Speaks For Itself
February 21, 2004
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
Dear President Bush,
Over the last week, you and your campaign have initiated a widespread attack on my service in Vietnam, my decision to speak out to end that war, and my commitment to the defense of this nation. Just today, Saxby Chambliss-- a man elected to the US Senate on the back of one of the most despicable campaigns ever conducted against Max Cleland, a true American Hero-- was carrying this attack for you.
As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation's history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to re-open these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do.
I am fighting to become the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Even before Democrats make their choice, you’ve launched a campaign of attacks against me. I am determined to run a campaign on the great challenges facing this country-- from creating jobs, to solving our health care crisis to getting our nation's ballooning deficit under control. But I will not sit back and allow my patriotism to be challenged.
America deserves a better debate. If you want to debate the Vietnam era, and the impact of our experiences on our approaches to presidential leadership, I am prepared to do so.
This is not a debate to be distorted through your $100 million dollar campaign fund. This is a debate that should be conducted face to face.
Mr. President, I hope you will conduct a campaign worthy of this nation’s future.