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Kerry Rips McCain For Relying On Swift Boat Vets

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Sen. John Kerry harshly criticized John McCain on Monday for using a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in his efforts to counteract criticism from an Obama campaign surrogate.

The 2004 Democratic nominee, whose candidacy was undercut by the Swift Boat veterans, lambasted McCain for turning to SBVT veteran Bud Day as a campaign representative, suggesting that the Arizona Republican had abandoned "a new kind of politics."

"Colonel Day's comments today only further highlight the McCain campaign's disregard for a new kind of politics," Kerry said in a statement. "John McCain condemned these kinds of attacks in 2004 when he called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth 'dishonest and dishonorable.' Senator McCain should condemn these remarks and cut ties with the Colonel and anyone else connected to SBVT. Day's comments only serve to disparage all those who served on swift boats in Vietnam."

Earlier on Monday, McCain's campaign hosted a conference call in which Day, a contemporary from Vietnam, lambasted remarks made by Gen. Wesley Clark suggesting that McCain's military experience was not, in and of itself, a qualification for the White House.

During the call, Day was asked to reconcile how he could work to smear John Kerry's war record in 2004, yet claim war records were out-of-bounds for McCain in 2008

"The Swift Boat attacks were simply a revelation of the truth, the similarity does not exist here," he explained. "What the Swift Boat campaign was about was to lay out John Kerry's record. John Kerry has never produced any evidence to deny that. We are producing the evidence of these attacks right now to show that those remarks were completely inaccurate."

As Kerry pointed out in his statement, McCain publicly criticized the Swift Boat ads back in 2004, saying they were reminiscent of the smear campaigns launched against him during his initial White House run in 2000.

"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," said the Senator.

Indeed, during the last campaign, Day called Kerry "the Benedict Arnold of 1971," appeared in advertisements questioning Kerry's war record, and, latter, formed the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation, an extension of the Swift Boat effort.