White House, Kerry Exchange Accusations
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Oct 31, 4:52 PM (ET)
By JENNIFER LOVEN
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House and Sen. John Kerry traded their harshest accusations since the 2004 presidential race on Tuesday, with President Bush accusing the Democrat of troop-bashing and Kerry calling the president's men hacks who are "willing to lie."
The war of words, tough even for this hard-fought campaign season, came after Kerry told a group of California students on Monday that those unable to navigate the country's education system "get stuck in Iraq."
The two parties are searching for any edge amid indications Democrats could take back the House and possibly win control of the Senate in next week's midterm elections. Though neither Bush nor Kerry is on any ballot, the bitterness with which they fought each other as 2004 rivals spilled over as both campaign hard for their parties in a race shaped in large measure by public doubts about the Iraq war.
White House press secretary Tony Snow was asked about Kerry's comment at his regular briefing with reporters, and had clearly come prepared with a lengthy attack. He said the quote "fits a pattern" of negative remarks about U.S. soldiers from the decorated Vietnam veteran and suggested that whether Democratic candidates - particularly those running on their military service backgrounds - agree with their 2004 standard-bearer should be a campaign litmus test.
The White House also released in advance remarks Bush was to deliver later in the day while campaigning in Georgia, in which the president called Kerry's statement "insulting and shameful." Bush, like his spokesman earlier, said soldiers deserve an apology from Kerry.
"Our troops did not enlist because they did not study hard in school or do their homework," Bush said in his prepared remarks for a former GOP congressman, Mac Collins, who is trying to oust Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall. "The men and women who serve in our all-volunteer armed forces are plenty smart and are serving because they are patriots."
Kerry, who is considering another run for the White House in 2008, angrily fired back.
His statement called Republicans "assorted right-wing nut jobs."
And at a hastily arranged news conference in Seattle, Kerry said: "I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy."
Kerry said the comment in question was "a botched joke about the president and the president's people, not about the troops ... and they know that's what I was talking about."
It came during a campaign rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides. Kerry opened his speech at Pasadena City College with several one-liners, saying at one point that Bush had lived in Texas but now "lives in a state of denial."
He then said: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
That, Kerry said, was meant as a reference to Bush, not troops. Kerry said it is the president who owes U.S. soldiers an apology - for "a Katrina foreign policy" that misled the country into war in Iraq, failed to adequately study and plan for the aftermath, has not properly equipped troops and has expanded the terrorist threat.
The Massachusetts Democrat called the White House attack "a classic GOP textbook Republican campaign tactic" that reveals Republicans'"willingness to reduce anything in America to raw politics."
"I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes," he said. "It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did."
Unsubstantiated allegations about Kerry's Vietnam War heroism from a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth figured prominently in the 2004 Kerry-Bush race. Even Kerry has blamed his slow and uncertain response to the group's claims for helping to doom his White House chances, and Democrats viewed the Tuesday fracas as a test of that lesson.
"Enough is enough. We're not going to stand for this," Kerry said. "We are going to stay in their face with the truth."
Other Republicans, sensing opportunity for their side, piled on throughout the day with their own demands for an apology from Kerry.
GOP Sen. John McCain, like Kerry a decorated Vietnam veteran and a potential 2008 rival, said while campaigning for Republican candidates in Indiana that "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 today."
Added House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., struggling to keep his party in control of Congress: "Our soldiers risk their lives in the face of grave dangers on the battlefield, and no one who chooses to courageously and selflessly defend our country can be considered 'uneducated.'"
Separately, the White House issued President Bush's Veterans' Day proclamation praising those who have served in the armed forces - a week and a half before the holiday.
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Kerry, a well used spokeman and fund raiser for the democrats has finally broke the silence- the librals lothe the military and those that serve.
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10-31-2006, 10:48 PM #1
The true libral veiw of the military.My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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10-31-2006, 11:19 PM #2
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You know he was born with a birth defect, where his mouth should be his *** is. His brain is of an abnormaly small size as well.
JIt's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
11-01-2006, 01:30 AM #3
First off, let me make it perfectly clear that I am not a Democrat, nor a Republican...
