Since Tom wrote to you yesterday, thousands of people have stepped up to challenge Republican leaders in their own backyard when they attack our veterans.
I saw the video of Republican Jean Schmidt calling decorated combat veteran and Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha a coward. I couldn't believe what I heard.
Immediately after her attack, you can hear something else on that tape. That is the House Democrats shouting her down and calling her to account for the attack. They ultimately forced her to retract her words.
We're following your suggestion to put billboards up in the hometown of any Republican leader trying to distract from their failed leadership by attacking a veteran's service.
The first target is Jean Schmidt -- and there are less the 24 hours left to make a contribution to put a billboard up right outside her district office in Portsmouth, Ohio. Will you contribute to kick start this effort?
Jean Schmidt is only the latest Republican leader to cross this line of civility and respect for our veterans -- it's time to say enough is enough.
Republican leaders use these tactics to distract people from the simple fact that they have lost credibility on national security and foreign policy.
They abandoned the hunt for Osama bin Laden. They manipulated intelligence to sell the war in Iraq, and failed to plan adequately for the war before it started. They destroyed the moral authority America built up over five decades of Democratic and Republican presidents, and they alienated the universal support for our cause after September 11th.
Americans deserve to hear an exit strategy in Iraq and a plan to restore our moral leadership in the world. And questioning the patriotism of those who demand these things is absolutely out of bounds.
Thank you for standing up.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
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