Bush campaign chair Marc Racicot rejected Mike Allen's analysis of the cost of Bush's campaign promises. He said that they will be "quantified when they actually become proposals." (This has not stopped the Bush campaign from attaching a price tag to Kerry's nascent proposals). Racicot also counseled comparing the cost of Bush's plans to the expense of Kerry's health care plan which, Racicot alleged, will turn into a government-run system that "tells you what you can buy in terms of prescriptions."
Racicot defended Bush on the expiration of the assault weapons ban, restating that Bush would have supported it if Congress had passed it. Racicot was unphased when CNN's Bill Hemmer read a statement from Rep. Christopher Shays in which he warns that a terrible tragedy is going to happen with an assault weapon that is going to make members of Congress regret letting the ban lapse. Racicot said he was not worried and that "only the Administration has been focused on this until yesterday."
NBC's Norah O'Donnell previewed Bush's Guard speech and recapped the sparring on health care for "Today."
On CBS' Early Show, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh discussed the root causes of the abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib. He suggested that establishing a "rapport" with prisoners is a more effective way to get information than through "coercion." Hersh once again said the young men and women who engaged in sexual humiliation had to have been taught to act that way.
NBC ON THE DEFICIT:
NBC's "Today" looked at the budget deficit, warning that "if our spending spree is not brought under control, we are in for some major turbulence."
Next week: "Today" will look at the separation of church and state.
ABC did a tell on the 9/11 widows who are expected to endorse Kerry today.
All three nets led with Hurricane Ivan.