But, I'm chalking this up to typical election time "spin" on the part of the Republicans. In reading other articles on this, it appears that Kerry's explination is true, and the students to which he said it, got the joke.
It's well known that Bush hates it when anyone criticizes him, especially when it comes to Iraq and his foreign policy. I think Rummy proved that point last week when he chastised reporters and eventually walked out during a press conference when the topic of debate was the benchmarks that had been set in Iraq.
When it comes right down to it, the Republicans are concerned they will lose control in this election, and they are rightly so. I think that America has had it with Bush making bad decisions, and the House following party lines so closely in turn.Jack of all trades, master of none.
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11-01-2006, 03:13 AM #4
Meant to be a joke or not he should have enough sense for a man in his position to know you don't make jokes using your military as the pun of it while they are at war. Simply disrespectful IMO Dem or Rep.******=================
------GOD BLESS AMERICA ! ------
11-01-2006, 06:19 AM #5
Sorry, ......I'm just not buying this statment as a botched joke. Mr. Kerry is an educated man who prepares EVERY speech he delivers and practices that speech as well. If he wanted to attack the Presidant than he should have done so....rather he attacked every member of our military serving in that God forsaken S#$t hole of a country, inferring that they were stupid! Mr. Kerry, you suck, ... I am a U.S. veteran and I approved this message!!!!!Never trust a smiling dog.
The uniform you're given is free, but it comes with a history. Do the right thing when you're in it.
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11-01-2006, 07:26 AM #6
Originally Posted by BFDNJFF
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
And...Knowing full well this is an election year, as you're stumping for a candidate...you'd think someone of HIS education level (and who, BTW, got "stuck in Vietnam") would know better than to say something that could be used against him. Stupid.
11-01-2006, 07:27 AM #7
Mom always said, that behind every "Joke" is the truth. If you kiddingly pick on a co-worker, the joke really hits on your true inner feelings.
Lack of respect for our troops from J. Kerry should say it all. If you don't think a presidental candidate has 4 people reviewing every written word before it comes out of his mouth, I have a really nice piece of land for sale CHEAP!
I says what I means, and means what I says
11-01-2006, 08:02 AM #8
Never to fear. Nozzleman will be here with the "correct" view on this article soon enough.Tom Warshaw
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All opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my department or any organization I may belong to.
11-01-2006, 09:04 AM #9
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- Oct 2006
Bad as it reads....
...it sounds even worse:
I believe that this was an attempt at a joke. I don't believe that it was an attempt to make a joke at the expense of the President, as Kerry is claiming.
The notion that people join the military in large part because they lack other opportunities has been an article of faith among many like Kerry since Vietnam. I think this is the point he was trying to make.
Of course, these days that point is factually incorrect as well as being politically moronic, but we're talking about John Kerry here.
11-01-2006, 09:41 AM #10
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
I'm thinking that someone with as much controversy about his own service shouldn't be making jokes about the military, not that anyone should. Typical politics though, you take a stab at the President (who's not running for an office), he responds and you get offended and throw it back,....endless freaking cycle. I'll be glad when the elections are done.
Personnally, I have my doubts it was a joke, but a stab at Bush and the republicans (didn't Kerry vote to go to war with Iraq, anyway?) instead of sticking with the issues.
11-01-2006, 09:50 AM #11
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- May 1999
- Here, There, Everywhere
I would think that his comments reflect the view not only of liberals but also conservatives...both usually comming from money $$$.
Today more than ever people from the Upper-Middle class to Upper classes don't view Military service as an honorable thing or even something that should be considered.
You have military recruiters baned from High Schools, Colleges are also violently opposed to having ROTC or any Militrary recruiting on campus as well. Parents look down on having a child enlist as if they did something wrong in raising their offspring.
One only needs to read this book to understand these aristocratic cowards view points.
11-01-2006, 10:14 AM #12
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- Sep 2006
- Northeast Coast
Of course he meant nor disrespect to the troops. Who would do such a thing? Oh, wait- didn't he call American soldiers in Vietnam war-mongering baby killers and muderers? He is a true peice of...work! He can't help but talk down to people he thinks are beneath him.
