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Politics | Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra says the Democrats are trying to destroy President Bush's credibility with their freshly minted anti-war rhetoric

Issue: "2004 Olympics Preview," Aug. 14, 2004

On much of John Kerry's sunny, bunting-draped website, you can almost smell the apple pie baking. But the smiley-face Democratic campaign bares its teeth in a July news release linked to its homepage: The Kerry-Edwards camp claims that President George W. Bush never read vital pre-war intelligence, didn't check facts on intelligence that he did read, and later tried to hide what he knew about Saddam's WMD.

A useful booklet produced late last month by Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.)-"We Must Never Forget: Tough Questions About the War on Terror"-suggests that Democrats, in Rep. Hoekstra's words, "are forgetting that when we went to war against Iraq in 2003 . . . the war resolution passed Congress with huge majorities. Then we get to 2004, an election year, and all these Democrats are running from the votes and decisions they made."

Rep. Hoekstra, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, concludes, "Many of these people reviewed the same intelligence the president did, and reached the same conclusions." Their freshly minted anti-war rhetoric, he added, is an attempt to destroy Mr. Bush's political "center of gravity"-his credibility. Destroy that, Congressman Hoekstra said, and "you have in effect destroyed the president's ability to lead, and to win an election. That's why you have this all-out assault."

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