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Thread: John Kerry apologizes for 'misinterpreted' words

  1. #1
    Gold Member AKAMissy's Avatar
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    Default John Kerry apologizes for 'misinterpreted' words

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John Kerry apologized Wednesday for a "poorly stated joke," which the Massachusetts senator says was aimed at the president but was widely perceived as a slam on U.S. troops.
    "I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended," he said in a written statement.
    "As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: My poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and [was] never intended to refer to any troop," he said.
    In the statement, the four-term senator continued to assert that the GOP was using the gaffe to distract voters from its own shortcomings.
    "It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy," he said. "I don't want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops."
    The White House quickly issued a response, saying, "Sen. Kerry's apology to the troops for his insulting comments came late, but it was the right thing to do."
    Kerry canceled plans to campaign for fellow Democrats after the GOP began hammering him over his comments to college students about getting "stuck in Iraq."
    President Bush's 2004 presidential rival -- who told a radio host Wednesday he was sorry for what he called a "botched joke" -- will not appear with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Casey on Wednesday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Democratic official said.
    "I would be surprised if you see him welcomed out there anywhere," the official said, "and certainly not in a race that is meaningful."
    Strategists at both the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees told their candidates the flap is a distraction they don't need right now. (Time.com: John Kerry, still one step behind)
    The Democratic official said the issue doesn't appear to change any races, but it may attract more GOP supporters in tight Senate contests in Missouri and Tennessee.

    GOP plays offense

    Kerry's comments provide an opportunity for Republicans to go on the offensive on national security issues -- a winning GOP strategy in 2002 and 2004 that has been blunted by the increasingly violent situation in Iraq.
    The Republican National Committee took advantage of the Kerry gaffe with an ad featuring the text of quotes from Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick, Sen. John McCain and Bush in support of U.S. troops.
    A video clip of Kerry's remarks follows, then the caption, "John Kerry should apologize. Our soldiers are waiting."
    Kerry made the comment Monday to students at Pasadena City College in California.
    He said: "You know, 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.
    "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." (Watch Kerry's "botched joke'" that launched the political stink -- 1:50 )
    A Kerry aide said the senator was supposed to say, "I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."
    Appearing Wednesday on radio host Don Imus' program, "Imus in the Morning," Kerry said, "I'm going back to Washington. I'm going back to tackle this, you bet." (Watch Kerry refuse to apologize for criticizing the president and "his broken policy" -- 9:33 )
    "Of course, I'm sorry about a botched joke," he added. "Everybody knows I botched a joke."
    "They shouldn't be allowed to do that," the Massachusetts lawmaker said. "I'm not going to let these guys lie and smear, and they put their whole machine out to do it, and they ought to apologize."
    But White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said the onus was on Kerry to issue an apology, and he rejected the notion that Kerry's remarks to Imus constituted one.
    "You and I and everybody in this room have said things that we didn't intend to say," Snow said at a press briefing Wednesday. "And when it offends people, you say, 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say it. I'm wrong.' And he hasn't done that."
    Snow said Kerry was "insistent on pointing fingers at the president" and that the senator's remarks did not appear to be in jest.
    "If you listen to the tone of voice in which he said them, it's hard to construe them as a joke. It didn't sound like he was trying to make funnies," he said.

    Cheney set to enter fray

    Kerry's office said two House campaign appearances also have been canceled -- by mutual decision -- so as not to "allow the Republican hate machine to use Democratic candidates as their proxies in their distorted spin war in which once again they're willing to exploit brave American troops."
    A Kerry aide said the senator wouldn't go to Minnesota for Democrat Tim Walz, who is trying to unseat Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minnesota, and congressional candidate Bruce Braley of Iowa announced that Kerry would not appear with him either.
    Republicans unleashed a firestorm of criticism against Kerry after the Vietnam veteran's remarks.
    Vice President Dick Cheney will enter the fray Wednesday night during a speech in Montana. The White House released the portion of Cheney's speech pertaining to Kerry.
    "John Kerry needs to learn that the men and women serving in Iraq aren't there because they didn't study hard or do their homework," Cheney is set to say. "They're smart, patriotic, exceptionally well-trained and dedicated to their mission. They are heroes, and they are the pride of the United States of America."
    On Tuesday, Bush joined many GOP lawmakers -- including House Majority Leader John Boehner and McCain, a former prisoner of war -- in blasting Kerry. (Watch both sides tussle over Kerry's gaffe -- 3:02 )
    "The senator's suggestion that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting and shameful," Bush said. "The men and women who serve in our all-volunteer armed forces are plenty smart and are serving because they are patriots -- and Sen. Kerry owes them an apology."
    Bush will not face voters again, and Kerry isn't up for re-election this year.
    A number of top Democrats said they, too, were upset with the senator for giving the Republicans election-time ammunition -- even if the GOP was hyping the remark.
    A top Democratic strategist said Tuesday that Kerry "already cost us one election" and should "keep his mouth shut." Added Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee on Wednesday, "Whatever the intent, Sen. Kerry was wrong to say what he said. He needs to apologize to our troops."
    Democratic candidate Jon Tester, who is in a tight race against Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Montana, said in a statement, "Sen. Kerry's remarks were poorly worded and just plain stupid. He owes our troops and their families an apology."
    But not all Democrats concurred. Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia defended Kerry's record of fighting for veterans and applauded the senator for showing "our party how to fight back with the truth."
    Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also defended Kerry, telling reporters Wednesday in Burlington, Vermont, "Kerry made a blooper. Bloopers happen," according to The Associated Press.

    CNN's John King and Andrea Koppel contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Source: cnn.com
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/...rks/index.html
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    The whole thing was a manufactured LIE by the Repubs, Kerry never said anything about the troops!! Bush&Co are lying pieces of shit.
    If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    I can't believe he apologized. What a fucking wuss. Oy, Big JOhn! Stand up for yourself...tell the repugs to go fuck themselves and we'd all have alot more respect for you.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Hit By Ban Bus! ediebrooks's Avatar
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    He shouldn't have apologized. What he said was true.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    I cannot wait until this election is over. ITS ENOUGH.

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