Bradley accuses Gore campaign of mudslinging
Sen. Bob Kerrey allegedly heckled during recent Gore campaign event
By Dana Bash/CNN
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley said
Wednesday that supporters of Vice President Al Gore recently resorted to
literal and figurative mudslinging when they heckled Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey at a New Hampshire campaign appearance.
During a rally Wednesday in Greenwich Village, Bradley recounted the incident, which allegedly occurred Sunday at a Gore campaign event in Somersworth, New Hampshire. Kerrey, a Vietnam war hero, is one of Bradley's key supporters and has made several appearances for the former New Jersey senator throughout the campaign.
"Bob Kerrey attended a function on my behalf," Bradley explained. "Gore people demeaned him, they called him crippled, they threw mud and I think that the vice president ought to take responsibility for those actions and he ought to apologize," Bradley told reporters.
He referred to an incident in which Kerrey, a medal of honor winner who
lost the lower part of one of his legs in the Vietnam war, and Rep. Jerrold
Nadler, D-New York, were heckled by people at a Gore event.
"We're not aware of anyone using that kind of language," said Gore
campaign spokesman Chris Lehane. "Certainly we would not condone it and would
condemn it. Bill Bradley himself has been personally involved in mudslinging
and personal vilification over the last few days."
Bradley's campaign press secretary Eric Hauser said Bradley based his
accusation that Gore campaign people were responsible for the mud-slinging and
name-calling on the basis of reports from his campaign aides and staff.
"I would simply ask Al Gore to take responsibility for his campaign and
their actions, as well as his own words," Bradley told a rally in Judson
Memorial Church. "When his campaign demeans a medal of honor winner like Bob
Kerrey, there should be an apology from Al Gore."
For his part, Kerrey said that what happened is just "part of politics" and
does not require an apology.
A Manchester Union Leader editorial published Wednesday chided the vice president about the incident, and called upon Gore to apologize.
Bradley, fresh from his close second-place finish behind Gore in New
Hampshire's first-in-the nation primary Tuesday, launched into a campaign blitz
of sorts to prepare for what he calls the National Primary on March 7, which
includes elections or caucuses in some 15 states -- including New York and
Bradley said he's only asking Gore to do what he's done when his campaign
"When my campaign in New Hampshire put out a flyer that I didn't like, I
took responsibility for it and apologized," he said. "When this kind of
incident occurs, you have to take responsibility for it and apologize."
Bradley referred to a campaign brochure attacking Gore's health plan,
charging that it had symptoms of "Gore-itis."
Reuters contributed to this report.