By HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press Writer
LACONIA, N.H. - Democrat John Kerry, acknowledging that his quest for the presidency has been "a difficult humbling experience," sought Friday to regain his political footing with a blueprint for his first 100 days in the White House.
The Massachusetts lawmaker, who squandered a lead in this critical early voting state, cast President Bush as out of touch with ordinary Americans and portrayed himself as the best qualified Democratic alternative.
"What George Bush has given all these people — and so many others — is a raw deal," Kerry said as he promised to fight for veterans, parents, business owners and people needing health care. "He's favored tax cuts for the wealthy and special favors for the special interests over what's fair for middle-class Americans."
Kerry started his campaign as the presumptive front-runner, but he quickly was overtaken by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in New Hampshire, which holds the first binding primary Jan. 27. In Iowa, where Democrats caucus Jan. 19, Dean is tied with Rep. Dick Gephardt, but Kerry is close behind in most polls.
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