest ideals,” he said.

Remembering (the Other) JFK

The specter of former Democratic presidents made an appearance on the campaign trail Thursday. The Republican incumbent remembered three of the men who lived in the White House in the 20th Century as he made a direct appeal to Democratic voters in Youngstown, Ohio.

“There are a lot of people who understand and remember the great Democrat tradition of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and John Kennedy of standing strong in times of crisis,” Bush said.

The president was joined by the Democratic mayor of Youngstown, who is backing Bush in his re-election bid.

“As the mayor puts it, he didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party under John Kerry left him. And I welcome every Democrat to my campaign and I'm honored you're here,” Bush said.

Kerry invoked the memory of the other Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts with the initials JFK.

“Lately, George Bush has been invoking the name of President John Kennedy. Can you imagine, can you imagine President Kennedy in the wake of the Bay of Pigs standing up and telling the American people that he couldn't think of a single mistake that he had made, that he would do everything he had done before exactly the same way?” Kerry asked supporters at a rally in Toledo.

The crowd, not unexpectedly, shouted “no” to each question.

“Every single one of us knows that when the Bay of Pigs went sour, John Kennedy had the courage to look America in the eye and say to America, ‘I take responsibility, it's my fault.’ John Kennedy knew how to take responsibility for the mistake he made. And Mr. President, it is long since time for you to start taking responsibility for the mistakes you've made.”

Both men were in Ohio for a reason: The battleground state, which went with Bush four years ago, is leaning to the other side this time. Kerry is up 51 percent to Bush’s 42 percent in a Los Angeles Times poll taken Oct. 22-26.

Seeing Double

The Bush campaign admitted Thursday that they made brief use of a doctored image of members of 10th Mountain Division troops in an ad released Wednesday called "Whatever It Takes."

The image shows many of the same troops' faces, over and over again as Bush's voice intones, "Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan."

The original image included the president on a podium. The Bush Campaign insisted it's all the result of an "editing error," that the actual crowd was every bit as big as it looked, and that the ad will be corrected.

Ad Wars

Ad: No Limit
Sponsor: Bush-Cheney

VOICE OVER: Just when you thought there was a limit on what John Kerry would say, now he claims he'll always support our military. The same Kerry who voted against $87 billion for our troops in combat in the War on Terror. Against body armor, bullets and supplies. The same Kerry who after the first attack on the World Trade Center proposed slashing America's intelligence budget. Apparently there really is nothing John Kerry won't say.

PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

Ad: Your Hands
Sponsor: Kerry-Edwards

JOHN KERRY: Soon the campaign will end, and the election will be in your hands. If you believe we need a fresh start in Iraq … If you believe we can create and keep jobs here in America … If you believe we need to get health care costs under control … If you believe in the promise of stem cell research … If you believe our deficits are too high … and we're too dependent on Mideast oil … then I hope you'll join me, and together, we'll change America. I'm John Kerry and I approve this message.

Ad: Bush Review’
Sponsor: MoveOn.Org

(Animated President Bush with screen behind him saying "I'm the master of low expectations ... June 4, 2003")

BUSH IMITATOR: My fellow Americans, check it, as your president I have been real busy. So I thought I would take a minute to tell you what I have been up to.

(Slide changes to a graph reading "750,000 Lost Jobs")

BUSH IMITATOR: For starters, I took the strongest economy in history and turned it into the biggest deficit in history and lost over 750,000 jobs,

(Slide changes to picture of Cheney with "Halliburton" above him)

BUSH IMITATOR: My vice president, Dick Cheney, was in charge of that whole Halliburton thing.

(Slide changes to checklist with Afghanistan and Iraq checked and the boxes for Syria Iran and France unchecked)

BUSH IMITATOR: I invaded two countries.

(Slide changes to picture of animated Bush setting fire to Geneva Convention)

BUSH IMITATOR: Broke the Geneva Convention.

(In pink bikini bottom and cowboy hat in front of sign saying Crawford, Texas)

BUSH IMITATOR: Managed to take more vacation than any other president.

(Slide changes to blank with reveals "terrorist, terrorist, terrorist")

BUSH IMITATOR: So to summarize, "terrorist, terrorist, terrorist."

(Slide reveals “9-11, 9-11”)

BUSH IMITATOR: 9-11 9-11.

(Slide reveals “God bless America”)

BUSH IMITATOR: And God bless America. Thank you.

Poll Watch


Two polls in the Keystone State show the same result : Bush ahead with 49 percent to Kerry’s 47 percent, with 4 percent in the other or undecided categories. But factor in the margin of error in the Quinnipiac University or the Los Angeles Times polls and you’ve got a dead heat.


The same groups polled Florida and both found Bush on top in the state that sealed his fate four years ago. The L.A. Times poll is most favorable to Bush, giving him 51 percent to Kerry’s 43 percent, well outside the margin of error. The Quinnipiac poll shows it closer with Bush at 49 percent to Kerry’s 46 percent. The Nader factor is 2 or 1 percent, respectively.


Kerry’s prospects have improved in Michigan. A Detroit News poll gave the edge to Bush two weeks ago. In a poll conducted a week later and released this week, the roles are reversed and Kerry is up 47 percent to Bush’s 42 percent, but 10 percent said they were unsure.


A split decision. The University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute says Bush has 47 percent support to Kerry’s 47 percent. Ralph Nader gets one of his largest showing with 5 percent and 4 percent are unsure.

Kerry comes out on top in the St. Cloud State University poll with 49 percent to Bush’s 42 percent. Nader’s backing is at 2 percent with 7 percent unsure.

FOX News' Corbett Riner, J. Jennings Moss and The Associated Press contributed to this report.