Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell: Osama bin Laden wants Bush re-elected
"It's obvious to me that bin Laden is trying to help George Bush, because George Bush is the best recruiter that al-Qaida has," Rendell told "Fox News Sunday."
"George Bush is so disliked in the Arab world that we're creating terrorists every single day _ more terrorists than we can even come close to killing," the Democrat said.
"You've got to be kidding, Ed," replied Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee, who chairs the Bush-Cheney campaign in Arkansas and appeared on "Fox News Sunday" with Rendell. "Seriously, I don't think anyone in America cares or knows who Osama bin Laden is for for president."
The Bush campaign called Rendell's comments "disgusting."
"For John Kerry's surrogates to suggest that Osama bin Laden supports President Bush's reelection is disgusting," Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said in a statement. This just demonstrates once again that for John Kerry, the war on terror is about political opportunity, not victory."
In the latest video, bin Laden acknowledged for the first time directly that he ordered the Sept. 11 attacks and said he did so because of injustices against the Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel and the United States. The television network Al-Jazeera broadcast portions of the 18-minute videotape on Friday.
On Saturday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said he believed bin Laden wanted to sway the election to Democratic candidate John Kerry because Kerry would not work as hard to find him.
Both Rendell and Thompson agreed the tape was meant to influence the election.
"I know that bin Laden did it on purpose and with design," Rendell said.
Turning to Pennsylvania politics, Rendell said it would be "awfully hard" for Kerry to win the election without winning the Keystone State, which polls show to be a toss-up between Kerry and Bush.
Rendell said that when he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2000, trying to help Al Gore win the presidency, "I tried to come up with scenarios for us to win without Pennsylvania, and there really weren't any."
Source: The Associated Press
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Transcript of Bin Laden's Speech