Top News Article Reuters.com
: "By Patricia Wilson and Adam Entous
CANONSBURG, Pa./POPLAR BLUFF (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry launched one of his harshest broadsides against the Iraq war on Monday, sparking an angry response from President Bush, as the war overshadowed their attempts to focus on the economy.
Marking Labor Day, the traditional kickoff for what has become a marathon presidential campaign season, the two candidates held rallies in the battleground states of Missouri, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with Kerry now trailing by double digits in national polls.
Kerry tried to focus on domestic issues at a neighborhood meeting in Canonsburg, but members of the audience raised Iraq.
After months of off-and-on criticism of the war, Kerry seized the opening, calling the invasion 'the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time,' and said his goal was to withdraw U.S. troops in a first White House term.
In a statement issued later, Kerry called Iraq a 'quagmire' created by Bush's 'wrongheaded, go-it-alone' policy.
Bush turned from his tax reform proposals to shoot back at Kerry during a rally in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, accusing the Massachusetts senator of vacillating on Iraq after bringing in new advisers.
'After voting for the war but against funding it, after saying he would have voted for the war even knowing everything we know today, my opponent woke up this morning with new campaign advisers and yet another new position,' Bush said. 'Suddenly he's against it again.'
'No matter how many times Sen. Kerry changes his mind, it was right for America then and it's right for America now,' he told the crowd, which chanted back, 'flip-flop, flip flop.'"
Kerry is amazing!! I cant believe this guy. He is struggling now!! At his convention, and after the RNC, he stresses economy. Now what does he do? He talks war. That is a smart choice since he flip flopped on voting. I always believed a man should stand for something, and he should have the right to change his mind; but, to quote Bill O'Reilly " that is ridiculus." Kerry stands for everything, all the time, and that is a big problem.