Stepping up the attacks

In a speech at NYU this morning, Senator Kerry has stepped up his attacks against George Balker Bush.

“Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious?”

“Is he really saying to Americans that if we had known there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to al-Qaida, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is resoundingly no because a commander in chief’s first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.”

“By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war,” Kerry said. “If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded.”

Kerry said Bush’s two main rationales _ weapons of mass destruction and a connection between al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 attacks _ have been proven false by weapons inspectors and the bipartisan commission investigating the attacks.

“This president was in denial,” Kerry said. “He hitched his wagon to the ideologues who surround him, filtering out those who disagreed, including leaders of his own party and the uniformed military. The result is a long litany of misjudgments with terrible consequences.”

Kerry can now point to other Republicans who are also voicing concern about the president’s leadership in Iraq. Among them is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Indiana Republican Richard Lugar, who said Sunday problems with reconstruction show there is “incompetence in the administration.” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he would like to see the president be more clear about the dangers in Iraq.

The full text of Kerry’s NYU speech is available here.

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