In the wake of the recent Swift Boat smear against Patrick Murphy first reported here on Friday, John Kerry lashed out Sunday, while on the stump campaigning for legislative candidates in Iowa, against the group that campaigned against him during his last run for the White House. The group has reformed under the banner of the Economic Freedom Fund.
Kerry said he is concerned that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is again resorting to “the politics of fear and smear.”
The group, financed by Texas conservatives, ran commercials questioning his Vietnam record _ the centerpiece of his presidential campaign in 2004. Those same conservatives have formed another group this year _ Economic Freedom Fund _ to campaign against Democrats across the country.
“We’re not going to give them an ounce of daylight,” said Kerry, who is considering another run at the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Kerry said his response to the commercials from the SBVT was not strong enough. “We thought the fact that the truth was out there was enough,” he said. “Clearly it wasn’t.”
The Economic Freedom Fund are at in Iowa, too — with part of their campaign including “$500,000 to bash Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, who is seeking re-election in the 3rd District in central Iowa.”
Boswell is being challenged by state Republican Senate President Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny in a race that has included significant cash from both parties.
Boswell retired after 20 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. But the conservative group has chosen to focus on issues ranging from higher taxes to immigration. Part of the group’s money is also funding an automated telephone campaign against Boswell.
Kerry said his experience in Iowa has taught him that the group’s message won’t sway voters.
“I know enough about Iowa citizens, Republicans and Democrats alike, to know that they value their independence,” said Kerry, who scored a surprise victory in the Iowa caucus in January 2004. “I don’t think their position is going to be swayed by big Texas money.”
Dave Johnson has more on the Economic Freedom Fund on The Patriot Project.