April 27, 2004


Kerry defends Vietnam record (Jill Lawrence, 4/27/2004, USA TODAY)

Democrat John Kerry battled back Monday against a Republican offensive designed to erode one of his biggest assets as a presidential candidate: his credentials as a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War.

Kerry responded testily when asked in several TV interviews whether he had changed his story about throwing combat ribbons or medals over a fence at the Capitol in an anti-war protest in 1971. For the first time, he also cited President Bush's spotty attendance in the National Guard. (Related story: Questions raised over Kerry account of '71 protest)

Kerry called the medals issue "a distraction" and a campaign tactic. "It's coming from a president who can't even prove that he showed up for duty in the National Guard," he said in an interview with WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh.

Senator Kerry, who served in Vietnam, may be right that issues surrounding his and George Bush's service to their country thirty years ago is a distraction--maybe he shouldn't bring it up so often?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2004 7:53 AM

ABC and the NY Times are part of the Republican offensive? please. And how pathetic/predictable that Kerry goes after Bush on the guard story to try and save himself? Six more months of this and Kerry will be lucky to get 40%

Posted by: AWW at April 27, 2004 8:23 AM

Kerry was in Viet Nam?

Posted by: PJ at April 27, 2004 8:42 AM

I heard that rumor somewhere...

Posted by: Roy Jacobsen at April 27, 2004 9:45 AM

Even the Associated Press story this morning on the Kerry medals cotroversy contained these two paragraphs high up in the story:

During the primaries, Kerry often deflected questions about Bush's military service although when asked in February whether Bush had fulfilled his Vietnam-era commitment, the Democrat said, "Just because you get an honorable discharge does not in fact answer that question."

In 1992, as Democratic candidate Bill Clinton faced criticism for avoiding service in Vietnam, Kerry said, "We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways."

While the press is generally liberal and overall may want a Democrat in the White House, what they won't do is be exposed to the public as complete dupes, lackeys or idiots by the presumptive Democratic nominee (the Boston Globe's Thomas Oliphant excepted, of course, but since Oliphant was exposed during the Clinton administration as willing to trade favors for favorable political coverage, his defense of Kerry this morning has to be taken in that context).

Posted by: John at April 27, 2004 10:46 AM

He talks about Viet Nam so much you'd think he was elected Senator to represent the place.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 27, 2004 11:05 AM

Every time WSJ's Opinion Journal/Best of the Web mentions his name, it's not "Kerry" -- it's always "Kerry, who by the way Served In Vietnam," or "Kerry (who by the way Served In Vietnam)". Then at the end of the article there's always the separate one-sentence paragraph "And did you know Kerry Served In Vietnam?"

I suggest this and other blogs follow suit every time they mention Kerry, who by the way Served In Vietnam.

Posted by: Ken at April 27, 2004 12:29 PM

It's time for conservatives to start referring to Kerry as: "John F. Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Senator who killed people (possibly even civilians) in Vietnam". Now the left will accuse Bush of everything, but murdering civilians with a .50 caliber hasn't been one of them (yet).

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 27, 2004 12:55 PM