ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The New York Times ' Glen Justice reports on the Bush campaign's criticism of a new ad yesterday depicting a soldier in quicksand under the word "quagmire." LINK

The campaign's statement from chairman Marc Racicot:

"When John Kerry speaks before the National Guard today, he should apologize for the actions of his surrogates and demand that they take down their ad depicting a defeated American soldier.

"John Kerry's campaign is rooted in the past, hollow with pessimism, and preaching defeat to the American people.

"John Kerry's continually shifting positions on Iraq and his sinking rhetoric of a defeated America send a signal to our allies and our enemies that America is not willing to finish the job. This attitude undermines the great progress that the men and women in America's armed forces have made in the fight against terror around the world. America expects more from one who aspires to the position of Commander-in-Chief."

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen reports that the Bush campaign is moving staff and ads from states he won in 2000 such as West Virginia and Missouri "into ones he wants to make Democratic nominee John F. Kerry defend, notably Minnesota and Wisconsin." LINK

Allen Notes the confusion between the new Gallup/ USA Today poll, which showed President Bush with a 13-point lead, and the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which showed the race tied. "The president's aides said they believe they are winning narrowly."

The Washington Post 's editorial board praises President Bush for speaking out against Russian President Vladimir Putin. LINK

AP's Kathy Barks Hoffman on Jenna and Barbara Bush's campaigning in Michigan yesterday. LINK

Sue Niederer, whose son died in Iraq, was arrested and charged with defiant trespass after interrupting First Lady Laura Bush's speech in Hamilton, NJ yesterday. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: Cheney on the trail:

Vice President Cheney was on the trail in New Mexico and Nevada Thursday, where he strongly criticized Sen. Kerry's remarks to the National Guard, saying that he was "stunned by the audacity" of Kerry's statement and that his positions shift with the political winds, ABC News' Karen Travers reports.

Cheney highlighted Sen. Kerry's comment that leadership starts with telling the truth. When the crowd began laughing, Cheney stopped and said "That's not the laugh line."

More Cheney from Reno:

"The American people also know that true leadership requires the ability to make a decision," Cheney said. "True leadership is sticking with the decision in the face of political press and true leadership is standing for your principles regardless of your audience or your most recent political adviser."

"Sen. Kerry today said he would always be straight with the American people on the good days and on the bad days. In Sen. Kerry's case that means when the headlines are good he's for the war, and when his poll numbers are bad, he's against it."

This is the second event yesterday that Cheney had strong words for Sen. Kerry, acting as the BC04 rapid responder on the campaign trail. Over the past three weeks the Vice President has been utilized more frequently to hit back on Sen. Kerry's comments on the campaign trail.

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