Wednesday, May 07, 2003

But then how does Byrd explain some of his own shenanigans in the Senate:

Yahoo! News - Byrd Rips Bush's Aircraft Carrier Use

Questioning the motives of a "desk-bound president who assumes the garb of a warrior," Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record) on Tuesday reproached President Bush (news - web sites) for flying onto an aircraft carrier last week to declare an end of major fighting in Iraq (news - web sites).

"I am loath to think of an aircraft carrier being used as an advertising backdrop for a presidential political slogan, and yet that is what I saw," Byrd said on the Senate floor.

Byrd, 85, of West Virginia, is the Senate's most senior member and was one of the most outspoken critics of the Iraq war.

Dressed in a flight suit, Bush was flown onto the USS Abraham Lincoln on Thursday, his small S-3B Viking jet making a tailhook landing. The ship was near San Diego on its return from action in the Persian Gulf.

With the sea as his backdrop, Bush announced that the United States and its allies had prevailed against Saddam Hussein .

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Byrd's criticisms are "a disservice to the men and women of our military who deserved to be thanked in person."

"Senator Byrd did not support the president at the beginning of this, and it is no surprise that he does not support the president at the end," Fleischer said. "Senator Byrd is a patriot, but on this we disagree."

. . .

Byrd contrasted the speech with the "simple dignity" of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address during the Civil War.

Mr. Byrd, wasn't your family on the other side in the Civil War?

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