Osama emerges -- on Kentucky bumpers

Published July 20, 2004 9:22PM (EDT)

Bumper stickers bearing the slogan "Kerry is bin Laden's Man. Bush is Mine" are selling like hotcakes in Kentucky  local Republicans actually sold out their stash. The Democrat-morphing-into-bin-Laden ad strategy has been a Republican staple in several elections since 9/11, so this kind of rhetoric in the general election isn't a shock But it's still upsetting and uncalled for, and at least one Kentucky Republican recognizes that:

"Kentucky Rep. Anne Northup said she found out about the stickers over the weekend and doesn't want any more distributed. 'What campaigns need to center on, debates need to center on and the party needs to focus on are ideas,' she said."

"Jefferson County GOP chairman Jack Richardson IV said the stickers were so popular that GOP headquarters ran out Friday. He won't distribute more, but is trying to locate their source for those who want them. 'I believe in the question this bumper sticker raises,' Richardson said. Bill Garmer, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said the sticker equates a decorated Vietnam veteran with Osama bin Laden  'one of the greatest enemies of the United States. It goes way over the line,' he said."

"A spokesman for the Kerry campaign previously called on GOP lawmakers to condemn the sticker, saying it was a 'hateful and mean-spirited smear campaign.'"

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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