The Note

Mel Gibson, historically a strong supporter of President Bush, yesterday questioned that support during an interview with Sean Hannity on his radio program. And as it was featured prominently on Drudge, it was featured prominently on the morning shows. ""I am having doubts, of late," Gibson said on Sean Hannity's radio show. "It mainly has to do with the weapons [of mass destruction] claims." ABC's Dan Harris tried to get a comment from the White House, which refused to get into it. Meanwhile, as Harris pointed out on Good Morning America, Howard Stern is questioning his vocal support for the war in Iraq and is now calling President Bush "Jesus freak," "maniac," and "arrogant bastard" and calling for a "jihad" to remove the president from office.

Bartlett and Schumer

White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett appeared on NBC's Today Show and stayed on message on the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the terror alert level … (is there anything else to stay message on?)

When asked by Matt Lauer whether he was concerned about a terrorist attack altering an American election like it did the Spanish election, Bartlett said "Regardless of a political election it's clear that the enemy is going to attack." He said that that's why the administration is working hard to defend the United States, and Noted that "Other places who do not support the war in Iraq have all been the victim of the war in Iraq."

Bartlett was followed on Today by Sen. Chuck Schumer (he of last night's Daily Show!), who criticized the administration indirectly for their priorities. "We haven't done enough on homeland security," Schumer said, except in air safety. "But when it comes to other aspects of homeland security … we're way behind. The main reason in my judgment is we're not spending the dollars, we don't have the focus that we should."

The bombings in Spain, Schumer added, "ought to be a wakeup call. We ought to put the same effort into homeland security into fighting the war overseas."

McCain on Imus

Sen. John McCain, the focus of veepstakes rumors, Noted on "Imus in the Morning" this morning that "it must have been a slow news day" recently when a minor brouhaha emerged over his early March comments that John Kerry was a friend of his and that he would "entertain" a lot of things, including a VP offer.

More McCain:

On Spain: "Every terrorist in the world is now encouraged, at least in the short term."

On Iraq: "Rumsfeld and company did not react quickly enough that they were facing an insurgency, they needed more linguists, so forth … But there has been tremendous progress … We will be there a long long time."

Byte of the morning goes to Imus, though. The two were talking about steroids when the name of Curt "Now that I'm in Boston I'm going to lose" Schilling, one of McCain's heroes. Imus: "Of course Kurt's problem would of course not be steroids but cheeseburgers."

ABC News Vote 2004: Illinois Senate race:

Rick Pearson and James Janega of the Chicago Tribune report on last minute bids for the Illinois senate race today, Noting that anticipation of low voter turnout and inclement weather hardly stopped the cross-state marathon of last minute campaigning among the contestants. LINK

The Tribune's Eric Zorn projects his election day predictions in today's column, offering voters a few election day tidbits to "get them in the mood." LINK

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