For almost 60 years former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R.-Kan.), the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has borne the wounds he received in combat in Italy in World War II with quiet grace and dignity. But last week Dole avidly launched verbal combat against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
“I respect [Kerry’s] record,” Dole told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday. “But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they’re all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you’re out . . . and as far as I know, he’s never spent one day in the hospital. I don’t think he draws any disability pay. He doesn’t have any disability. And boasting about three Purple Hearts when you think of some of the people who really got shot up in Vietnam.” Added Dole: “I think Senator Kerry needs to talk about his Senate record, which is pretty thin. That’s probably why he’s talking about his war record, which is pretty confused.”