11-01-2006, 10:15 AM #13
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
- Brooklyn, New York
Listen to it...he's a typical elitest. If you're smart like me, you wont have to join the military and I'd bet you could substitute military with civil service worker (ie:Fireman),construction worker,truck driver etc....But whats with all the surprise...thats how many of these rich polititians think.
The Republicans are trying to "spin" his words.....BS..HE said it! What I also have a problem with (in addition to what he actually said), is what he claims he was trying to do. He is trying to say, is he meant to insult the President and his staff. Well that almost as bad....what the hell kind of United States Senator gets up in front of a group of collage students and attempts to insult the United States President!! I'm all for his disagreeing with the Presidents policy (thats what a democracy is all about)....but what ever happened to respecting the office and disagreeing without name calling...its just another example of whats wrong withmost of the leaders in Washington from both sides of the aisle.
11-01-2006, 10:22 AM #14
"You have military recruiters baned from High Schools, Colleges are also violently opposed to having ROTC or any Militrary recruiting on campus as well."
I only know of schools in San Francisco that ban recruiters. I would bother me to know that there are more schools that do that. I have eighteen years in the brokerage business working for places like Smith Barney, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Fidelity etc. My career has provided a nice living but I feel as though I have missed my calling. I donít feel I have accomplished much. It's not all about the money. I'm grooming my son for one of our Military Academies and pray that he is willing to go. Of course working for the FDNY after college would make me equally proud.Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.
The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.
11-01-2006, 10:26 AM #15
Originally Posted by FFFRED
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- May 2000
- SW MO
Personally, I think the military would do some good for these kids that are dropping out of school, graduating and not going to college, etc. I don't know about going to so much of an extreme, but I think there's some benefit to how some countries do it-you either go to college or join the military after high school.
I'm actually having some fun watching FOX and some of the opinions, including the guy they had on a bit ago from the American Legion who called for Kerry's resignation.
11-01-2006, 10:41 AM #16
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
Schools banning recruiters....
...has become so common it is hardly remarked on any more. At King Philip high in Massachusetts, they wouldn't even allow representatives of West Point to come to their annual scholarship and fellowship awards dinner to present two kids with their appointments to the Academy.
The education establishment in this country is no friend of the military. I would argue they are no friends of the emergency services either, but that's a discussion for another time.
I only know of schools in San Francisco that ban recruiters. I would bother me to know that there are more schools that do that. QUOTE]
11-01-2006, 10:48 AM #17I only know of schools in San Francisco that ban recruiters.
Shorewood High School, in Shorewood, WI is another city/school district that has prevented military recruiters from entering the schools, and continues to be a debate to this day. Keep in mind though, this is also a city in which many of the residents would rather fly the French flag, than their own.
11-01-2006, 11:21 AM #18Originally Posted by RFDACM02
This is the same scumbag who compared every man and woman in the Republic of Viet Nam to Ghengis Khan.
This is the same useless bag of bones (lacking, of course, the spine) who ingores many funerals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for young men and women whom he is not fit to carry luggage for.
Joke? Maybe - as it is clear from the recording that he was reading a document, but if it is a joke and being recorded don't you think that you ought to have the intelligence (he is a "Yale Man" after all) to be sure to read it correctly.
Thankfully, I no longer live in the People's Republic so I am no longer represented by this twit and Ted Kennedy.
Sadly, the flaming Liberal Intelligensia in Massachusetts truly believe this and support him blindly. And many feel the same as Mr. Kerry does about the great men adn women who serve.
Like I said, these are the type of people not fit to pick up their seabag from the truck of the taxi."Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers
The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.
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11-01-2006, 11:39 AM #19
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- Eastern Central Kansas
If he insulted the military, he thus insulted himself. He was once in the military, though his tenure was a disgrace to the armed forces.FF I
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11-01-2006, 11:51 AM #20
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- Chicago, Illinois, USA
You shouldn't call this the LIBERAL view. There are liberals who disagree with Senator Kerry and his opinions, Don't forget that. It might be his view on the military, but not mine and i'd like to consider my self a liberal.
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