Bush: 'I am not going to come in second' ; Says GOP will criticize Kerry, stress own record
Bush defended Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose resignation [John Kerry] has called for in the wake of two reports this week criticizing top military commanders for abuse of prisoners in Iraq. Bush said he has discussed his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage with gay friends and said he is reviewing tapes of Kerry's past debate performances to prepare for debates this fall.
Bush was most animated when he was asked about how he would react to losing his last campaign. He was asked if he and his wife, Laura, hadn't said that they would be fine if Kerry wins. Bush interrupted sharply. "I have never said that," he insisted. In a June interview, however, Laura Bush said she has "of course" considered the possibility that there might not be a second term. "No matter what happens in the election," she said, "we'll be OK."
Bush was eager to talk about TV ads sponsored by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an independent group with links to his campaign, that say Kerry doesn't deserve the decorations he won in Vietnam. Bush lumped them together with Democratic groups' ads calling Bush a liar. All those supposedly independent ads should be illegal, he said. In fact, he said, he and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, a Kerry friend who is popular among independent voters, are talking about taking legal action to force the Federal Election Commission to ban the groups' activities.
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