General Wesley Clark Announces Presidential Bid

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 16, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

General Wesley Clark Announces Presidential Bid

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 16, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Retired four-star general Wesley Clark will announce Tuesday afternoon he is the tenth Democrat running for the nomination to challenge President George W. Bush in 2004.

Clark has been approached by several of the leading Democratic presidential candidates about possibly serving as a running mate or a prominent member of their administration. However, Clark chose to launch his own bid instead.

Clark supports legal abortion, though as a non-candidate he has not said much on the issue.

In an August interview with Bob Novak on CNN’s "Crossfire," Clark stumbled when answering an abortion question and misidentified himself as "pro-life."

When asked whether he would sign a ban on partial-birth abortion, Clark replied, "I don’t know whether I’d sign that bill or not. I’m not into that detail on partial-birth abortion."

"In general, I’m pro-life — excuse me, I’m pro-abortion rights," Clark added.

Carol Tobias, director of the National Right to Life PAC, tells that Clark’s comments show her that he will be no different on abortion than the rest of the Democratic field.

"Wesley Clark doesn’t know if he would sign  the ban on partial-birth abortions," Tobias said. "What that tells me is that Clark is no better for unborn babies than the other nine candidates already seeking the Democratic nomination."

Several former staff and campaign staffers for pro-abortion ex-President Bill Clinton and former candidate Al Gore are lining up behind Clark. They are led by Mark Fabiani, a spokesman for the Gore 2000 campaign.

Grassroots supporters of Clark have put together a considerable mailing list through Internet recruitment and the draft Clark effort has raised more than $1 million for his campaign.

Though Clark starts at a disadvantage in time, organizing, and fundraising, the draft Clark effort provide him with a boost and polls continue to show a majority of Democrats don’t know the other candidates and more than one-third remain undecided in most polls. Clark supporters point to those surveys as evidence their candidate can gain traction and become one of the leading contenders.