The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Truth About Bush's Statements
The New York Times reports today that after President Bush condemned the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (search) ad and all other ads by so-called 527 groups, "The White House quickly moved to insist that Mr. Bush had not meant in any way to single out the advertisement run by the veterans opposed to Mr. Kerry."
The Times names Scott McClellan as the person who did this insisting. But a transcript of McClellan's informal press briefing yesterday shows he did no such thing. He didn't even raise the issue until he was asked about it, merely repeating what the president said.
And when McClellan talked to reporters again later, he and other journalists present say he did the same thing.
A group of Vietnam Veterans in Clackamas County, Oregon, is calling for Deputy District Attorney Al French to resign, insisting he has "disrespect[ed] fellow combat veterans" by appearing in a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad.
In the ad, and in a sworn affidavit, French says, "I served with John Kerry ... [and] he is lying about his record." But French has since admitted he does not know that first-hand, and was relying on what others have told him.
A letter to French, signed by 60 Vietnam veterans and others, says, "We question your fitness to serve as an enforcer of the law after swearing to facts ... that you do not know to be true."
The head district attorney, meanwhile, says French is a "trusted and respected member of the office," and is entitled to his own opinions.
Carter Defending His Endorsement
Former President Jimmy Carter (search) is defending his endorsement of the official results in the Venezuelan recall election after what he admits was a, "quick count" of ballots. He says, "Opposition leaders claimed to have exit-poll data showing the government losing by 20 percentage points, and this erroneous information was distributed widely."
But, in fact, at least three exit polls did show that, including one by Bill Clinton's (search) former pollster, the respected U.S. firm Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates.
Purple Production Boost?
Some teachers across the country are now marking their students' papers with purple pens, not red ones, because they say, "red has a negative connotation, and we want to promote self-confidence."
One teacher at a middle school in Northampton, Massachusetts, insists, "Purple ... doesn't look as scary as red." And another teacher says, "red is definitely a no-no."
So, according to the Boston Globe, pen makers and office supply stores are now boosting their purple pen supply.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report