The political stars of the U.S. Democratic Party were in Washington Thursday night to help Senator John Kerry raise $11 million for his presidential campaign.
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, as well as former Vice President Al Gore, joined the Massachusetts senator in a show of Democratic unity. The fundraiser also featured most of Mr. Kerry's primary opponents.
Meanwhile, President Bush raised over $2 million Thursday night in Mr. Kerry's hometown of Boston. As he has done repeatedly in the campaign, Mr. Bush told Republican Party faithful that Mr. Kerry waffles on key issues.
Mr. Kerry - who will not be his party's official nominee until a national convention in July - must struggle to gain the success in fundraising that Mr. Bush has shown. Republicans have raised $100 million to support President Bush's re-election, much of it before the Democratic primary season even started.
Friday, Mr. Kerry will travel to Michigan - a state with a 6.6 percent unemployment rate - to propose changes to corporate tax laws designed to convince American business not to transfer jobs overseas.
Mr. Kerry's plan would eliminate the so-called "deferral" tax break that allows U.S. companies to forego paying taxes on foreign income until they return it to the United States. Mr. Kerry would tax foreign profits like domestic earnings.
To encourage business to accept the change, Mr. Kerry would use the estimated $12 billion saved to reduce the corporate tax rate by 5 percent.