The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Bin Laden Endorsement?
A full transcript of all of Usama bin Laden’s new videotape has now been obtained by FOX News, and the Al Qaeda (search) leader issues far more of an attack on President Bush (search) than earlier excerpts had suggested. In the 18-minute tape, bin Laden refers to President Bush by name at least 10 times and accuses the White House of bringing on an "astronomical deficit" and awarding contracts to "shady Bush administration-linked mega corporations like Halliburton."
Bin Laden with a sort of poem, which has this closing line, "The wise man doesn’t squander his security, wealth, and children for the sake of the liar in the White House."
The Bin Laden Effect
And speaking of that bin Laden tape, John Kerry’s presidential campaign is not disputing that it polled Americans about the tape over the weekend. A poll by Kerry campaign adviser James Carville’s group, Democracy Corps (search), found that more Americans say the tape shows President Bush has taken his "eye off the ball in the war on terror," then say it emphasizes the importance of Mr. Bush’s approach to terrorism. The Kerry campaign, however, suggested President Bush’s team polled Americans on the tape, too. Bush campaign says it never asked anyone about it.
Former "New York Times" executive editor Howell Raines, who resigned after the Jayson Blair (search) scandal, says that if President Bush wins re- election, "Americans can mark it down as a triumph of thug politics."
Writing in the "St. Petersburg Times," Raines says, "The anything to win mentality has been perfected by the Bush family into a monumentally amoral strategic doctrine. But he goes on to say, "My generation of political reporters bear some responsibility for this ethically bankrupt dynasty. We helped glorify urban icons like Rudy Giuliani (search) as colorful character actors in the drama of democracy. We did not predict that their operatives would make their DNA the dominant strain in America’s gene pool."
An instructor at Fort Louis College (search) in Colorado has apologized to a student after assaulting him for wearing a college Republican sweatshirt. The student was in an off-campus restaurant when the instructor Mario Spiro, who didn’t know the student, walked up to him and kicked him in the leg. Spiro now says, "I acted inappropriately, giving vent to a thoughtless, knee jerk political reaction." The student, however, plans to file a complaint with the college, calling the attack "completely wrong."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report