Bill Clinton's Gay Advice To John Kerry

Tue. July 20, 2004 12:00 AM by

Washington, D.C. - Bill Clinton has a warning for John Kerry: Don't get sucked into the GOP trap. Clinton says Republicans have laid down a careful plot to keep Kerry off base and prevent him from sticking to the major issues.

The plot is gay marriage, Clinton tells Britain's Financial Times. The former president says Republicans want to drag Kerry into a protracted debate about same-sex marriage and other socials issues like abortion and gun control.

President George W. Bush has championed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to rally social conservatives.

But the proposed Federal Marriage amendment failed to pass in the US Senate yesterday, and would still require ratification by two-thirds of the House and 38 of 50 states. Meanwhile, the House is taking up a series of anti-gay marriage bills which, among other things, would tie the hands of the courts and prevent them from hearing challenges to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Clinton said that Kerry must "stay on point" and fight a campaign focused on health, education and crime.

If he stayed on that ground, Kerry could win by "quite a nice margin" Clinton told the paper.

Clinton, who is on a tour of Europe promoting his autobiography, dismissed suggestions that Kerry came from the party's liberal past. The former president described Kerry as a "New Democrat" with a 21st-century vision.

He also had high praise for John Edwards, the vice-presidential candidate who has been compared to a younger Clinton.

Edwards is a political leader with "unlimited potential", Clinton said of the man who could be a future presidential rival to his wife, Hillary.

by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief
©® 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.