updated 6/4/2004 12:36:05 PM ET 2004-06-04T16:36:05

Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, says “the other guy” — President Bush — may be her husband’s biggest fund-raiser.

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“Alone, I was able to raise $2 million in a week a month ago,” Heinz Kerry said Thursday at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Manhattan, an annual state Democratic event. “I don’t think it’s me. I think it’s the other guy, and I don’t mean my husband.”

“I think in a sense he’s our biggest fund-raiser,” she said, implying that opposition to Bush has helped draw contributions.

For the most part, Heinz Kerry, 65, criticized Bush indirectly. Her most direct attack came on the subject of patriotism.

“One of the saddest things about this administration is its cynical attempt to equate patriotism with singing in the president’s amen chorus,” she said. “The Americans I have met are tired of being told it is unpatriotic to question this president and his administration’s policies.”

Heinz Kerry, who has been blunt in her public comments, also touched on her reputation for being outspoken.

“I have been known to speak my mind and express my opinions — maybe you’ve heard that,” she said. “My hope is that at the end of this campaign or one day soon, women who have earned the right to their opinions won’t be called opinionated.”

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