Last night’s debate was a fairly substantive discussion of genuine, significant policy differences (specifically: More of the same vs. Try to improve several bad situations around the world by making some changes). And I had actually been thinking that Bush might start campaigning on those policy differences after the debate. But I guess that was too much to hope for. Today Bush went back to accusing Kerry of things that Kerry has flatly said that he will never do:
Bush on Friday took a more aggressive approach than he had in the debate, accusing Kerry of withholding support for American troops and offering to turn over decisions about the nation’s security to other countries such as France.
“The use of troops to defend America must never be subject to a veto from countries like France,” the president told a friendly crowd at a rally in Allentown, Pa.
Kerry has never said anything like this, of course. Before yesterday, one could have considered it within the realm of possibility that Bush had misunderstood something that Kerry said. But last night Kerry was pretty unambiguous when he uttered the following within the first two minutes of the debate, while standing 15 feet away from Bush:
I’ll never give a veto to any country over our security.
I understand that Bush doesn’t want to campaign on genuine policy differences because he thinks he would lose such a competition. But why can Bush continue to accuse Kerry of ridiculous things without being told that they are ridiculous?