'Back Off'

Dole added on MSNBC that he had warned Kerry earlier of the perils of playing the Vietnam card. “John Kerry’s a friend of mine,” said Dole. “I sent a signal about two or three months ago on television, ‘John, back off. . . . Don’t make the Vietnam War the centerpiece of your campaign.'” Of the Swift Boat vets, Dole said he told Kerry, “[T]hey have a right to speak. We live in the United States of America. It’s a free country. You may not like what they say, but they have a right to say it.'”