Sen. Kerry said that: “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. If you don’t you get stuck in Iraq.”Note: That's the exact quote as reported in a press release from the Washington State Republican Party. It seems pretty straight forward and innocuous to me. The Republicans (Bush, McCain, Tony Snow, et al) have tried to turn it into an implication that the troops serving in Iraq are stupid or uneducated. Oddly enough, I don't read that in Kerry's statement. To my mind, he says, you can do well through hard work and education, but if you're sent to Iraq, then there you might get stuck there and not do as well (and here I assume he means, financial, family, 2.5 kids, a dog, etc).In other words, it's a dig on Bush, but of course, Republicans tried to turn it into something else.
In Seattle yesterday campaigning for Maria Cantwell (Senator), Kerry responded to the attacks:
If anyone should apologize, Mr. Kerry said, it is President Bush and his administration officials who started the ill-conceived war. He said his remarks had been distorted and called the criticism directed at him the work of “assorted right-wing nut jobs and right-wing talk show hosts.”
“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement. “I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.”
“I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq,” Mr. Kerry went on. “It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.”