The Democratic presidential debate, sponsored by Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus, was interrupted several times by supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. Washington Post columnist David Broder noted that front-runner Howard Dean, in response to a heckler’s question, “Where is LaRouche?,” replied, “I suspect he’s in jail.” LaRouche had served time in prison on fraud charges. That was a funny exchange, but the fact is that LaRouche is a Democratic presidential candidate with significant support in the party. And he is making some of the same charges against Bush and the Republicans that are being made by other Democrats.
Christine Hall of CNSNews.com reports that LaRouche has raised nearly $5 million for a 2004 White House bid. She says that’s “more money than four major candidates whom the Democratic National Committee acknowledges and invites to its events.” LaRouche has raised a total of $4.8 million for his 2004 presidential campaign, which places him sixth in the Democratic fundraising field of 10 declared candidates. Hall quoted Steven Weiss of the Center for Responsive Politics as saying that LaRouche “does raise substantial amounts of money. And he is a candidate with a…substantial following.”
A one-time Marxist, LaRouche is affiliated with Executive Intelligence Review, which issued a release on May 9, 2003, saying that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s overhaul of the Pentagon was “virtually identical in outline to the changes that Hitler’s Nazi Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick imposed upon the civil service of Germany in the Spring of 1933.” On October 4, 2002, LaRouche had issued a statement asking the United Nations to declare President Bush and Vice President Cheney insane. Larouche claimed, “By their pattern of bizarre behavior, the President?and the Vice-President?of the United States, have shown themselves to be insane.”
LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review has also released an article headlined, “Cheney’s Carpetbaggers: Looking for the Loot at the End of the Tunnel.” The theme was that companies associated with Cheney would make big money from the rebuilding of Iraq. Roll Call newspaper reports that Congressional Democrats have made the same charge, warning that the energy concern once headed by Vice President Cheney, Halliburton, must not benefit from “excessive profiteering” from the rebuilding of Iraq.
In the Democratic presidential debate, Senator Bob Graham of Florida said he might support the administration’s request for $87 billion in new funds for Iraq, but added: “I will not support a dime to protect the profits of Halliburton in Iraq.” Tim Russert of Meet the Press also brought up the Halliburton matter in his interview of Cheney.
Cheney replied that he has had no financial interest in Halliburton for three years. He said it was a “great company with great people” and that the criticism amounted to “political cheap shots.” LaRouche may not be getting invitations to the debates or Meet the Press, but some of his charges against the Bush administration are being echoed by other Democrats.