At a Pasadena City College political rally in support of the Democratic candidate for California governor, John Kerry spoke up in support of the troops. Not really. In fact he really slammed the troops.
“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, and if you don’t you get stuck in Iraq.” (John Kerry, October 30, 2006)
Oddly enough... well, no not really... There's nothing odd in the way the Whittier Daily News would downplay what he actually said. Whittier staff writer Cortney Fielding chose to report it this way.
Kerry charmed the crowd with tales of surfing at Mission Beach and got laughs for a series of one liners, including telling the crowd he had just returned from Texas, "Where the president used to live - now he lives in a state of denial."
Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs - "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps.
And when he's called on it, he responds by criticizing the White House.
"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."
You know, I believe the guy. It's not about the troops. The troops barely cross his mind, except as fodder for a blast at the White House. It's all about Kerry.
Update: Senator John McCain really hammered him:
FLASH: McCain Calls On Kerry To Apologize
Tue Oct 31 2006 11:43:14 ET
Senator 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. Americans from all backgrounds, well off and less fortunate, with high school diplomas and graduate degrees, take seriously their duty to our country, and risk their lives today to defend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
They all deserve our respect and deepest gratitude for their service. 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, and should deeply offend any American with an ounce of appreciation for what they suffer and risk so that the rest of us can sleep more comfortably at night. Without them, we wouldn't live in a country where people securely possess all their God-given rights, including the right to express insensitive, ill-considered and uninformed remarks.
I almost feel sorry for the guy.
Update via JustOneMinute.