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Kerry disses troops, channels Gore, and then claims it was a joke

Posted by Richard on October 31, 2006

John Kerry, speaking at a campaign rally in California Monday, seemed to be stuck in 1967 and still expressing his contempt for the U.S. military:

"Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well," Kerry told students in Pasadena while campaigning for California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides.

"If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq," he added.

Here’s the video clip from YouTube:

Needless to say, some people took exception to this remark, including Sen. John McCain, White House press secretary Tony Snow, and the head of the American Legion:

In a statement posted on his political action committee’s website, McCain said Kerry "owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country’s call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education."

"The suggestion that only the least educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq, is an insult to every soldier serving in combat," McCain said.

Snow told a press briefing Tuesday Kerry "not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who’ve given their lives in this."

"This is an absolute insult, and I’m a little astonished that he didn’t figure it out already." Snow added.

The national commander of the American Legion also called on Kerry to apologize for his comments.

"As a constituent of Senator Kerry’s I am disappointed. As leader of The American Legion, I am outraged," said National Commander Paul A. Morin in a statement.

"A generation ago, Sen. Kerry slandered his comrades in Vietnam by saying that they were rapists and murderers. It wasn’t true then and his warped view of today’s heroes isn’t true now," said Morin.

Kerry, rather than apologize, borrowed from the Al Gore playbook with a snarling, name-calling, over-the-top response posted on his website:

Washington – Senator John Kerry issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts desperately distorting Kerry’s comments about President Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

John Effin’ Kerry said you have to be crazy to believe he’d criticize our troops. That’s the same John Effin’ Kerry who, as Legion Commander Morin noted, called U.S. troops rapists and murderers. Watch the YouTube clip again. Now, who’re you going to believe — John Effin’ Kerry or your own lyin’ eyes and ears?

With his Gore impersonation falling flat (because Kerry lacks the personality and charisma of Gore) and more and more veterans demanding an apology, Kerry is now claiming that the statement was a "botched joke"

"I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and his broken policy," Kerry told reporters in a press conference in Seattle. "My statement yesterday, and the White House knows this full-well, was a botched joke about the president and the president’s people and not about the troops."

Kerry claimed in making his "botched joke," he was referring to the administration’s failure to study Iraq and its decision to go to war.

The administration’s failure to study Iraq? Watch the YouTube clip again. Does that seem like a reasonable interpretation?

Heck, does that look like someone telling a joke? Well, to be fair … maybe that’s as close as Kerry can come.

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