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Carter Calls Senator Disloyal

September 08, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Former President Carter is accusing fellow Georgia Democrat Zell Miller of "unprecedented disloyalty" because of the senator's speech at the Republican National Convention.

In a letter sent over the weekend, Carter called Miller's speech "rabid and mean-spirited."

"By now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral preemptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth and the political technique of character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause," the letter said.

Carter's office declined to release the letter Tuesday, but Miller's office confirmed its contents.

Miller responded Tuesday by repeating his contention, made in the convention speech last week, that the security of his family outweighed any loyalty to the party where he had spent a lifetime.

"John F. Kennedy warned about the dangers of extreme party loyalty and once said, 'What sins have been committed in its name,' " said Miller, who will retire in January as a Democrat. "My first loyalty is and always will be my family."

Carter also defended himself against Miller's accusation in the speech that he was a pacifist. Carter served in the Navy from 1942 to 1953.

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