Report: Kerry aides want campaign changes

Sept. 1, 2004 at 8:45 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. Democratic party leaders are calling for quick changes to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign and media strategy, CNN reports.

Unidentified sources told the network the main concern is that Kerry has failed to respond effectively to attacks from Republicans and criticism of his military service in Vietnam, particularly ads from a group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Sources said much of the Democrats' criticism was directed at Mary Beth Cahill, who was hired to run Kerry's campaign after the senator fired campaign manager Jim Jordan in late 2003. Democrats are also urging the candidate to review the performance of communications director Stephanie Cutter, the report said.

As an indication of the urgency, Kerry broke with the tradition of avoiding campaigning while the Republican National Convention was running in New York. Tuesday, he interrupted his vacation in Massachusetts to speak to a group of veterans in Nashville one day after President George Bush had addressed them.

He also hastily arranged to speak to the national convention of the American Legion Wednesday.

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