White House officials and surrogates have fanned out in a coordinated Rovian campaign to smear their opponents as “defeatists” and “cut-and-runners.” In a mass email yesterday, former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman turned his guns on Rep. John Murtha:
The message from Connecticut is clear, and Ned Lamont isn’t alone. He is joined by Rep. John Murtha…who claims America is more dangerous than Iran and North Korea.
Mehlman is referencing a 6/25/06 story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which reported that Murtha said he believed the “American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran.”
Three days later, the paper retracted the report. Murtha was actually citing an international public opinion poll, not expressing his own views. But why let facts get in the way of a perfectly good smear?