Ah the New York Post headlines — "Dubya: Put up or Shut up"
Vince Morris of the New York Post writes up the McClellan/Cheney/Coleman offensive on the "foreign leaders" flap without reference to Pat Healy's mea culpa. LINK
The AP's Glover writes up an AP interview with Kerry yesterday in which Kerry insisted he is "not making anything up at all." LINK
"Kerry communications director Stephanie Cutter said Kerry's words could be construed in several ways. ' 'Foreign leaders' denotes something that 'leaders' does not. . . . 'Leaders' could mean anybody, here at home, abroad, anybody,' according to the Washington Post's Dan Balz. LINK
Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times explores the spin.. LINK
"'He was misquoted,' said Cutter. 'Had he not been misquoted, this wouldn't be a story.'"
Group of 19: raise your hands if you agree.
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:
The New York Times' Nagourney and Elder have the latest NYT/CBS poll numbers which have President Bush and Sen. Kerry "effectively tied" in the horserace.
"George Bush and John Kerry enter the general election at a time of growing concern among Americans that the nation is veering in the wrong direction, the latest New York Times /CBS News poll shows. Mr. Bush faces unrest over his management of the economy, while the public has doubts about Mr. Kerry's political convictions." LINK
"Already, most voters think Mr. Kerry is a politician who says what people want to hear, the poll found, rather than what he believes — the line of attack Mr. Bush has used against him in speeches."
"At the same time, there is sweeping concern among Americans about the president's economic policies, including his ability to create jobs and the effectiveness of his tax cuts, according to the poll. By a margin of greater than 30 points, more people said the policies of Mr. Bush's administration had reduced the number of jobs in the country rather than increased them. Those findings could prove particularly significant if the election is fought over economic issues in hard-hit states like Ohio."
"After a month in which Mr. Bush called for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, he is viewed in sharply ideological terms, with more than 50 percent of voters describing him as conservative, again as high as it has been during his presidency. The finding suggests the risks Mr. Bush faces as he tries to build up his standing with conservative members of his party, and the challenge he faces as he seeks to expand his support."
The Bush campaign believes the Times write-up emphasizes certain numbers at the expense of others.
ABC News has obtained an e-mail written by chief strategist Matthew Dowd slated to be sent to campaign leaders later today.
It says, among other things:
"The real story from this poll is Kerry's 10-point drop in favorability since the late February CBS News poll and President Bush's rise in the midst of months of negative attacks from the Democrats."
"The president now leads Kerry by 3 points among registered voters, 46% to 43%. This is a net increase of 4 points since mid-February, when Kerry led by a point."
"The president's job approval is rising. A majority of Americans, 51%, approve, while 42% disapprove, a net increase of 6 points from the 47% that approved and 44% that disapproved in the late February CBS News poll."