• August 28, 2004
Texan 'Ashamed' on Bush Role
By the New York Times
HOUSTON, Aug. 27 - Ben Barnes, a former speaker of the Texas House who has said he got George W. Bush into the National Guard in 1968, told an audience of John Kerry supporters in Austin on May 27 that he was ashamed of his role.
"I walked through the Vietnam Memorial the other day," Mr. Barnes said, according to a videoclip posted on the Internet this summer, "and I looked at the names of people who died in Vietnam and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because the worst thing I did was get a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance into the Guard and I'm very sorry about that and I apologize to you and the voters of Texas."
A 45-second video of his remarks, which were not reported at the time, was posted June 25 on a Web site, Austin4Kerry.com, that crashed on Friday from overuse after Jim Moore, an Austin author of books on Mr. Bush, sent out e-mail messages calling attention to it. The video was then shifted to another site: 126.96.36.199/.
Mr. Barnes, a Democrat, did not return calls for comment.
President Bush is on record as denying that family influence got him into the Guard.