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Gore Calls North Unpatriotic in Doubting U.S. Readiness on Iraq

October 12, 1994| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Wading into Virginia's testy Senate race, the White House said Tuesday that Oliver L. North was "giving aid and comfort" to Saddam Hussein by suggesting U.S. forces could not stop an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

"It is despicable, it is unpatriotic and as is often the case with statements from Oliver North, it is also patently untrue," Vice President Al Gore said. "He has put the rankest form of partisanship ahead of the national interest in a manner which is insulting to our armed forces, to our flag, to the soldiers who are prepared to go into battle if necessary."

North did not offer the apology Gore demanded. Instead, he said that "it is shameful and opportunistic that a White House would use an international crisis, where American lives are at stake, to promote their own selfish, political agenda."

North, who is in a tight race with Democratic Sen. Charles S. Robb, got some help from Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), who said Clinton's defense cuts had undermined U.S. readiness.

But GOP Sen. John W. Warner, who also represents Virginia but calls North unfit for office, countered that defense spending is at levels recommended by former President George Bush.

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