CNN senior political analyst and American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Bill Schneider claimed that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network “would very much like to defeat President [George W.] Bush” in November's presidential election. He then revived the much-repeated myth that terrorists determined the outcome of Spain's March election, saying: “But the question is: Can they pull off the same trick that they pulled off in Spain?”
When asked to comment on House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) September 18 remark that the terrorists would prefer a Senator John Kerry presidency, Schneider echoed Hastert's sentiment.
From the September 19 edition of CNN Live Sunday:
SCHNEIDER: Well, I can guarantee you, they don't like George Bush. Do they think there's a difference? I think Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda network, who I am certain follow American politics, look at the messages coming out on their tapes. They seem to follow politics very closely. They would very much like to defeat President Bush. But the question is: Can they pull off the same trick that they pulled off in Spain? What Dennis Hastert said is, “They'd better not try that. It won't work here.” And my guess is, he's right about that.
As Media Matters for America has noted, while little evidence exists suggesting that Al Qaeda has a preference regarding the upcoming presidential election, Reuters reported in March that a letter from an Egyptian group claiming a link to Al Qaeda stated that group supports President George W. Bush's reelection. Moreover, as MMFA has also explained (on July 15 and August 5), the assumption that terrorists sought successfully to bring about the defeat of Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, a supporter of Bush and the Iraq war, is highly questionable.