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Moore retaliates after Republican broadside
Updated: 2004-09-01 08:58

Anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore was back on the attack after coming under fire at the Republican national convention in New York.

Convention delegates erupted in a choir of boos after Senator John McCain called Moore "disingenuous" in his speech to the convention at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

But not everyone noticed that Moore was actually waving and smiling down on them from the press gallery, where he was on hand to write a column during the convention for USA Today, a national daily paper.

Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" has become the highest-grossing documentary of all time, raking in over 100 million dollars and turning the activist into a household name for his assault on President George W. Bush's policies.

The success of the film has sparked a backlash from Republicans, and McCain's speech must have been one of the few times -- if not the only time -- that a documentary director has been attacked at a US national political convention.

McCain took the film to task while defending the decision to invade Iraq as the choice between "war and a graver threat."

"Don't let anyone tell you otherwise," McCain said.

"Not our political opponents. And certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls."

But Moore was back on the attack on Tuesday, ridiculing the Republicans with a column entitled "The GOP Doesn't Reflect America."

Pointing to McCain, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger -- convention speakers who oppose Bush policy on some social issues -- he said the Republicans were trying to fool voters on their core policies.

"I've often found that if I go down the list of 'liberal' issues with people who say they're Republican, they are quite liberal and not in sync with the Republicans who run the country," Moore said.

"Most don't want America to be the world's police officer and prefer peace to war. They applaud civil rights, believe all Americans should have health insurance and think assault weapons should be banned," he said.

Moore dubbed them RINOs or Republicans In Name Only.

"As tough of a pill as it is to swallow, Republicans know that the only way to hold onto power is to pass themselves off as, well, as most Americans. It's a good show," the activist said.

Moore's latest project is "Will They Ever Trust Us Again?", a book based on letters from US troops serving in Iraq and from their families.

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