PHILADELPHIA - Sen. John Kerry cited the Iraq war and a huge cache of missing explosives Monday as proof President Bush has "failed the test of being commander in chief." The Republican slammed his rival as "consistently and dangerously wrong" on national security matters.
In a race of ever-escalating rhetoric, the president also accused the Democratic challenger of "the worst kind of Monday-morning quarterbacking" on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But he fell silent on the disappearance of 377 tons of high explosives in Iraq, leaving it to aides to explain.
Word of the disappearance of explosives from a military installation in Iraq was like a campaign gift to Kerry, and he quickly put it to use.
Failure to secure the material was "one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration," the four-term Massachusetts senator said in New Hampshire.
Bush responded: "On Iraq, my opponent has a strategy of pessimism and retreat."
Gore tells voters to turn anger into energy
RIVIERA BEACH - Former Vice President Al Gore asked Democrats to channel any anger they still feel from the Supreme Court's decision in the 2000 election into energy for John Kerry in this year's voting.
"I want to come back to the feeling I had four years ago," Gore said. "It's awfully important that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president of the United States and this president does not pick the Supreme Court. The strength of our democracy is at stake."
COMPUTER GLITCH HITS REPUBLICANS: Ohio Republicans withdrew thousands of more than 35,000 challenges to new voter registrations because of errors in their filings apparently caused by a computer glitch. Republicans filed the challenges Friday in 65 of Ohio's 88 counties, saying mail sent to the newly registered voters was returned as undeliverable.
NEW YORKER WEIGHS IN: The New Yorker has made the first political endorsement in its 80-year history, backing Sen. John Kerry in next week's presidential election. The magazine says the Bush administration's record "has been one of failure, arrogance, and - strikingly for a team that prided itself on crisp professionalism - incompetence" and that Kerry "has demonstrated steadiness and sturdiness of character" throughout his career.