Monday, March 15, 2004
WALLACE: Senator Kerry has also suggested that the Bush administration held up the agreement with Libya for it to give up its nuclear weapons program to help in the president's reelection.
This is what Senator Kerry had to say, and you can see it on the screen: "Gadhafi's been trying to get back into the mainstream for several years now. There's evidence that we could've had that deal some time ago."
POWELL: It's absurd. I don't know what Senator Kerry's talking about. It's just absurd. That took time to bring that deal together. And I've been following it very, very closely for a number of months. And when finally the United States and the United Kingdom negotiators got a deal with Libya, we acted on that deal and we announced that deal. It was not held up for any campaign or political purpose.
WALLACE: You seem offended by it.
POWELL: Well, it is offensive because it's a political charge in a political year. And I expect that we will be hearing and seeing many more charges and many more such video clips. But I don't know what basis Senator Kerry is using to make such a statement. I mean, what is his evidence for this, other than an assertion on his part? It's not accurate.