The Bush-Cheney campaign briefly stripped from its Web site yesterday an attack on Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) by Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), several hours after President Bush nominated Goss as the director of central intelligence.
The campaign later restored the statement and said removing it was a mistake.
Democrats have said they will make Goss's partisanship an issue in his confirmation hearing and pointed to his activity on behalf of Bush's reelection campaign.
The four-paragraph statement by Goss says that Kerry's June 1 speech on national security "amounted to little more than political 'me-tooism.' "
"He laid out some old goals that everyone agrees to without offering concrete proposals to achieve them," Goss said. "He also neglected the president's historic achievements in this area."
David J. Sirota of the liberal Center for American Progress called the removal "an effort to revise history and expunge his record of partisan attacks."
Republican officials pointed out that Kerry has removed many items from his site.
Bush-Cheney communications director Nicolle Devenish said: "We regret the mistake. It will remain on the site."