Tags: George | Soros | Resurfaces | Bash | Bush | Boost | Kerry

George Soros Resurfaces to Bash Bush, Boost Kerry

Wednesday, 29 September 2004 12:00 AM

Soros' latest venture does not come without its risks. The Republican National Committee called it an act of "desperation" on the part of the Kerry campaign. Because of his controversial views on crime, drugs and guns, Soros has become one of the left's most polarizing figures.

"The only explanation for the Daddy Warbucks of the Democratic Party, George Soros, to step out from behind the curtain 35 days before the election is his obvious concern for his investment in John Kerry," RNC spokesman Jim Dyke said in a statement.

Soros' new campaign actually targets Republicans and influential business leaders, but the billionaire has also angered many on the right for donating more than $15 million to left-wing 527 groups with the sole interest of defeating Bush and other Republicans.

His 12-city speaking tour begins next week in Pennsylvania and continues through the battleground states of Ohio, Florida and Minnesota until Oct. 26, just one week before the Nov. 2 election.

Soros plans to run a two-page centerfold ad Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal and similar ads in local newspapers throughout the country. He will mail his anti-Bush speech to 2 million homes and offer a free chapter of his book on his website.

The offensive is aided by Fenton Communications, the left-wing public relations firm that counts MoveOn.org as one of its top clients. The firm's chairman, David Fenton, positioned himself beside Soros at Tuesday's press conference, controlling his message and who asked questions.

Although Soros' speech focused mostly on Bush, he didn't shy away from his defense of Kerry. Dating back to January he endorsed Kerry's candidacy. Soros later told Time magazine he was delighted that a "war hero" had emerged from the Democratic primaries to challenge a "warmonger."

"Top Republicans claim, without a shred of evidence, that al Qaeda wants John Kerry to be elected president," Soros said. "There is no truth or evidence for this outrageous assertion. There must be something wrong with us if we believe it. I want to shout from the rooftops, 'Wake up America. We must realize we are being misled.' "

Soros' campaign launch got a boost from retired NATO commander Wesley Clark, who also earned Soros' support during the Democratic primaries. Soros backed former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as well.

Clark returned the favor Tuesday when he introduced Soros as a visionary leader who has lived the American dream after emigrating from Hungary following Nazi rule and then communist control.

"George Soros has some very, very important points of view to share with you," Clark said. "I may not agree with all of them. I didn't write them, but I strongly support the importance of his point of view and getting this debate engaged in the right way."

Much of Soros' attack came from his newest book, "The Bubble of American Supremacy," in which he bashes neoconservatives in the White House who advanced the rationale for toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

"If you read my book, I kind of, you know, actually predicted that Iraq would be our undoing," Soros said. "It was visible before we went in there."

Unlike past events, Soros stuck to the script, even during the question-and-answer portion of Tuesday's press conference. He previously caused a stir in June when he compared the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to the abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Then, earlier this month, Soros sparred with U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) over the source of his wealth, which Forbes magazine put at $7.2 billion. Hastert suggested that Soros gets his money from "drug groups" because of Soros' support for the legalization of marijuana.

"There is no way to avoid the smear campaign," Soros told reporters Tuesday. "It's in full swing and I expect it to continue. All I can do is try to get my message out and hope that people actually consider my arguments instead of writing me off as Satan."

When asked if he had any advice for Kerry, Soros shied away from the question. Fenton cut off the press conference before other reporters were able to probe Soros about any connections to the Kerry campaign.

"Look, I'm not a politician," Soros said. "I'm out of my normal role standing up here, and I don't think anyone would get very far listening to my advice."

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Soros' latest venture does not come without its risks. The Republican National Committee called it an act of "desperation" on the part of the Kerry campaign. Because of his controversial views on crime, drugs and guns, Soros has become one of the left's most polarizing...
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2004-00-29
Wednesday, 29 September 2004 12:00 AM
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