Clinton rallies for Bradbury

Former president Bill Clinton spoke about negative ads and the direction of the two dominant political parties in a rally to support Democratic candidate for Senate Bill Bradbury held at the University of Oregon’s Macarthur Court on Thursday.

“Don’t tell me there’s no difference in the two parties,” Clinton said.

Clinton suggested Republicans have to change their positions during campaigns to be elected.

“They have to pretend they aren’t that far away from us (Democrats) on issues,” Clinton said.

“That’s what compassionate conservative means,” Clinton said, critiquing President Bush’s campaign slogan, “it worked, almost, enough for them to win.” Then he added, “At least it got them to the Supreme Court, that’s all they needed.”

The Democrats in attendance made their opposition to war in Iraq clear; banners handed out at the event were emblazoned with slogans such as “no war” and “Bradbury not bombs.”

����Representative Peter DeFazio held one of the “no war” banners at the beginning of his speech.

“I came here to hear Senator Wayne Morse talk against the Vietnam War,” DeFazio said in remembering the state of the nation surrounding the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which gave the president the authority to invade Vietnam. “Senator Morse was one of two men to stand up against it.”

DeFazio expressed his concern for “the first pre-emptive war launched by the United States,” which, according to Bush administration figures, cited by DeFazio, would cost “a mere $100-200 billion.”

“I think we could probably find someplace to spend that $100-200 billion dollars here,” DeFazio said.

“Yes, we can go after his weapons of mass destruction, but let’s not launch a pre-emptive strike,” DeFazio said.

Bradbury made it clear that his opposition to war in Iraq was paramount to his campaign against Republican senator Gordon Smith, starting his remarks with a call of “no war, Eugene!”

“Do you remember what it was like when we had a president who represented the people of the United States,” Bradbury asked the crowd of supporters.

He also thought it was fitting the rally was held on Halloween.

“The scariest costume of all is that Gordon Smith would serve six more years,” Bradbury said.

He doesn’t think Smith needs to make a costume this year to go trick or treating,

“He’s going as a moderate,” he said.

Clinton stayed away from anti-war sentiments; instead focusing on how he felt the Republican Party was distorting the records of Democratic candidates through issue-advocacy ads that don’t disclose their backers.

“I love what Bill said about that,” said Clinton, borrowing Bradbury’s Halloween metaphor.

Clinton said of advocacy backers “they don’t want to tell the television viewers who they are so they use an alias,” he then quipped, “it’s like writing a hot check or something.”

Clinton defended his friend Bradbury saying that Smith’s accusations that Bradbury was a “tax and spend liberal” were “not honest.”

President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon Rachel Pilliod led the event, which most of Oregon’s Democratic representatives attended, as well as Art Alexakis, lead singer of the Portland based band Everclear. Gubernatorial candidate Ted Kulongoski spoke in support of Bradbury also. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who was expected to attend; did not.

Wyden and Alexakis are expected to attend a free Bradbury rally at PSU today outside the Urban Center at 4 p.m.