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US Presidential Campaigns Trade Accusations on Security - 2004-04-26


President Bush's re-election campaign has attacked the likely Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry on national security issues.

Speaking in Missouri today (Monday), Vice President Dick Cheney said Senator Kerry was among a minority of senators who opposed the first Gulf war. He also said Mr. Kerry's voting record in Congress raises doubts about his judgment on vital issues of national security.

Meanwhile, a new television ad from the Bush campaign criticizes Mr. Kerry for repeatedly opposing weapons systems it says are vital to winning the war on terror.

Mr. Kerry reacted angrily in a television interview today, saying the questions come from a president who can't even prove he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Senator Kerry commanded a patrol boat in Vietnam and won several medals. After the war, he became an anti-war activist.

Mr. Bush served in the National Guard in Texas and Alabama during the Vietnam War.

Analysts say the heated exchanges show the war in Iraq is gaining importance for voters ahead of the November elections.

Also today, Mr. Bush said he wants to make high-speed Internet service available to every house in the nation in the next three years.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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