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 never intended to refer to any troop.
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.
It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy. I donâ€™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.
He is NOT taking responsibility. It was NOT a verbal slip, and it is somehow other peoples’ fault that his words were “misinterpreted.”
Twenty years ago, when the 527 Media ruled the landscape, this might have worked. Not today. This “apology” changes nothing, not only because it is objectively hollow, but because Kerry has a 30-plus year track record of dishonoring our troops. People know what he said, they know what he meant, and they know that he meant it.
UPDATE: The fun part of this is going to be watching the slip-sliding reactions of people like Kos (“Kerry has nothing to apologize for”). I suspect that they are going to feel betrayed.
UPDATE 2: Michelle Malkin confirms that this is indeed the case. Rather than don the hazmat suit to find out, I’ll trust her.
UPDATE 3: Ann Coulter –
John Kerry is the “botched joke” of American politics. For those of you keeping score at home, John Kerry has now called members of the U.S. military a) stupid, b) crazy, c) murderers, d) rapists, e) terrorizers of Iraqi women and children. I wonder what he’ll call them tomorrow. Whatever Karl Rove is paying John Kerry to say stupid things, it’s worth every penny.
Considering the alternatives, it’s amazing that he’s received, by far, the most flak for Item a).
UPDATE 4: VDH thinks that this picture turned the tide and forced a defiant Kerry into what passes for his “apology” mode –
Hugh Hewitt is wondering whether the 527 Media will show this pic tomorrow — I doubt it. In fact, the prospect that the pic might make the front page probably moved Kerry more than any form of sincerity. Now the 527s can (lamely) say “it’s old news” to justify not running it.
UPDATE 5: Geraghty at TKS — “Buddy, I know what you want me to believe you meant. Unfortunately, what I believe you meant is not that. I believe that what you said is what you really think, but you don’t want people to know that.”
UPDATE 6: An allegedly uncut vid is at Hot Air, along with a debate over whether Kerry meant to slam Bush. Kerry starts at 1:35; I didn’t see any controls for forwarding, so you’ll have to wait through the intros, etc. to the joke, which starts at about 2:00.
I’m sorry, Kerry clearly and smoothly transitioned from slamming Bush to a separate joke directed at students, and was clearly playing to a preconceived notion that only people who are less educated end up in Iraq. I don’t see how else you can interpret it. Michelle Malkin, and her follow-up e-mailers, strongly agree.
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