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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Clarifying the “Foreign Leaders” Comment

By Steven Taylor @ 3:47 pm

Several in the Blogosphere, and the mass media, have noted that the transcript of Kerry’s now infamous “foreign leaders” quote had the word “more” incorrectly transcribed as “foreign", so that the quote should have read that he heard from “more leaders” rather than “foreign leaders.” Some have claimed that that info should either defuse the issue (Daily Kos) while others (such as Confessions of a Failed M.C.) seem to think that it turns the whole thing into an anti-Kerry fantasy.

If the whole point is that Kerry didn’t mean “foreign” leaders, then why did he say the following, as quoted in USAT?

In a telephone interview, the Massachusetts senator and presumptive Democratic nominee said “it’s no secret” that some countries are “deeply divided about our foreign policy. We have lost respect and influence in the world.”

He continued: “I stand by my statement. The point is not the leaders. What’s important is that this administration’s foreign policy is not making us as safe as we can be in the world.”

Could it be any clearer that he is referring to foreign leaders?

Or, why when confronted at a campaign event by a heckler, did he not clarify? It is clear that Kerry is suggesting, and has suggested more than once, that he has had some kind of contact from foreign leaders who allegedly prefer Kerry to Bush in ‘04.

Kerry Maintains That World Leaders Want Bush to Go

Questions about the Massachusetts senator’s claim came from such disparate sources as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who called on Kerry to name the leaders, and a man at a town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pa., who engaged the candidate in a contentious argument about his statement.

“Were they people like the president of North Korea?” Cedric Brown, 52, shouted at Kerry during an eight-minute exchange Sunday afternoon. “I need to know that.” The presumed Democratic nominee remained calm but firm throughout the encounter, in which Brown, a Bush supporter and registered Republican, accused him of colluding with foreign governments to bring down the president.

Kerry rejected that claim, saying he had merely heard from leaders who felt alienated by the administration.

“I’m talking about our allies; I’m talking about people who were our friends nine months ago,” he said, as hundreds of people in the auditorium of a Bethlehem community college rose in a sustained standing ovation. “I’m talking about people who ought to be on our side on Iraq and aren’t, because this administration has pushed them away.”

Later, reporters pressed Kerry to clarify whether he had met with these officials in person. The candidate insisted that he merely said he had “heard from” foreign leaders in his original remark.

So, regardless of whether one thinks the whole flap is substantial or frivolous, it is clear: Kerry uncategorically has claimed that foreign leaders have expressed, to him, that they prefer him to Bush.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign
  • Ipse Dixit linked with BZZZZTTTT!
  • Signifying Nothing linked with The endorsement of death
  • Outside the Beltway linked with Kerry Foreign Leader Flap

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3 Comments»

  1. I don’t know if you posted it but when you read the question and answer, the idea that he said “more leaders” is laughable. It does not fit the context.

    The larger question is why the Boston Globe reporter was trying to help Kerry out.

    Comment by Paul — Wednesday, March 17, 2004 @ 9:00 pm

  2. Kerry’s a liar…and he must have a rather low opinion of himself and how he will fare in the election to throw these misleading statements around. Personally, I don’t give a damn if all of the foreign leaders support him because the bottom line is what would he do for me and my country. I won’t vote for him because he doesn’t stand for any of the same things that I do (or at least on a consistant basis)

    Comment by Rick — Thursday, March 18, 2004 @ 12:59 am

  3. Join the Linux community. Linuxwaves.net

    Comment by Tristram — Monday, July 5, 2004 @ 5:22 pm

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