Kerry says ‘potential’ for draft revival under Bush |

Kerry says ‘potential’ for draft revival under Bush

Associated Press Writer

MILWAUKEE (AP) – There is a “great potential of a draft” to replenish U.S. forces in Iraq if President Bush wins a second term, Democratic challenger John Kerry said in an Iowa newspaper interview published Friday.

Bush said during the second presidential debate that there would be no revival of the military draft under any circumstances if he is re-elected. “We’re not going to have a draft, period,” the president said.

However, Kerry told The Des Moines Register, “With George Bush, the plan for Iraq is more of the same and the great potential of a draft.” Kerry gave the interview Thursday evening before a late-night rally and before leaving to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday.

Bush did not directly respond to Kerry’s comment. But he said in Cedar, Rapids, Iowa, that he was “modernizing and transforming our United States military to keep the all-volunteer army an all-volunteer army.”

Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman said “the fact that Senator Kerry continues to bring up what he knows to be false undermines his credibility with voters.”

Kerry shifted to pocketbook issues in Milwaukee, telling hundreds of voters that the president’s record on jobs and taxes helped special interests, not their interests.

“Right now, we’ve got an economy where people feel like they’re on a treadmill, running faster and faster with each passing year, but they’re not getting ahead. They’re staying in place, and a whole bunch of folks are even falling behind,” Kerry said.

“The bottom line is this: This economy has a bad case of the flu and we need a new medicine,” Kerry said.

Kerry portrayed the president as insensitive with the everyday challenges facing families.

“The president has proven beyond a doubt he’s out of touch with the average American family, he’s out of ideas, and he’s unwilling to change course. So, we have to change course for him,” Kerry said.

Bush has defended his economic record, saying that repeated tax cuts energized growth and helped create 1.78 million jobs after the economy sustained terrorist attacks, a sustained stock market slide and a recession.

Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry had a record of voting for higher taxes. “John Kerry has spent 20 years in the Senate out of touch with American families, and today he is running away from that record because he knows he can’t sell it to the American people,” Schmidt said.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate runs below the national average, and the state’s voters haven’t seen the severe job losses afflicting other Midwestern battlegrounds.

Kerry, Edwards and their wives were briefed for more than an hour Thursday night on the campaign’s “unprecedented” plan for voter turnout and fighting voter suppression, said campaign adviser Mike McCurry. McCurry said Kerry requested the briefing, which campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill led in a Des Moines hotel room after the two couples held a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

McCurry would not give any details of the briefing but said the campaign is very concerned about allegations of voter suppression.

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