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September 07, 2006 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-07

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Thursday, September 7, 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 5A

In ad, vets thank
Lieberman for
backing war

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gestures as he addresses a crowd of military and civilian attendees of a town hall meeting at the Fallon Naval Air
Station in Fallon, Nevada on Monday, Aug. 28.
Effort to f ore Rumsfeld
no-confidence vote falters

Vets for Freedom
spends $60,000 on
ads for senator's
re-election campaign
Joe Lieberman's re-election bid
is getting some outside help
from a group grateful for the
lawmaker's support for the Iraq
Vets for Freedom, an inde-
pendent group with Republican
ties, will air an ad in Connecti-
cut yesterday and today featur-
ing veterans from the state who
thank the three-term incumbent
for backing the conflict.
Executive director Wade
Zirkle said his group's politi-
cal arm is spending $60,000 to
broadcast the commercial on
cable and network channels.
"We want to support policy-
makers who've been support-
ive of troops in the field," said
Vets for Freedom calls itself
a nonpartisan organization
that was founded by Iraq and
Afghanistan combat veterans.
Republican strategist Dan
Senor, former spokesman for
the defunct Coalition Provi-
sional Authority in post-inva-
sion Iraq; Bill Kristol, the editor
of The Weekly Standard, and
former Lieberman chief of staff
Bill Andresen have advised the
group, Zirkle said.
The ad features Connecticut
veterans praising Lieberman's
Iraq stance.
"When we were over there,
it was important to know that
someone had our back," one of
the veterans says in the com-

Anti-war challenger Ned
Lamont made Lieberman's sup-
port for the war a major issue in
his primary victory last month.
Lieberman launched an inde-
pendent bid to retain his seat
after losing the primary.
Polls show Lieberman leading
Lamont and Republican Alan
Schlesinger, who has failed to
win the backing of the national
In Connecticut on Tuesday,
Lieberman focused on appeal-
ing to all voters.
"I don't have a political
party organization anymore,
so Hadassah and I are going to
reach out to individual voters -
Democrats, Republicans, inde-
pendents -at their doorsteps,"
Lieberman said in launching his
door-to-door campaign with his
Lamont and Lieberman are
expected to be in Washington
yesterday with Congress' return
but it is unlikely they will cross
Lieberman plans to attend the
traditional Democratic caucus
luncheon, where he will encoun-
ter many of the Democratic
colleagues who now support
Lamont, the nominee.
The senator has pledged to
remain in the Democratic cau-
cus if he wins a fourth term.
"If some people give me a
warm embrace, I'll welcome it.
If some people avert their eyes
-that's life," Lieberman said.
Lamont will not attend the
lunch. He has meetings with
party leaders, union officials
and business leaders planned
before he returns to Connecticut

Republicans deem
move by Democrats a
political stunt, stand
by defense secretary
ate Democrats pushed for a vote
yesterday calling for Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to
be fired, but Republicans moved
to head them off.
Minority Leader Harry Reid
(D-Nev.) submitted the resolu-
tion, which blasted the Bush
administration's Iraq policy.
"'Staying the course' is not a
strategy for success," it said.
Republicans called the move
a political stunt and stood by
Even Democrats acknowl-
edged that the Rumsfeld resolu-
tion, which is nonbinding in the
first place, would be struck down
on a point of order anyway since
it is not germane to the pending
legislation, the Pentagon spend-
ing bill.
"The 'stay the course' policy

in Iraq has made America less
secure, reduced the readiness of
our troops, and burdened Amer-
ica's taxpayers with over $300
billion in additional debt. ... One
indication of a change of course
would be to replace the current
secretary of defense," the resolu-
tion said.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
the floor manager of the bill, rose
to Rumsfeld's defense and prom-
ised to kill the Democratic reso-
lution on a point of order.
"This man deserves the sup-
port of the Senate, does not
deserve the opposition I'm sad to
say ... on a purely political basis,"
Stevens said.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
(R-Tenn.) repeatedly supported
Rumsfeld as he made the rounds of
news shows Wednesday morning.
"The American people want us
to be safe and secure. They rec-
ognize it takes bold leadership,"
Frist said on NBC's "Today"
show. "I strongly support Don
The GOP blocking tactics
would prevent politically imper-

