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February 08, 2004

Kerry’ing On… And, On… And, On…

We’ve waited a bit to do some fact checks on the Democratic Presidential Candidates. Mostly because we think they’re all lacking in potential. Much like the Republican candidate this year.

After the win in Washington, and barring an extraordinary Dean-like gaff, John Kerry appears to be a lock for the Democratic nominee.

With that in mind, we’ve come across some interesting facts on Senator Kerry.

In 1997 Kerry penned a book, “The New War”. The book flopped. But, with this book under his belt, Senator Kerry likes to reference himself and his book with respect to his excellent insight on the war on terror.

In a recent interview on Fox News, Kerry proudly pointed-out his anti-terrorism record by citing his book and stating, “[I]n that book, ... I wrote about how we needed to strengthen our ability to be able to fight international criminal crime, including terror. ... I said, four years before New York, it'll take one megaterrorist event in one of our cities to change life as we know it in America. I think we deserve a president who does see ahead."

That’s a great point. We, the American public, do deserve that. So it’s interesting that Kerry uses himself as an example when, in reality, his book was about worldwide corruption. His primary focus in “The New War” was on "global issues" like Chinese human organ-traders, mobsters in Italy and even the Japanese “yakuza”.

He briefly touches on a terrorist catastrophe. But, what book predicting future events doesn’t include a “future catastrophe”? He definitely does not address an attack on the scale (or nature) of 9/11. Nor, does he address radical Islamic fundamentalists as a serious threat. Above all else, he offers no solutions to this problem.

So, where did he get this interpretation of his book? To understand his statement, we researched the book, various web sites, and even his own campaign website.

Character 101

Let us look at Senator Kerry’s claims while on the campaign trail;

“I personally led the fight to hold Oliver North accountable for what I believe were unconstitutional activities”, 01/19/2004, Fox On The Record w/Greta Van Susteren.
False.
No evidence exists, or even suggests, that he was leader on this.

”I led the fight to stop Newt Gingrich from undoing the Clean Air and Clean Water Act”, 01/04/2004, Iowa Democratic Presidential Debate.
False.
In actuality, the fight against Gingrich was led by environmentally friendly Republicans in the Senate. Notably, Rhode Island’s Senator John Chafee (R.) led the fight and got the amendments introduced by Gingrich to die a divisive death. But, Senator Chafee can’t comment on his role as the leader. He died in 1999.

”I led the fight for deficit reduction in 1985 with Fritz Hollings and Senator Gramm of Texas”, 01/25/2004, Face The Nation.
Exaggerated and Debatable.
Again, the fight for a balanced budget was led by the Republicans (known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings amendment). Fearing a political backlash from conservative Republicans, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings amendment set spending level limits that were to be enforced by mandatory budget cuts if the limits were hit.
Where did Kerry “lead the fight”? Well, if you call being one of 40 co-sponsors “leadership”, then you can see his claim (somehow). Perhaps he’s using this item because it’s almost 20 years old. The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings amendment dates back to 1985.

”There is a special interest feeding frenzy going on in Washington. A $130 billion dollar giveaway to the drug companies. John Kerry led in the fight against it”, John Kerry for President television advertisement airing in Iowa, 12/2003.
False.
The “fight” was led by Senator Edward Kennedy (D.). Kerry did participate in a filibuster (again, led by Kennedy), as did the majority of all democratic senators.
Interestingly, Kerry missed the final vote because, as his campaign spokeswoman stated in the Washington Post, “it was clear the final tally wasn’t going to be close”.

To be fair, Kerry may have assisted in a fight, and may have been in the background pushing amendments and bills through (as he claimed in a rebuttal to Howard Dean during the Democratic Presidential Debate on January 29th in South Carolina). But, a leader is “one who is in charge or in command of a cause or event”.

Kerry’s New War

With a war on terrorism as a backdrop for the 2004 General Election, Kerry’s efforts to cut intelligence spending in the 1990’s, coupled with his false statements on his leadership in the Senate, gives the Bush re-election campaign all the fuel they need to defeat Kerry. America isn't looking for more definitions of what "is" is. And, Kerry has painted himself in to that corner.

Sources:
The New Republic, Kerry’s New War
Annenberg Political Fact Checker
John Kerry Official Campaign Website
Transcript: Democratic Presidential Debate, South Carolina
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress - 1st Session

Posted at 5:47 PM

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Comments

Um...who could predict something such as 9/11? Are you so ignorant to say that other examples aren't better than what we've got making predicitions now? Could YOU really predict that?

Posted by: at Feb 20, 2004 2:21:56 AM

Ummm.... who could predict it? The CIA, the FBI and many other agencies. In fact, one of the "predictions" (by doing 'intelligence') is that al Qaeda would use a passenger plane "for something nefarious" like "a missile".

So, take your ignorant comment to us and re-think ignorance. Agencies working for the federal government DID predict it!

And, we're not suggesting he predict 9/11. We're suggesting that every great leader prepare for events LIKE 9/11. And, there are many, many pieces of intelligence that DID accurately predict something of this scale (and they're predicting for more of the same in the future).

Posted by: ABP at Feb 20, 2004 1:10:07 PM