Kerry Blasts Name-Calling by Wal-Mart Backer

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Democrats are calling on Wal-Mart to repudiate a statement by a talk show host and Wal-Mart proponent likening the party’s leading lawmakers to members of a terrorist group, Hezbollah.

In a column published Tuesday, the commentator, Herman Cain, repeatedly used the term “Hezbocrats.” Mr. Cain defined them as “a roaming band of militant guerrillas seeking their party’s 2008 nomination for president” and said they were lobbing “rhetorical bombs at Wal-Mart.”

Senator Kerry of Massachusetts denounced Mr. Cain, who serves on the Georgia steering committee of a Wal-Mart-funded advocacy group, Working Families for Wal-Mart.


“I won’t stand for the ‘Swiftboating’ of working people and Democrats who ask tough questions of big corporations,” Mr. Kerry said.

Branded as “Hezbocrats” in the column were Senator Biden of Delaware, Senator Bayh of Indiana, and Senator Clinton, as well as Governor Richardson of New Mexico. Mr. Cain made no reference to Mr. Kerry.

“Herman Cain is not a spokesperson for Wal-Mart,” the company said in a statement. “We understand that he has a long-standing column and the views he expresses in that column are his own.”


A spokesman for Working Families for Wal-Mart, Catherine Smith, noted that Mr. Cain was a volunteer.

“Hezbocrats was simply referring to the militant rhetoric liberals constantly use against capitalism and our economic system,” an aide to Mr. Cain, Ericka Pertierra, said.

The new flap came just days after the resignation of the chairman of the same pro-Wal-Mart group, Andrew Young Jr. The civil rights leader stepped down after telling a reporter for the Los Angeles Sentinel that Wal-Mart was a boon to inner city residents because mom-and-pop stores run by Jews, Koreans, and Arabs have “ripped off” African-Americans.

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