Bush-Cheney campaign welcomes Edwards to race, launches new ad - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bush-Cheney campaign welcomes Edwards to race, launches new ad

(White House-AP) July 6, 2004 - President Bush says he welcomes John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate. Bush told reporters Tuesday that he's looking forward to a "good, spirited contest" against the Kerry-Edwards ticket.

John Kerry announced his decision to select South Carolina native Edwards as his running mate before a huge crowd of supporters in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Kerry called the rookie senator from North Carolina a man who showed "guts and determination and political skill" in his unsuccessful race against Kerry for the party's nomination.

The president says Vice President Dick Cheney phoned Edwards Tuesday morning to congratulate him and to welcome him to the race, and Bush welcomes him as well.

Other Republicans are offering less conciliatory words. The Republican National Committee describes Edwards as a "disingenuous, unaccomplished liberal and friend to personal injury trial lawyers."

The Bush-Cheney campaign is preparing to launch a TV ad targeting Edwards featuring Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, who rejected overtures from Kerry to be number-two on the Democratic ticket. The new Bush ad seeks to paint Kerry's selection Edwards as a second choice.

The 60-second commercial titled "First Choice" shows McCain speaking when he campaigned with Bush in Washington state and Nevada last month. In the footage, McCain praises Bush's efforts in the war on terror, saying the president has led with "great moral clarity and firm resolve."

The ad is to run soon on national cable networks and in selected local media markets in battleground states. In June McCain, Bush's rival for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000, rejected the notion of a bipartisan ticket with Kerry. He appeared shortly thereafter with Bush.

The Commander-in-Chief adds another candle to his cake Tuesday. President George W. Bush is celebrating his 58th birthday. The nation's 43rd president and former governor of Texas was born July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut. No word on what he will do to mark the occasion.

updated 11:52am by Chris Rees

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