Kerry Accused of 'Scare Tactics' on Iraq

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - Sen. John F. Kerry told voters in Florida on Wednesday "it's possible that President George W. Bush will reinstate the draft if he's re-elected in November - a remark that drew quick denunciation from Bush allies.

"If George Bush were to be re-elected - given the way that he has gone about this war, and given the avoidance of responsibility in North Korea, Iran and other places - it is possible," he said in response to a question about Bush reinstating the draft. "I can't tell you," Kerry said.

"I will tell you this," he added. "I will not reinstate the draft."

Last week, Kerry told voters in Albuquerque that "this administration is planning yet another substantial call-up of reservists and Guard units immediately after the election." Kerry said Bush would try to "hide" the call-up until after the election, "then make the move."

Defense officials said there's nothing secret about future troop deployments, and a Bush campaign spokesman described Kerry's remarks as an irresponsible "conspiracy theory."

On Wednesday, Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt accused Kerry of saying "whatever he believes will benefit him politically, regardless of its effect on our troops, our allies and our mission."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) a frequent Bush defender, issued a statement Wednesday blasting Kerry for his "scare tactics."

"Last week, Sen. Kerry attempted to scare military families and communities through a post-election conspiracy theory of a reservist call-up," said Cornyn. "This week, he's moved on to the long-discredited specter of a military draft. Both urban legends were desperate and harmful to our troops."

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