Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland, center, and former Green Beret Lt. Jim Rassmann, right, try to deliver a letter at the check point to the entrance of President Bush's ranch Wednesday Aug. 25, 2004 in Crawford, Texas. To the left is Jerry Patterson, a Veteran who runs Veterans Affairs in Texas. Cleland tried to deliver a letter protesting ads challenging John Kerry's Vietnam service to President Bush at his Texas ranch Wednesday, but neither a Secret Service official nor a state trooper would take it. Patterson said someone from the Bush campaign contacted him Wednesday morning and asked him if he would travel to the ranch, welcome Cleland to Texas and accept the former senator's letter.
Kerry Backer Tries in Vain to Get Protest to BushAnd a damned good from-the-guts one at that. Read the letter here at the Kerry-Edwards site.
Former Sen. Max Cleland on Wednesday rolled up to President Bush's ranch in his wheelchair to deliver a public protest against what he called "disgraceful" attacks against fellow Vietnam veteran John Kerry's Vietnam war service.
"The question is where is George Bush's honor. The question is where is his shame," Cleland said after Bush's guards refused to accept his letter calling on the president to "recognize this blatant attempt at character assassination, and publicly condemn it."
The Bush campaign dispatched its own supporters, including a war veteran, to meet Cleland and supporters of the Democratic nominee at a security checkpoint just down the road from the entrance to Bush's secluded ranch.
But Cleland refused to give the letter, signed by nine senators who served in the military, to Jerry Patterson, a former Marine who now serves as Texas State Land Commissioner.
Patterson had his own letter for Kerry, signed by him and other war veterans, that criticized Kerry's anti-war comments after he returned from Vietnam.
Cleland rolled his wheelchair back and forth across the road and around barricades trying to give the letter to a Secret Service agent, state trooper or a Bush aide, all of whom evaded him.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan described Cleland's appearance at Crawford as a "political stunt."