A controversial comment from one of the Democrats who’s running for president has his rivals on the attack. It all began on Friday when Massachusetts Senator John Kerry criticized former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for courting the support of the National Rifle Association. Dean told a newspaper reporter he wanted to “be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” Dean has often said Al Gore lost the last election in part because he did poorly in states where the N-R-A is strong. On Sunday while campaigning in eastern Iowa, Kerry said Dean’s comments were “racially” charged. Kerry says Dean’s comments about the confederate flag are “insensitive to history” and displays a “level of pandering for votes.”Kerry says Dean has proven he will say anything to anyone, anywhere to get elected. North Carolina Senator John Edwards on Sunday called Dean’s comment “nothing short of offensive.”Edwards says he grew up in the south and understands the confederate flag is a “very divisive symbol.” In a statement issued Sunday, Dean said he wants “people with confederate flags on their trucks to put down those flags and vote democratic,” as Dean says “the only way to beat George Bush is if southern white working families and African American working families come together under the democratic tent.” Dean will be in Iowa this morning for two appearances in central Iowa. Edwards will campaign this morning in Hampton and Clarion. Kerry will make appearance in Davenport, Clinton and Cedar Rapids.
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