Kerry Vows Tougher Stance on Texas Group

The Associated Press
Sunday, October 8, 2006; 9:50 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., lashed out Sunday against a group that campaigned against him during his last run at the White House.

Kerry said he is concerned that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is again resorting to "the politics of fear and smear."

The group, financed by Texas conservatives, ran commercials questioning his Vietnam record _ the centerpiece of his presidential campaign in 2004. Those same conservatives have formed another group this year _ Economic Freedom Fund _ to campaign against Democrats across the country.

"We're not going to give them an ounce of daylight," said Kerry, who is considering another run at the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

The senator said his response to the commercials in 2004 was not strong enough.

"We thought the fact that the truth was out there was enough," he said. "Clearly it wasn't."

© 2006 The Associated Press