- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2006

4:04 p.m.

STOCKTON, Calif. — President Bush today said Democrats have “a dangerous mind-set” and are the party for voters who don’t want to use wiretapping to listen to terrorist plotters.

In his most brutal campaign speech to date, the president called out Democratic leaders in particular, comparing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s boast of having “killed the Patriot Act” to Sen. John Kerry’s iconic “did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” statement on Iraq war funding in the 2004 election.

Mr. Bush also said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California proved she doesn’t understand the war on terror when she said this year’s elections shouldn’t be about national security.

“If you don’t think we should be listening in on the terrorists, then you ought to vote for the Democrats,” Mr. Bush said at a fundraiser in Stockton, just an hour’s drive from Mrs. Pelosi’s San Francisco district.

He never mentioned Mrs. Pelosi nor Mr. Reid by name, but identified them and several others by title: both California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

He blasted Mr. Leahy for opposing a CIA interrogation program and for what Mr. Bush said were comments that compared CIA officers to the Taliban and Saddam Hussein.

“This exposes a dangerous mind-set on the part of Democrats in Congress,” Mr. Bush said. “You can’t defend America if you cannot tell the difference between the CIA officers who protect their fellow citizens and brutal dictators who kill their fellow citizens.”

However, Democrats said Mr. Bush has lost the credibility to level these charges.

“Given that this administration has misled the American people on so many issues like weapons of mass destruction and what our intelligence agencies really said, it is pretty cheeky for the president to talk about trust,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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