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Democratic club's ad suggests shooting Rumsfeld

Kerry campaign, county Democratic Party condemn ad

From Rich Phillips
CNN


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MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- An ad placed in a Florida community newspaper by a city Democratic club attacks President Bush and U.S. policy in Iraq, and threatens Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The ad says of Rumsfeld, "We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say, 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger."

The ad was placed by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club in last week's issue of The Gabber, a weekly community newspaper based in Gulfport, next to St. Petersburg on Florida's Gulf Coast.

No one from the club could be reached for comment, but the ad was condemned by other Democrats, including the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry.

"We are calling the Pinellas County Democratic Party chair about this ad and demand that it be retracted," Kerry campaign spokesman Stephanie Cutter told CNN. "John Kerry does not condone this type of advertising and believes that it is wrong."

Pinellas County Democratic Party Chairman Kevin Jensen told CNN that he, too, was outraged by the ad, and said party officials "don't condone this type of stupidity."

The club, listed on the Pinellas County Democratic Party's Web site as one of its "officially chartered" clubs, does not speak for the county party, he said.

The ad refers to a quote made by the secretary of defense, who said recently that in Iraq, 'We have our good days and our bad days."

It asks, "How many have to be killed before the Bush Bunch is satisfied? How many burial services of our Iraq dead has Bush attended?" It calls for the United States to leave Iraq and asks people to send "any amount of money you can afford" to "John Kerry for President."

Ken Reichart, co-owner of the The Gabber, told CNN that an apology from the newspaper as well as a retraction by the Democratic club would be carried in the next issue of the paper. He said he expected a retraction to be delivered shortly.

"It should not have been printed," Reichart said. "We printed it in error. It's one of those things that would normally not appear in this paper based on our history of 36 years."

He said the advertisement came in just before deadline.

"I obviously can't change what happened," he said. "I believe it was unethical. ... He threatened somebody literally."

The newspaper goes to print Wednesday afternoons and hits the stands on Thursday. It was founded in 1968 and has a circulation of 9,700.

CNN's Candy Crowley and Kim Segal contributed to this report.


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