Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd says it’s “insulting” for candidates to use September 11th for political gain. Rival Hillary Clinton is currently running a campaign ad stressing her response to emergency workers who suffered health problems after working at “Ground Zero” in New York.
Dodd says he hasn’t seen the ad, but Dodd has a word of caution about invoking 9/11 in the campaign.
“If people are going to suggest somehow that they were the only ones responding or dealing with the issues, then I think it’s abusive,” Dodd says. “9/11 ought not to be a campaign slogan for anyone, in my view.”
Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani often mentions his role in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and a Giuliani supporter proposed, then later abandoned, a fundraiser which asked contributors to donate $9.11 to Giuliani’s campaign.
“It’s a moment…of great tragedy for our country…and the world changed for all of us,” Dodd says. “And so I would hope that candidates would be very, very careful about suggesting somehow that that date is one that ought to be used for political purposes. I think the reaction of the American public will be very, very strong and I certainly would discourage anyone from engaging in that kind of campaigning.”
According to Dodd, it is “insulting” to the American people and to those who lost their lives on 9/11 when candidates use the tragedy to make political points. “(It’s) insulting to the 343 fire fighters who lost their lives that day, so I would admonish candidates who are thinking about it to be careful,” Dodd says. “9/11 does not belong to a political party or to a candidate. It belongs to America and we’ll never forget that date and don’t use it or abuse it for political purposes.”
Dodd made his remarks this morning in answer to a reporter’s question during a news conference on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse. State Senator Tom Hancock of Epworth, former president of the Iowa Fireman’s Association, today endorsed Dodd and talked about September 11th in making that endorsement.
“It was Chris Dodd’s leadership that ensured that fire fighters across the country would have the resources they need to protect our communities before the attacks of September 11th made that a priority for others,” Hancock said.
Earlier this summer, Dodd won the endorsement of the international union for professional fire fighters.