Kerry: bin Laden tape beat me

Nov. 19, 2004 at 3:32 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Defeated U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry believes the bin Laden tape that surfaced just before Nov. 2 cost him the election, Fox News said Friday.

In an interview conducted prior to the opening Thursday of the Clinton presidential library, the Massachusetts Democrat told Fox's Geraldo Rivera the tape may have scared the American electorate and it came out too late for his camp to rebut it.

"Senator Kerry clearly believes not only is it the security issue that cost him the election, but very specifically the Osama tapes coming out in the 11th hour," Rivera said.

In the tape, aired by the Arab television network al-Jazeera, bin Laden spoke directly to the American people. He admitted for the first time he carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and said the attacks would have been less severe if Bush had been more alert.

The broadcast of the al-Qaida leader's videotaped message served to emphasize the war against terror, a key theme for both candidates, as voters made their final decisions.

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