Ever since last week's Hollywood-heavy, Bush-bashing fundraiser in New York City, Republicans have demanded that the Kerry campaign release a videotape of actress Whoopi Goldberg and others lambasting the president -- sometimes in vulgar terms.
Both Sens. John F. Kerry and his running mate John Edwards attended the fundraiser, and Kerry reportedly was seen laughing at Goldberg's off-color remarks.
According to the New York Post, Kerry later thanked the entertainers for "an extraordinary evening," and told the crowd that "every performer tonight ... conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country."
Reports of Whoopi Goldberg making vulgar sexual references to President Bush's name, among other crude comments, offended many Republicans.
At the same event, the New York Post reported, singer John Mellencamp called the president a "cheap thug"; comedian Chevy Chase said the president is as dumb as "an egg timer"; and actor Paul Newman called Bush's tax cuts "borderline criminal."
The Republican National Committee commented that the "obscenity-laced celebrity hate fest reflects Kerry-Edwards values," not American values.
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Bush-Cheney Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman joined other Republicans in demanding that the Kerry campaign release a videotape of the event at Radio City Music Hall, but the Kerry campaign has refused to do so -- most recently on Tuesday in a letter to Mehlman.
In that letter, Kerry Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill said, "[W]e find your outrage over and paparazzi-like obsession with a fund-raising event to be misplaced.
"The fact is that the nation has a greater interest in seeing several documents made public relating to the President's performance in office and personal veracity that the White House has steadfastly refused to release.
"As such, we will not consider your request until the Bush campaign and White House make public the documents/materials listed below:"
According to the Kerry campaign, those materials include:
-- "any copies of the President's military records that would actually prove he fulfilled the terms of his military service";
-- "all correspondence between the Defense Department and the White House regarding the no-bid contracts that have gone to" Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former company;
-- documents detailing "what lobbyists and special interests wrote the White House energy policy";
--all White House correspondence between the pharmaceutical industry and the Administration regarding the Medicare Bill, which gave billions to some of the President's biggest donors;
-- all remaining documents "regarding the White House's involvement in laying the legal foundation for the interrogation methods that were used in Iraq."
Cahill's letter to Mehlman concluded with a final snipe:
"We also wanted to wish you a happy anniversary. As we are sure you and the attorneys representing the President, Vice- President and other White House officials are aware, today marks one year since Administration sources leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent to [columnist] Bob Novak in an effort to retaliate against a critic of the Administration.
"In light of the fact that the Administration began gutting the laws protecting the nation's forests yesterday, we hope you will accept the paper on which this letter is written as an anniversary gift. (The one year anniversary is known as the 'paper anniversary.')
President Bush, on a campaign stop in Michigan on Tuesday, also criticized Sen. John Kerry for applauding the celebrities who called Bush a thug and a liar.
"The other day my opponent said, when he was with some entertainers from Hollywood, that they were the heart and soul of America," Bush said. "I believe the heart and soul of America is found in places right here, in Marquette, Michigan."