Republicans tear into Democratic Party ticket

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
July 30, 2004
PHILADELPHIA On the day John Kerry accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for president, Mississippi Republicans bashed the presidential hopeful at the Neshoba County Fair while Kerry's fellow Democrats remained silent.
Gov. Haley Barbour and Treasurer Tate Reeves, both Republicans, and Insurance Commissioner George Dale, a conservative Democrat, each took swipes at Kerry during speeches at the fair on Thursday.
On the same stage, Attorney General Jim Hood and Secretary of State Eric Clark, the two highest-ranking Democrats in state government, failed to come to Kerry's defense.
Dale was the first speaker on Thursday to attack Kerry.
Reeves also slammed Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, saying the duo was "farther to the left than any Democratic ticket in history."
Reeves spent the rest of his 10-minute speech outlining five measures to ensure a balanced state budget, but afterward said Bush was justified in accruing a $5 trillion deficit in the federal budget.
Perhaps the sharpest criticism directed at Kerry came from Barbour, who joked that the Massachusetts senator hailed from "Boston, Taxachusetts."
On Wednesday, Edwards told the Democratic National Convention in Boston that Kerry would raise taxes for people making more than $200,000 per year. Barbour did not mention that distinction, though, and neither did any of Kerry's fellow Democrats.
Asked if he felt an obligation to defend a member of his own party, Clark gave a one-word reply.

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