Big Story 's judge accused Kerry camp of being behind Dean's comments on terror alerts, but Kerry disagreed with Dean


New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano, sitting in as host for John Gibson on the August 4 edition of FOX News Channel's The Big Story, asked Democratic strategist Michael Brown if Senator John Kerry is going "to disavow what [former Vermont governor] Howard Dean's been saying" about the possible political motivations behind Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's decision to raise the threat advisory level in certain cities on August 1. Napolitano then asserted, providing no evidence, that "the Kerry campaign must be behind" Dean's remarks.

In fact, Kerry's advisers have made clear that they do not think the terror alert was raised for political reasons, and Kerry "has not faulted the administration for its handling of the situation," as The Washington Post noted on the same day Napolitano made his statement.

From the August 4 edition of FOX News Channel's The Big Story with John Gibson:

NAPOLITANO: Is Senator Kerry going to disavow what Howard Dean's been saying? He's said it three days in a row, the Kerry campaign must be behind it!

On the August 1 edition of CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Dean said of Ridge's decision to raise the terror alert level: "It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of this is politics, and I suspect there's some of both in it." On August 4, Dean told CNN: "There's one of two possibilities here. One, we need a new president so we can really take care of intelligence needs and the defense of the United States of America against terrorism. Or two, they're playing politics with their timing of the release of these documents."

There is, in fact, no evidence that the Kerry campaign is "behind" Dean's comments, as Napolitano claimed; indeed, as CNN reported on August 5, "[A] number of prominent Democrats, including presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, distanced themselves from those remarks." According to an August 4 New York Times article, "Kerry's advisers gave a very different, and emphatic, answer when asked if they, too, thought that a terror alert had been timed to the electoral calendar. 'The answer is no,' said James P. Rubin, senior foreign policy adviser to Mr. Kerry. 'This matter is too important to our safety; we have no reason to believe that this information that was most recently released was released for political reasons.'"

2004 Elections
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