Friday, August 18, 2006

Ford Takes Challege To Corker's Niche; Stumps At Gas Station

Ford slams Corker's oil ties

"Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Harold Ford Jr. attacked his opponent's ties to the oil industry at a Thursday morning press conference in West Knoxville.

From a sidewalk in front of a Pilot Oil station on North Cedar Bluff Road, Ford also challenged Republican candidate Bob Corker to produce his full tax returns and show a willingness to take part in public debates.

"I'll meet him wherever he wants, any time he wants," Ford said, even if that means the debate would take place at "that beautiful mansion of his."

Ford also alleged that Corker, a multimillionaire businessman and former Chattanooga mayor, apparently believes that voters aren't smart enough to understand his tax returns.

"I tend to disagree," Ford said. "I think Tennesseans are pretty doggone smart."


Ford, a U.S. Congressman from Memphis, arrived at Thursday's press conference in a large pickup truck powered by biodiesel fuel and described America's dependence on oil as a national security issue.

As Ford spoke, he stood near a Corker yard sign placed in front of the Pilot station. Corker's finance chairman is Jimmy Haslam, president and CEO of Pilot Corp., who was also once his roommate in college.

According to Ford, Americans' dependence on oil helps support nations that back terrorism, especially Iran. He said that Corker's ties to the oil industry raise questions about his ability to make decisions that are in the best interest of the country and stated that Corker has taken more campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than any other Senate challenger.

"Do you trust him (Corker) to lower gas prices, or do you trust me and a new generation of leaders in Washington?" Ford asked.

Ford also said he supports a tough policy on illegal immigration and accused Corker of being dishonest about his employing illegal workers in the past. He also said that America's borders should be tightly controlled to preserve national security, citing the ease with which explosives could be smuggled into the country."

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

Ford stumps at gas station, wants debate with Corker

Congressman Harold Ford visited a Pilot convenience store in Knoxville today. And it wasn't to buy gas.

The Democratic Senate candidate wanted to paint Republican opponent Bob Corker as a friend of the oil companies.

Ford stepped from his bio-diesel Ford pickup, and spoke to reporters in front of a Corker campaign sign near the gas pumps at the Pilot store.

The Memphis Democrat says Corker has accepted more campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry than any Senate challenger.

Drawing a distinction, Ford says his campaign chairman is Lincoln Davis -- a farmer and congressional colleague. Corker's is Jimmy Haslam -- the chief executive of the Knoxville-based Pilot chain of convenience stores and travel centers.

Ford says voters will have to decide whom they will trust to lower gas prices.

There was no immediate response from the Corker campaign.

Ford says the Corker camp also has yet to respond to his proposal for seven debates around the state.

Source: AP