TOLEDO, Ohio – Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news – web sites) lauded Ronald Reagan (news – web sites)’s legacy of bipartisanship Sunday and canceled five days of campaign events in honor of the former president’s death.
“Yesterday, we lost one of our great optimists,” Kerry told graduating seniors at Bedford High School. “President Reagan’s belief in America was infectious. And because of the way he led, he taught us that there was a difference between strong beliefs and bitter partisanship.”
Kerry’s campaign said it was canceling all public events through Friday, including star-studded fund-raising concerts scheduled for Monday in Los Angeles and Thursday in New York.
Kerry canceled the week’s campaign trips to Colorado, California, Arizona and New York, but will travel to Los Angeles Tuesday and Wednesday to attend daughter Alexandra’s graduation from the American Film Institute (news – web sites) and a screening of her 15-minute film, “The Last Full Measure.” He plans to spend of the rest of the week in Washington, where Reagan’s body was being flown on Wednesday.
Kerry and the Democratic National Committee (news – web sites) were canceling joint fund-raising concerts that were to feature Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Jon Bon Jovi, John Mellencamp and others. Tickets cost as much as $1,000. New dates will be announced when the concerts are rescheduled, Kerry’s campaign said in a statement.