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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Kerry Sees Hope of Gaining Edge on Terror Issue

July 25, 2004
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
BOSTON, July 24 — Senator John Kerry says he will seek to persuade voters over the next three months that he would do a "better job than George Bush" in protecting the nation from terrorism, but he acknowledges that the president now holds an advantage on this pivotal issue.
In an interview on Friday laying out the framework for the Democratic convention starting here on Monday, Mr. Kerry pointed to his military record and criticized Mr. Bush's terrorism policies in declaring that he would challenge the president on what polls suggest is Mr. Bush's greatest strength. Mr. Kerry said "it takes time" for a challenger to gain public confidence on such issues, but said he was "not worried about that."
To demonstrate his point, he reached for a copy of the Sept. 11 commission report that was issued on Thursday, which he brought to the interview, and said that if he is elected he will carry out most of the report's recommendations right away.
"Safer, stronger?" Mr. Kerry said of Mr. Bush's record with a hint of sarcasm as he waved the 567-page book overhead. "I'm just quite confident that as the next months of the campaign go on I am going to have the ability to be able to make it clear to America that I can make this country safe and strong."

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