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Ken Mehlman

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Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, was Monday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On how the presidential campaign is changing:

"We have gone through a long period where there has been a diatribe [that] is about to be replaced - is being replaced -- with a dialogue, after months of very strong attacks by our opponents."

On his view of Democrat John Kerry's campaign:

"The Kerry campaign, when it feels it has a vulnerability, has a very defensive kind of reactive approach."

On Bush campaign spending priorities:

"[Up to now] the biggest expense was the cost of raising money and moving [the president around] as well as building the grass roots and our infrastructure. Going forward, our focus will be more on communicating [his] message."

On whether Bush's call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will divide the party:

"The president's position - his goal - has not changed. What has changed is the means to accomplish that goal.... When [the Defense of Marriage Act] is called into question because of decisions that say the law is no longer operative, all you can do to keep the principle going forward is the constitutional amendment."

On using images of Sept. 11, 2001, in political ads:

"The president will - and the campaign will - handle any discussions about September 11 in an appropriate way, which is in a respectful way. "

An expanded report is available at: http://blogs.csmonitor.com/cooks_capitol/


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