iled Republicans from having to
vote to support the way President
Bush and Rumsfeld have handled
the war, which is increasingly
unpopular with the public.
Some Republicans, such as
John McCain of Arizona, have
sharply criticized Rumsfeld. And
GOP candidates Tom Kean of
New Jersey and Stephen Laffey of
Rhode Island, who is giving Sen.
Lincoln Chafee a very difficult
race for renomination, have called
for Rumsfeld's resignation.
Democrats say Rumsfeld, as
a principle architect of the war,
bears much responsibility for the
difficulties the U.S. is facing in
Iraq. And they remain livid over a
speech last week in which Rums-
feld likened opponents of the
war in Iraq to those who wanted
to appease Adolf Hitler before
World War II.
"Secretary Rumsfeld was a
leading participant in the admin-
istration's cherry-picking and
manipulation of intelligence in
the run-up to war, exaggerating
Iraq's connections to Al-Qaida
and the threat posed by its weap-

ons of mass destruction," said
Reid. "As a result of his and oth-
ers actions, the nation was rushed
to war based on a faulty case."
"What CEO of a company
could ultimately perform the way
that Secretary Rumsfeld has per-
formed and still be at the head of
that company? None," said Sen.
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
The White House and congres-
sional Republicans are framing
the November elections as a ref-
erendum on which party would
do a better job on fighting terror-
ism and otherwise protecting the
"It must be discouraging to our
troops and to our generals when
all of their work is second-guessed
by this kind of ploy," said Senate
Majority Whip Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.) "The Democrat amend-
ment may rile up the liberal base,
but it won't kill a single terrorist
or prevent a single attack."
Democrats are likely to have
no more luck in forcing a vote
on Rumsfeld in the House, where
Republican leaders keep tight
control over floor debate.

Parties, candidates hit airwaves

didates are touting their political
independence, blaming incum-
bents for high gas prices and
warning moderate voters of a
possible liberal takeover of Con-
gress in a current wave of adver-
tising that is revealing some
themes for the final weeks before
Election Day.
Across the country in competi-
tive House and Senate races, Dem-
ocrats and Democratic-leaning
groups are criticizing Republicans
for receiving contributions from
the oil industry and advocating oil
exploration tax breaks while con-
sumers pay more at the pump.
With the public holding the
GOP-controlled Congress in low

esteem, Republican are using ads
to present themselves as inde-
pendent-minded public servants
who don't toe the party line. And
in at least one race, the National
Republican Congressional Cam-
paign is running an ad warning
that a Democratic victory would
lead to higher taxes, greater illegal
immigration and a "cut and run"
policy in Iraq.
Though the ad messages are
likely to change from race to race,
they showcase overarching cam-
paign motifs that both parties and
their candidates have been per-
fecting throughout the summer.
Party operatives and outside
strategists predict pocketbook
issues such as taxes and a higher

minimum wage will play a domi-
nant role in the coming advertis-
ing wave. They said ads also will
seek to capitalize on national news
and issues commanding attention
in Congress.
That said, the NRCC has no
plans to dovetail its advertis-
ing strategy to Congress' current
focus on national security topics,
said Carl Forti, a campaign com-
mittee spokesman.
"Our races are local races," he
said, reiterating the party's deter-
mination not to make the election
a referendum on President Bush or
the Republican Party.
Still, the committee is run-
ning an ad on behalf of Rep.
John Hostettler (R-Ind.), say-

ing a Democratic victory would
place Congress under the con-
trol of Democrats such as House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
"Control of Congress is at stake
in the coming election," the ad
states. "Pelosi and other Demo-
crats want to raise your taxes, cut
and run in Iraq and give amnesty
to illegal immigrants."
The Democratic Congres-
sional Campaign Committee
is hitting back, singling out oil
industry contributions to Repub-
lican Reps. Christopher Chocola
in Indiana and Charles Taylor in
North Carolina, and to Republi-
can John Gard, a candidate for an
open seat in Wisconsin.

Joe Lieberman walks with his wife, Hadassah Monday in the Newtown,
Conn. Labor Day parade.

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