Prominent Conservative and organizer of the Washington, D.C. "Wednesday Meeting" takes Sen. Kerry up on his promise to talk to "those who agree with me and those who don\’t"

 WASHINGTON-Today Grover Norquist, a central figure in Washington, D.C. conservative circles, invited Sen. John Kerry to attend the weekly Wednesday Meeting he hosts as a forum for center-right groups in the capital. Norquist was taking up Kerry on his promise to "talk with everyone-those who agree with me and those who don\’t." Kerry issued the statement in a press release criticizing the Bush campaign for refusing to meet with a group that has been hostile to him in the past.

"I am happy that John Kerry is willing to appear before groups that disagree with him. In our center-right coalition meeting here in Washington, we\’ve got \’one-stop shopping,\’ for those who disagree with the junior senator from Massachusetts" Norquist said. "In one room, Senator Kerry can meet prominent organization leaders who disagree with him on issues such as taxes, traditional values, gun ownership, education, and foreign policy and a host of others."

On Friday, Grover Norquist\’s invitation was delivered to the Kerry campaign\’s Washington, D.C. headquarters via courier, care of Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill. Norquist requested a reply within one week.

"We\’re looking forward to Senator Kerry explaining himself. There are quite a few of us on the conservative side of the spectrum that have some very serious questions for the nation\’s most liberal senator," Norquist said.

John Kerry delivered his remarks as a part of a thinly veiled attack leveled against the Bush campaign for refusing to attend the NAACP convention this week. President Bush admitted that in part he had declined the opportunity to attend based on the organization\’s consistent hostility, including holding the former Texas governor responsible for a racially motivated slaying in that state and comparing his supporters to terrorists.