Republican Party Chairman Warns of 'Vicious Attacks' to Come

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

( - "Brace yourselves," Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is warning congressional Republicans.

"Senator Kerry's campaign is implementing a strategy of vicious personal attacks against the President and Vice President," Gillespie wrote in a letter this week.

Gillespie reminded Republican lawmakers that the Kerry campaign "is bringing in a bevy of former Clinton henchmen," including James Carville and Paul Begala.

"In August alone, Gillespie noted, "Begala called President Bush a 'gutless wonder,' said he has a 'lack of intelligence,' and called Vice President Cheney a 'dirt bag.' Carville said the President is 'ignorant big time' and said 'George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are a couple of nobodies.'"

Gillespie offered other examples as well:

-- At a Kerry rally last Friday in Ohio, Democrat John Glenn compared the Republican Convention to a Nazi rally;

-- at a Kerry-Edwards campaign event in New York, the President was called a "cheap thug," a "killer" and a "liar";

-- Mrs. Kerry has called the President's policies "unpatriotic" and "immoral";

-- DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe has falsely accused the President of being AWOL from the National Guard

-- Democratic strategist Susan Estrich, in a column last Wednesday, called President Bush and Vice President Cheney alcoholics, then asked "is any alcoholic ever really cured?" Estrich also called President Bush's service as a National Guard fighter pilot "draft dodging," and she said the new Kitty Kelley book "raises questions about whether the President has practiced what he preaches on the issue of abortion."

Gillespie also mentioned Ben Barnes, a vice chair of the Kerry campaign, who - in an interview with CBS News -- says he pulled strings to get George W. Bush into the Air National Guard. [A Bush campaign spokesman said Barnes has no credibility; has contradicted himself; and is a John Kerry supporter.]

"Any mention of John Kerry's votes for higher taxes and against vital weapons programs will be met with the worst kind of personal attacks," Gillespie wrote to Republican lawmakers.

"Such desperation is unbecoming of American presidential politics, and Senator Kerry will pay a price for it at the polls as we stay focused on policies to continue growing our economy and winning the war on terror."

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