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"Anti-American" claim ploy of failed leader

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

10 May 2006
Media Release

"Anti-American" claim desperate ploy of failed leader

Claims by Don Brash of anti-Americanism on my part because he was caught out over trying to recruit overseas assistance for the 2005 election, are both nonsense and the worst kind of desperate diversionary tactic, says Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters.

"For those who witnessed his pathetic attempts to answer journalists' questions on this matter last night, it was blatantly obvious that this was a man caught out and desperate to deflect attention. But claims of anti-Americanism on my part are a new low even for National," said Mr Peters.

"There is nothing anti-American in pointing out that Brash said one thing prior to the election and he has now been exposed as being loose with the truth about this. His track record in speaking with a forked tongue over his relationship with the Brethren suggests that Brash simply refuses to be honest with the New Zealand public over who he associates with.

"I have myself in the past taken advice from Americans involved in politics – and good advice it was too. Indeed, most political parties and politicians would receive advice and input from people involved in politics in other counties. But up until now none of us has tried to conceal it from the New Zealand public until we were exposed. Had he told the truth in the first place this would never have been an issue.

"Don Brash is a dead man walking as National Party leader and he now in his final death throes wants to put at risk the good work the government is doing in working constructively with the US because he has been caught out. All his incompetence and deception has achieved is hastening a change in National's leadership.

"And not before time too," concluded Mr Peters

ENDS

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