On Tuesday’s show, I had the opportunity to speak with three major players in the race for the Democratic nomination: Jeanne Shaheen, former New Hampshire governor and national chair for the John Kerry campaign; Matt Bennett, communications director for the Clark campaign, and Roger Salazar, national spokesperson for the Edwards campaign.
I asked each guest about specific remarks from their candidates.
[U.S. soldiers had] "personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads ... randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."
Sen. John Kerry
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, April 23, 1971
When asked about whether Sen. Kerry really meant that about his fellow soldiers, Jeanne Shaheen’s response focused more on the fact that John Kerry is a veteran himself, and he supports veterans and the military. Jeanne added that Kerry believes soldiers should be supported not just on the battlefield, but when they come back with veteran benefits … something Kerry believes President Bush has not done.
When I asked specifically why this information is being circulated heavy on the Web by a group of veterans who are saying that John Kerry is not the man he says he is, Jeanne answered with a comment about Republicans and how they have already started badmouthing Kerry. Jeanne went on to add that Kerry has done many significant things for veterans and is supported by specific veteran’s groups.
"I'm not part of the problem in Washington. I've never taken money from a lobbyist."
January 26, 2004
"What the general was referring to is that he is not running as a public official who has taken money from lobbyists while sitting in office."
Clark campaign spokesman
And now, to Matt Bennett. When I asked Matt about the issue of whether, or not Wesley Clark did indeed take money from lobbyists, he responded that the voters in New Hampshire, or any other state simply do not care about this issue. When I brought up that this was a matter of telling the truth, Matt said that Clark meant to stress that he has not taken money from lobbyists while in office, therefore not being influenced by any lobbyists in any way.
“...We live in a country where there are still two Americas. There's one for all those folks who are in positions of privilege and power, they get everything they've ever wanted, and then there's one for everyone else."
Sen. John Edwards
January 21, 2004
With Roger Salazar, I asked about Sen. Edwards sentiment towards “two Americas.” Roger stressed that Sen. Edwards wants everyone in this country to have the same opportunities and that everyone deserves a well-paying job, health care for their families and so forth. When I went on to discuss Sen. Edwards’ history as a trial lawyer, Roger explained that he was defending Americans from large corporations, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, who were taking advantage of these people.
Did I get straight answers from these three campaigns?
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