Ben Barnes Says He OK'd Bush for Guard
Man Says He OK'd Bush for Guard
AUSTIN, Texas –– The former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives acknowledged Monday that he called the head of the Texas Air National Guard in 1968 to recommend George W. Bush for a pilot slot during the Vietnam War.
But Ben Barnes, who later was lieutenant governor, said the request for his help came from a Bush family friend – not Bush or his father, who then was a congressman.
So, before he got caught with his hand in the wrong cookie jar, Mr. Barnes, a life-long Democrat, pulled strings to get Republican Congressman George H. W. Bush's little boy into the National Guard. ... Duh, that sounds logical.
"Barnes was once a rising star in Texas Democratic politics, becoming a state representative at age 21. Later, he was elected lieutenant governor with 2 million votes, a Texas record. After he was involved in a bribery and stock fraud scandal in the early 1970s, however, he never held public office again. He was involved with a number of banks and thrifts that were mentioned during the S&L crisis, and forced into bankruptcy when the Texas thrift industry cratered in the late 1980s."
Update: Captain's Quarters reports that the Democrats would still like to argue that George Bush senior pulled strings to get George W. Bush into the Air National Guard.
Schreck wants Kerry to bluntly compare war records with the president. "Why not stand up there and say, `He chose to have his father get him out of harm's way while I volunteered to risk my life?'" The Bush campaign vigorously denies the president used his family's political influence to avoid Vietnam. ...
Update 2: American Spectator is reporting that Ben Barnes will soon be appearing on 60 Minutes to try to bolster the Kerry camp claim that Republican Congressman George H. W. Bush pulled strings with Democratic Lieutenant Governor Barnes (who wasn't actually in that position at the time) to get George W. Bush into the Air National Guard. Just remember when you watch him say that that you already know the truth, and remember what an impeccably honest man Ben Barnes has proven himself to be.
Update 3: Captain's Quarters has more, including the first "big blogger" mention I've seen of the S&L scandal I mentioned earlier.Originally posted 30-08-2004 5:24 AM