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1 20th September 10:10
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Default Democrats criticize Bush for `Bring 'em on' comment


Democrats criticize Bush for `Bring 'em on' comment
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/07/06/nationa
l1626EDT0529.DTL
JENNIFER C. KERR
Democrats blasted President Bush on Sunday for his recent tough talk on
Iraq. One White House hopeful said the leader of the free world sounded more
like a gang leader.

Last week, Bush lashed out at those attacking American troops, saying "bring
'em on" as he vowed to stay the course in Iraq with a military capable of
handling the situation.

Al Sharpton, the New York clergyman who's running for the Democratic
nomination in 2004, demanded that Bush apologize to U.S. forces and their
families.

"For the president to say, `bring it on,' almost like daring and provoking
Iraqis to kill American soldiers, he sounds more like a gang leader in
South-Central L.A. than one that is trying to institute a policy of
democracy and reconstruction in the world," Sharpton said on CBS' "Face the
Nation."

The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin of
Michigan, agreed that Bush's tone was over the top.

"I think that it's perfectly proper for the president to say that he has
confidence in our troops. But it seems to me unwise to engage in this kind
of ****y rhetoric, because it's not going to be helpful ... either with our
troops or in bringing in other countries into this issue," said Levin,
speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Republicans disagreed.

The Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services panel, said the
president was doing nothing more than rallying the troops.

"I probably would have said it another way, and I think the president would
have too if he had a little more time to think about it," Roberts said on
CNN's "Late Edition." But "I think that the statement was aimed more to the
troops ..., saying, `You're doing a good job. Keep up the good work. There
is no peer to the American forces,' et cetera et cetera."

And Warner said on "Meet the Press" that Bush's message was simply that
"'Each one of you, from the privates to the general, you've got the right
stuff, the right training, and you know what to do.' It was not a taunting
message."
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