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Archive for Sunday, October 12, 2003

2004 presidential election briefs

October 12, 2003

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Iowa

Gephardt builds on ties with organized labor

Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt nurtured his already solid ties to organized labor Saturday, building on a constituency that could make the difference in Iowa's leadoff precinct caucuses.

Gephardt rallied with Teamsters president James Hoffa in Des Moines, collected the endorsement of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and said his close ties with labor were crucial to Iowa's organization-driven caucuses.

Hoffa said he met Saturday with shop stewards from around the state. "We put a game plan into effect," Hoffa said. "We're going to go city by city, local by local so every member of the Teamsters is on board."

Hoffa said Gephardt has spent a quarter-century advocating labor causes in Washington.

"We have never been so committed to a candidate for president," Hoffa said.

Washington, D.C.

Dean decries opponents' united front against him

The Dean campaign lashed out Saturday at what it called the "Gephardt-Kerry Washington tag team."

An article on The New York Times Web site suggested an alliance of sorts between Dick Gephardt and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry -- against Howard Dean.

The two men appeared friendly at the Democratic presidential debate Thursday night in Phoenix. Aides to Kerry and Gephardt both say there's no orchestrated conspiracy, the Times reported, but they acknowledged that their staffs were sharing information on Dean.

Dean's campaign said it showed Kerry and Gephardt were desperate.

"It's no secret that campaigns talk to each other, but these coordinated attacks from Washington insiders cross the line," said Tricia Enright, Dean's communications director.

Iowa

Kucinich describes plan to end Iraq occupation

Dennis Kucinich on Saturday detailed his plan to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and put the United Nations in charge of rebuilding the country.

"I believe that people across this country want us to get out of Iraq, that they want to end the occupation, that they are beside themselves at spending (more money) to continue the occupation," he said.

Kucinich said he would vote next week against President Bush's $87 billion spending request for military operations and for rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kucinich's plan calls for the United States to hand over administrative and security responsibilities to the United Nations, allowing it to take control of the country's oil assets on behalf of the people of Iraq.

New Hampshire

Kerry attacks Bush policy on war, aftermath

John Kerry kept up his attack on the way the Bush administration has handled the war in Iraq and its aftermath.

"This administration is making America less safe, not more safe, with its blustering, arrogant, unilateral foreign policy that is losing us respect and influence in the world," he said.

Kerry said the best way to protect U.S. troops in Iraq was to "reduce the sense of American occupation of another country and take the target off of our people and get their hands out of your taxpayers' pockets and share this burden with the rest of the world."

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