Gilmore Criticizes GOP

Onstage at a Tuesday night (July 8) concert in Portland, Maine, singer-songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore drew a parallel between President Bush and Osama bin Laden. According to journalist Michael Keating’s commentary in the Portsmouth Herald newspaper, Gilmore said, "I don't think it's right, really, to use my little podium as a place to try to alter people's opinions about things. But at the same time I'm so deeply disgusted that I don't know what to do.” Gilmore added, “In my opinion Osama bin Laden and George Bush are exactly the same because they both love hatred." Explaining his comment to the crowd, Gilmore said, "I'm a real Texan and I personally like George Bush. (Bush) is a good guy who got caught in a bad situation and just got carried away. I guess I'll sing a song now." Later elaborating on his statement during an interview with Keating, Gilmore said, "There are very strong emotions that go with that so we'd probably need about five hours to talk this out. I believe that what I see as the Republican right wing thing is that it's OK to do anything we want to say or do if we can find a way to undercut anyone we don't agree with, and we'll do it by hook or by crook." Asked whether he really perceived Bush and bin Laden as being one and the same, Gilmore replied, “"I'm just kind of mad with the guy that happens to be my president now. So in that respect I feel I'm satirizing that Republican view by being so over the top. They're only equal in the sense that all people are alike -- that all people are selfish." 07/10/03

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