John Kerry launched a surprising, forceful attack today on George W. Bush, accusing the president of hiding behind supporters who have been trying to discredit the senator's decorated Vietnam War service. "He wants them to do his dirty work," said Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, calling the group known as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "a front for the Bush campaign." "This group isn't interested in the truth and they're not telling the truth," Kerry told a firefighters convention in Boston. "They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas," Bush's home state. "The fact that the president won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything that you need to know." A loyal "band of brothers" who served on Kerry's boat in Vietnam were featured at the Democratic national convention last month. Now the campaign has a new 30-second commercial featuring one man recalling how Kerry saved his life by pulling him out of a river while under attack from the Viet Cong. Until today, Kerry stood by while the Swift Boat group accused him of lying about his war record and being under heavy enemy fire in order to win a Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, writes Toronto Star. According to Guardian, the White House has refused to call on backers of the attack ads to stop running them. In a prepared remark to firefighters today, Mr Kerry said: "More than 30 years ago I learned an important lesson. When you're under attack the best thing to do is turn your boat into the attack. That's what I intend to do today." In response, Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry was aware his statements are false. "Sen. Kerry knows President Bush has called his service in Vietnam noble ... and the Bush campaign has tried to have a debate about the future, not the past," Schmidt said. But Schmidt did not address Kerry's charge that Bush was sitting back and watching as other groups attacked Kerry's Vietnam service. In Crawford, Texas, White House spokesman Scott McClellan noted that Bush has been the subject of several critical ads aired by the group MoveOn.org, informs CNN.
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