Oklahoman endorses Bush, Coburn


Sunday, October 24th 2004, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Oklahoman has endorsed George W. Bush for president, comparing the war on terrorism under his presidency with the challenges of another wartime president, Abraham Lincoln.

``The current war on terror isn't the same as the Civil War, and not even President Bush's best admirers would rank him with Lincoln,'' the editorial in Sunday's editions read.

``Yet Bush has comparable qualities we think merit his re-election in the midst of this war: clear vision, courage to make difficult decisions and steadfastness to lead in the face of adversity.

``While there are other issues being weighed in the campaign, none is more important than which candidate will best protect America from the global terrorist threat.''

The newspaper called Democratic Sen. John Kerry a serious candidate with considerable intelligence and experience, but disagreed with his ``worldview and are concerned by his meandering approach to winning the war.''

``While Kerry would react strongly to any new attack, his talk of passing a `global test' before pre-emptively going after terrorists, his stated hope that terrorism can be returned to a `nuisance level' and his preoccupation with keeping foreign governments happy, we think, reveals a pre-9/11 view that offers no plan to defeat an enemy determined to overcome the United States _ or die trying.''

The newspaper also endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Coburn over his Democratic rival, Rep. Brad Carson, but noted that it was ``not an easy call.''

``For his part, Carson has pledged to vote in similar fashion to David Boren when Boren was in the Senate for 16 years _ and he'd have to, if he had any hope of surviving more than a single term in conservative Oklahoma,'' the editorial read.

``Like many Oklahomans, we've been concerned with some of the careless statements Coburn has made during the campaign.''

During a campaign stop in Altus, Coburn blamed ``crapheads in Oklahoma City'' for a lack of economic development. A Coburn spokesman said the reference is to lawmakers and the state Legislature's attempts to address lawsuit abuse and worker compensation reform.

Coburn also questioned whether some members of the Cherokee Nation should be considered American Indians and has said he'd heard there was rampant lesbianism in southeastern Oklahoma during another campaign stop.

But the newspaper said ``Coburn's core principles are solid'' and they like his stance on limiting government.

``In our view, the most important aspect of this race is not necessarily Coburn the candidate but Coburn the Republican,'' the editorial read. ``His election could help keep the Senate in the hands of the Republicans, who hold a thin 51-49 working margin (48 Democrats plus a left-leaning independent).''

Carson and Coburn are locked in a contentious race to succeed retiring Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.