Time Magazine, 3/1/04:
The Bush political team, though, believes it is getting the kinks out of the system. One example: campaign and Republican National Committee (R.N.C.) rapid-response makers had been labeling Kerry a "Massachusetts liberal," not knowing that Bush likes attacks to be more specific.
"He doesn't like it because it doesn't tell you anything," says a top Bush aide. "Tell people what that means. That's what he wants." Result: the campaign no longer uses the shorthand phrase Massachusetts liberal.
He [Kerry] talks about PAYGO. I'll tell you what PAYGO means, when you're a senator from Massachusetts, when you're a colleague of Ted Kennedy, pay go means: You pay, and he goes ahead and spends.
...You know, there's a main stream in American politics and you [Kerry] sit right on the far left bank. As a matter of fact, your record is such that Ted Kennedy, your colleague, is the conservative senator from Massachusetts.
...And secondly, only a liberal senator from Massachusetts would say that a 49 percent increase in funding for education was not enough.
Ken Mehlman, Bush/Cheney campaign manager, on "Meet the Press," 10/17/04:
I think people looked at those debates and they saw some important things. They saw that John Kerry is, in fact, a Massachusetts liberal who will increase taxes and who will increase government involvement in health care.
...And the middle class understands when a liberal from Massachusetts like John Kerry says "I'm just going to soak the rich," they better grab their umbrella.
I guess the idea is that these are more specific attacks? Or did they just change their mind?