Jump to content

Democrats Demand Bush Halt


Recommended Posts

But of course they have no intention of halting their attacks on President Bush do they.

Today: February 11, 2005 at 8:23:02 PST

Democrats Demand Bush Halt Attacks on Reid



WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats demanded Thursday that President Bush order a halt to personal attacks on the party's leader, Sen. Harry Reid, and expressed regret that they had failed to mount a stronger defense for his defeated predecessor.

"This is a new Democratic Party," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a news conference called to release a letter telling Bush to muzzle his "political operatives."

"It says to the president, `You will not intimidate us'," said Schumer, who likened the attacks on Reid to political knee-cappings.

The letter itself was written in milder terms. "We urge you to keep your word about being a uniter and publicly halt these counterproductive attacks so that we are able to work together in a bipartisan manner and debate issues on the merits," it says.

Bush and the White House have denied responsibility for the attacks.

But Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate after Reid, ridiculed that assertion, as Reid did earlier in the week.

"This is the Abu Ghraib defense, that a few renegade soldiers are responsible for their own behavior and the commanders are not accountable," said Durbin. His remarks referred to claims by military officials that a few low-ranking enlisted personnel were responsible for the shocking abuses at a U.S.-run prison in Iraq.

The letter to Bush was signed by all Senate Democrats except Reid, as well as Sen. James Jeffords, an independent from Vermont.

Reid was named to succeed the defeated Tom Daschle as party leader in December and quickly was attacked as an obstructionist by Republican National Committee. The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a summary of his early tenure entitled "Forty days and forty nights of partisanship."

The RNC distributed a 13-page compilation of criticisms, dissecting Reid's voting record and accusing him of obstructing Bush's agenda over the years. One portion of the document notes that the Nevada lawmaker lives in a costly condominium when he is in Washington - a point that Democrats said has no bearing on policy disputes with the White House.

The attacks are reminiscent of the treatment Daschle received for many months while he was Senate Democratic leader. He lost a re-election campaign in South Dakota last fall, and although Durbin said he and others had defended Daschle from GOP criticism, "we should have done more."

Reid, who did not attend the news conference, said twice this week that Bush could not credibly claim he wasn't behind attacks circulated by a party apparatus under his control.

Ironically, Reid and his wife were dinner guests at the White House on Monday night. The senator said Bush had told him he was not behind the attacks.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...