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Labor leader sees Kerry as best hope

©Associated Press
February 7, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is the Democrats' strongest hope to defeat President Bush in 2004, providing Kerry can "break the bubble" of public support Bush enjoys on foreign policy issues, said Jerry McEntee, chairman of the AFL-CIO's political committee and president of one of its largest unions.

On foreign policy, Democrats need to be "very aggressive and forceful," McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said Wednesday. "I think they have to take him on."

Democrats still seem to be reluctant to challenge Bush on Iraq, North Korea and other foreign policy issues. But Kerry has been "quite aggressive" since forming his presidential exploratory committee, McEntee said.

"If they don't break the bubble that surrounds President Bush" on foreign policy, "I think they have real trouble."

Kerry has criticized Bush on several foreign policy issues, saying Bush must do a better job of making his case for military action in Iraq and that Bush's actions on foreign policy issues have alienated longtime allies, "spreading anti-Americanism around the world."

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