- DENVER (Reuters) -- Democrat
John Kerry picked up the endorsement on Monday of 48 Nobel Prize-winning
scientists who attacked President Bush for "comprising our future"
by shortchanging scientific research.
- "The Bush administration has ignored unbiased scientific
advice in the policy-making that is so important to our collective welfare,"
the 48 scientists, who have won Nobels in chemistry, physics and medicine
dating back to 1967, said in an open letter released by the Democratic
presidential candidate's campaign.
- The scientists, who included 2003 chemistry winners Peter
Agre and Roderick MacKinnon, accused the Bush administration of undermining
America's future by reducing funding for science and turning away scientific
talent with restrictive immigration policies.
- "John Kerry will change all this," they said.
"John Kerry will restore science to its appropriate place in government."
- Kerry, on his first public campaign visit to Colorado,
told supporters at a rainy rally in a downtown Denver park that the United
States was losing its scientific lead over other nations. He promised to
put the country once again "at the forefront of scientific discovery."
- The Massachusetts senator argued that greater technological
innovation could transform the economy, creating jobs, cleaner energy and
- "We need a president who will again embrace the
tradition of looking toward the future and new discoveries with hope based
on scientific facts, not fear," Kerry said, citing his plans to lift
barriers to stem cell research, a move Bush has opposed.
- Bush came under renewed pressure on the stem cell issue
after the death of former President Ronald Reagan, who suffered from a
disease, Alzheimer's, that might be cured or treated with stem-cell therapy.
- The Bush campaign fired back at Kerry, saying America
was the world's scientific leader and the president had boosted research
and development funding.
- "Only John Kerry would declare the country to be
in scientific decline on a day when the country's first privately funded
space trip is successfully completed," said Bush campaign spokesman
- KERRY LOOKS TO COLORADO
- Kerry hopes to make Colorado, which traditionally leans
Republican and supported Bush in 2000, a battleground this year. He has
run ads in the state and hopes Democratic Senate candidate Ken Salazar
will boost Hispanic voter turnout.
- Bush welcomed Kerry to Colorado by airing a new radio
ad criticizing what it called his economic pessimism and touting Bush's
leadership and the state's falling unemployment rate.
- Before his speech in Denver, Kerry attended a fund-raising
luncheon in Aspen that raised $500,000. Kerry was greeted at the Aspen
airport by legendary wild man author Hunter S. Thompson, inventor of "gonzo"
journalism -- the reporting of facts from a personal perspective.
- The two, who have met before, rode together in Kerry's
motorcade to the mountainside home of airline leasing executive and major
Democratic donor Michael Goldberg.
- "How does this sound? Vice President Hunter Thompson,"
joked Kerry, who is pondering his choice of a vice presidential running
mate. "Do you feel better?"
- Kerry brought along three copies of "Fear and Loathing:
On the Campaign Trail," Thompson's book about the 1972 presidential
campaign, for the author to autograph.
- Looking ahead to the fall debates with Bush, Kerry appointed
lawyer and Clinton administration veteran Vernon Jordan as his chief negotiator
on details of the debates. Three debates are tentatively scheduled, but
details including length and format are open to negotiation.
- - Additional reporting by Patricia Wilson
- Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited
without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable
for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance