Audio: John Kerry on America’s lazy, uneducated military; Update: McCain demands apology

posted at 11:54 pm on October 30, 2006 by Allahpundit

People send me these audio clips all the time and I’m never sure whether to run them or not. Without the audio of the whole speech, I can’t tell if the comments were later qualified, retracted, embellished, etc. So let’s just go ahead and assume that Kerry caught himself the moment this left his lips and immediately disavowed/clarified it. Okay? Full benefit of the doubt here.

That said, it’s awfully goofy. And, of course, completely politically tone-deaf, which makes it vintage JFK. As usual, you can kind of tell what he’s trying to say but it’s so artless you just end up shaking your head.

The guy who sent it to me says it comes from a speech Kerry gave today on behalf of Phil Angelides. John Ziegler of KFI 640AM in L.A. picked it up and the rest is history.

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Update: Ziegler has posted the audio too.

Update: KNBC4 in L.A. has posted video of Kerry at the Angelides event delivering this line. Thanks to Randy of RightWinged for the tip.

Update: Ah, that’s the stuff.

Update: The boss just posted the rest of Kerry’s campaign itinerary. He’s in Seattle today and Minnesota tomorrow. Head on out and say hi!

Update (Bryan): As someone who joined the Air Force after completing my degree, Kerry’s comment is worse than merely goofy. It’s consistent with his entire career, and it’s repulsive. He deserves undiluted grief for this one, and that’s what he’ll get.

Update: Via the Corner:

Ms. Lopez,

Thanks for link to U-toob. Me not understand big words bout kerry. Like pictures better.

BOY, it Hard to rite e-male with crayon.

Very respectfully,

major

Camp slayer, Bahgdad, iraq

Update: McCain picks up the ball and heads for the end zone!

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.

Update: Kerry has issued a statement responding to right-wing “nut-jobs.”


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Okay, for all you benefit of the doubters, get real. He was talking about the troops. I can’t believe some of you buy the “he meant Bush, it just came out wrong” crap. They were there talking about education reforms in California. Kerry was basically saying “go to college and do well, otherwise you’re an idiot and your only choice is to join the military”. How could he have meant Bush? Seems a bit far fetched, considering Bush did better than him at Yale.

RightWinged on October 31, 2006 at 1:09 PM

How scary is it that this P.O.S. came so close to being Commander in Chief.

mhexel on October 31, 2006 at 8:49 AM

Indeed. This comment/video will be platinum in 2008.

Entelechy on October 31, 2006 at 1:10 PM

Why would a politician say something this stupid a week before an election?!?
Hope he isn’t still planning another run in ’08…
What a Communist idiot he is!
If he had won as President (and Praise Jesus he didn’t), who did he think was going to protect him? Oh, yeah, the “morons” in the military!
Betcha he thought he was among friends and could speak “truthiness to power.”
Looks like he forgot about the New Media 21st Century world of vlogging, video phones and blogs.
It’s all out now: they don’t support the war nor do they support the troops (and probably never have).

Jen the Neocon on October 31, 2006 at 1:10 PM

Please sing with me now to the tune of
“Home On the Range”

Oh give me a home, where the idiots roam
and I drink kool aid everyday
where seldom is heard, an intelligent word
and ketchup has replaced my brain

Home, home on the left
when I speak, It’s proof I do meth
my heads up my rear
It’s perfectly clear
I can serve, inspite of brain death

Oh bring back the troops
I called them fruit loops
too stupid to live a good life
They should marry rich
to a wicked ol witch
and spend their days with no strife

Home, home on the left
when I speak, It’s proof I do meth
my heads up my rear
It’s perfectly clear
I can serve, inspite of brain death

Thank ya, Thank ya very much..

GoodBoy on October 31, 2006 at 1:11 PM

Anybody got a rope?

infidel on October 31, 2006 at 1:13 PM

Indeed. This comment/video will be platinum in 2008.

Entelechy on October 31, 2006 at 1:10 PM

As Laura Ingraham said on the radio, it looks like Kerry has swift-boated himself for ’08.

thirteen28 on October 31, 2006 at 1:17 PM

Get your gear for the next Kerry Lied rally here. “Proud Veteran-American. Silent No More!” We haven’t gone away, Johnny, and we haven’t forgotten. We’re still here, locked and loaded, waiting for you to crawl back out from under that rock again. Bring it on, Johnny.

Bill Faith
USAF 1970-1974
Proud Viet Nam Veteran
Webmaster, http://www.oldwardogs.us

bdfaith on October 31, 2006 at 1:17 PM

Are you kidding? I freakin’ LOVE John F’n Kerry.

He’s the best thing to happen to conservatives since Michael Moore. If only we could get him nominated again … and keep him talking. I want him “seared, seared” into the memory of every American. He’s awesome!

LOL. I still hate him, though. I’m tired of his elitist BS, and with him saying because someone never served in the military, they have no say in such matters. My dad is a Vietnam vet, and hates Kerry and others (like Hanoi Jane.) Traitors through and through.

StephC on October 31, 2006 at 1:42 PM

Manly Men in Magic Hats

DANEgerus on October 31, 2006 at 1:48 PM

Kerry’s words will be seared….. seared! into my memory.

Ancienthistory on October 31, 2006 at 1:51 PM

Kerry is a traitor, and a seditionist, who coordinated the activities of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War with the North Vietnamese government and who, as a director of VVAW, voted on a plan to murder 6 US Senators who supported the war in Vietnam.

The fact that Democrats nominated this traitor/seditionist to be their presidential candidate is consistent behavior with their spitting of the US flag at their 2000 Albany convention for the state Democratic Party and their booing of the Eagle Scout Color Guard at the national convention in Los Angeles.

So, I’m not surprised.

ANGRY AS HELL, but not surprised.

As I write this, there are 144 comments. NOT ONE FROM HONORA, GREGH, or CONSTANTINE, our resident liberals.

I guess liberals have no balls — or shame.

georgej on October 31, 2006 at 1:55 PM

Personally, I don’t think he is taking a swipe at the military. I think this was intended to be a swipe at the President and his alleged lack of intelligence.

and I’m sure that, should any heat flare up on account of this utterance, that’s *JUST* the excuse he’ll use.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 9:39 AM

I saw on CNN a statement from the Kerry camp… paraphrased “It ridiculous to accuse Kerry, A vet of degrading Vets. It is all a Carl Rove plot”

Gwillie on October 31, 2006 at 1:56 PM

Head over to the new thread folks so we can converse in one place…

RightWinged on October 31, 2006 at 1:57 PM

Karl Roves November surprise? :)

rocked on October 31, 2006 at 2:04 PM

In case Phil Angelides needed any help tanking his campaign, Kerry came in to help him kill it.

wherestherum on October 31, 2006 at 2:23 PM

Everyone, I implore you. Start emailing and calling the networks to report this. The media will try to bury it, because they know how crippling it will be if the DNC’s nominee for president called our troops stupid.

dougless on October 31, 2006 at 2:27 PM

http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/02/broke_back_army.html

See above. You may want to re-direct some of your outrage.

Kerry puts his foot in his mouth–geez, this is big news.

honora on October 31, 2006 at 2:28 PM

x95, I hope ya don’t mind if I borrow your phrase…

Hey, John Kerry … SHUT YOUR COCK HOLSTER!

Thank you x95.

Tony737 on October 31, 2006 at 2:31 PM

Kerry didn’t just put his foot in his mouth, he showed his true colors. He just showed what he thinks of soldiers. He thinks they are dumb asses, plain and simple.

StephC on October 31, 2006 at 2:32 PM

Now we know what he thought of the enlisted guys he served with (and led). Nice guy, that Kerry. His comment sure goes a long way to refuting the Swift Boat Vets for Truth.

Even the veterans of the left hate the troops! Amazing, simply amazing.

hulbstar on October 31, 2006 at 2:39 PM

Sounds like Bill Maher is writing speeches for Kerry. And it’s so bad you think it’s a joke but you can’t be sure.

Drtuddle on October 31, 2006 at 3:00 PM

All this from a coward that left his charge behind in a combat zone so he could come home and say “They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads,” “randomly shot at civilians,” and “razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn.”

Wade on October 31, 2006 at 3:08 PM

Has anyone questioned the timing of this comment yet?

lorien1973 on October 31, 2006 at 3:10 PM

See above. You may want to re-direct some of your outrage.

(preceeded by a load of “Bush lied”-”Bush is incompetent” rubbish)

…is it possible, H, that you could actually *SUPPORT* the men and women in the military without,

A) Pointing out how sucky the military is (how it’s filling with morons, etc., the usual Lib/Dem tripe),

B) Pointing *FROM* a faux-pas of one of the guys on *YOUR* side to someone else’s mistakes (real and imagined) as if to show that, indeed, we all have feet of clay…but that your guy’s feet are less clay-ified.

To just say that your guy screwed up — as many on the Right say about Bush and the border, Bush and some aspects of the WOT, Bush and other things.

That would be the honest thing to do.

I’m new here…and already you’ve proven that you’re something of a blame-generator. If I want that, I’ll go read bumperstickers in Berkeley….

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM

Is that how “Hanoi John” got stuck in Vietnam?

When he got shot in the ass, was he paying attention like he paid attention at Yale? …lol

Precisely what I was thinking. Apparently Johnny boy didn’t study hard enough, and THAT is why he ended up in Vietnam. As another poster mentioned, he still has possession of his purple hearts (he only throws other people’s medals away). I suspect that he still has those medals because he knows that he has not yet earned them. THAT problem is EASY to fix. I suggest that we send him with Dick Cheney on the Vice President’s next quail hunting trip.

CyberCipher on October 31, 2006 at 3:31 PM

Kerry didn’t “misspeak!” He clearly paused, looked at his notes, and then said that they would end up in Iraq. Look at the video again. He paused long enough to know exactly what he was saying.

Why is it when he (or any other democrat) say something and then when it is brought up by the Repubs, claim it was clearly a right-wing conspiracy. They are so used to getting a pass by the media, they are taken aback whenever their hypocracy is shown bu same. How can it be a “classic Republican right wing campaign tactic” when Kerry was the one to say it! “Enough is enough” says John Kerry! Yeah, I agree with him about that! Dirty lying scumbag traitor.

Neocon Peg on October 31, 2006 at 3:41 PM

Viper1,

Since I haven’t seen a response from Pedestrian to your question, here is what he was getting at when he said:

Republicans want a military that our enemies fear.

Democrats want a military that our enemies fear and love.

Tony737,

Let me just say that those education major folks I mentioned before are not of the moonbat stripe. Three of them are fairly conservative, and they aren’t ignorant of current events by any stretch of the imagination, so a comparison of our situations is limited. I wouldn’t want my co-workers accusing me of slander. My primary point was that although they learned much theory about education in school, the didn’t learn the sort of diligence to accurate work that military service demands. When people who are classroom-trained in English are daily corrected, IN THEIR TRAINED AREA OF EXPERTISE, by a high school graduate with a military career, it doesn’t say much to me about the value of 6-10 years of college. Disclaimer: I am NOT disparaging a college education, it is up to the indivual what they make of it.

I give Kerry NO benefit of the doubt. But, for those who do, your choices are:

1. Kerry demeaned and insulted members of the armed forces serving in harms way overseas as uneducated losers.

2. Kerry claims that President Bush is uneducated, lazy, and thoughtlessly got us stuck in Iraq.

Bush kicked the late Ann Richards out of the Austin statehouse and did great things for Texas in his time there. He EARNED two degrees, with slightly above average grades (as opposed to a four year 76% average for Kerry). Going to Iraq was never the wrong thing to do. How it is being currently managed is quite debately among thoughtful people, but it’s patently stupid of Kerry to claim it is because of a failure to “study hard, do your homework, etc..”

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.

Dear Sen. Kerry,
This veteran who served in war says that your comments are disgusting, insulting, and will be remembered against you if you seek national office again.

Freelancer on October 31, 2006 at 4:21 PM

To just say that your guy screwed up — as many on the Right say about Bush and the border, Bush and some aspects of the WOT, Bush and other things.

That would be the honest thing to do.

I’m new here…and already you’ve proven that you’re something of a blame-generator. If I want that, I’ll go read bumperstickers in Berkeley….

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM

1) Of course he screwed up. Duh.
2) How is he “my guy”???
3) …bumper stickers in Berkeley…how retro!!!

I have learned on this blog that there is often the outrage du jour–the biggie last week was Ted Kennedy and some charges re patty cake with the Russians. Try to pace yourself.

honora on October 31, 2006 at 4:24 PM

That said, it’s awfully goofy. And, of course, completely politically tone-deaf, which makes it vintage JFK. As usual, you can kind of tell what he’s trying to say but it’s so artless you just end up shaking your head.

Ah but you are assuming people aren’t hell-bent on reading the worst possible motives into it. He’s a dolt, not evil IMO.

honora on October 31, 2006 at 4:28 PM

3) …bumper stickers in Berkeley…how retro!!!

…I was going for alliterative, but “retro” will do.

Just posted a new volume on the next thread in succession on this matter…go there to demystify the “my guy” remark.

…and, given that we’ve been treated to six years of undiluted bile from the Left about Mr. Bush, I think that “outrage du jour” falls a little flat. The outrage all seems to be flowing from Mr. Kerry’s pie hole…”How dare you take me at my word!”…and, if we could *EVER* get Mr. Bush to actually defend himself, maybe the Justice Department could look into the Kennedy-Moscow connection. It’s certainly suspect.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 4:48 PM

He’s a dolt, not evil IMO.

…speaking from a sector of the political spectrum which doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of evil (only shades of misunderstood and misinterpreted good), I can see where you’d say that….

…but…and listen carefully here…he was the standard bearer of your party, ideology and agenda in the last big national scrum. He spoke for the party then…I’d have to say that he still speaks for the party…and he’s speaking out of the southernmost end of his digestive tract.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 4:51 PM

…speaking from a sector of the political spectrum which doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of evil (only shades of misunderstood and misinterpreted good), I can see where you’d say that….

Again, work on defining yourself, let me define myself. And I recognize the existence of evil, it’s just very apparent to me that stupidity is much more rampant.

but…and listen carefully here…he was the standard bearer of your party, ideology and agenda in the last big national scrum. He spoke for the party then…I’d have to say that he still speaks for the party…and he’s speaking out of the southernmost end of his digestive tract.

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 4:51 PM

So, everything Bush says represents what you think then? Well I can see where that would free up a lot of time.

honora on October 31, 2006 at 4:56 PM

Again, work on defining yourself, let me define myself.

…OK…I’m *fabulous*…your turn….

And I recognize the existence of evil…

…I should hope so…Democrat Party ads are everywhere….

So, everything Bush says represents what you think then? Well I can see where that would free up a lot of time.

…no…and, if you’ll bother to actually read what you reply to ’round here, you’ll find the Mr. Bush gets a pretty thorough shellacking regularly…especially on the border, the “corridor” through Texas, that sort of stuff.

…tell me: why are folks Leftists disagree with evil, and then simultaneously stupid? We’re all monumental boneheads in your collective imaginations. How does it feel to be bested in election after election by boneheads?

…oh, that’s right…we’re sneaky, too…so not only are you beaten, you’re gullible as well….

Puritan1648 on October 31, 2006 at 5:13 PM

Everytime John Kerry and his leftist friends open their mouths, the terrorists declare another victory and kill more of our troops and more innocent civilians. Kerry is nothing but an elitist Euro-weenie wannabe who would sell out America’s sovereignty. He will never be President. Let your wife’s money do the talking, Johnnie-boy. You can’t open your mouth without putting your foot in it.

Connie on October 31, 2006 at 7:43 PM

something about the “kerry was obviously referring to bush” spin which needs to be slapped down hard is the “obviously” part.

progressives have been doing battle with the institution of an all volunteer military since mid 2003, branding it early on as a “poverty draft”.

the battle became formalized and physical with the so-called “counter-recruiting” movement and tactics developed by the afsc. this gave members of the media and pundits a means to newsify their agenda against our armed forces. when counter-recruiters were active, any seasonal dip in recruiting numbers were eagerly promoted through alarmist news items.

but two years of examination disproved the assertion that counter-recruiters presented any real effect on recruiting numbers. the media elites’ explaination for this phenomenon has been to reaffirrm their base conciet that the only type of person capable of military duty is stupid by issuing news items asserting that the military has lowered its recruiting standards.

a google search of “lowering” “recruiting” “standards” results in thousands of hits from both the mainstream and leftwing activist media:

http://www.slate.com/id/2127487/ (uses the term “dumbing down” to describe new recruits)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15197832/
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1004-01.htm
etc.

other terms may be as effective. the point is that the leftwing conciet that military servicemembers are charictarized by intellectual inferiority, and that it is the noble concern of decent people that the military is the leading predator of our nation’s stupid, is one which is profligate and comfortably shared amongst the left.

in stark contradiction of the notion that kerry “obviously” could not have meant the troops, it is in fact unlikely that he intended to convey otherwise. his message was not meant, to his thinking, with wanton malice. rather his intention was to spur his audience to moral action – to strengthen education as an alternative to the predatory appeals of military service.

of course, a shorter route to disproving kerry’s spin is to try to parse bush into kerry’s statement:

“education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you [may become a president who get's our country] stuck in Iraq.”

i mean, honestly.

jummy on October 31, 2006 at 11:09 PM

Wait a second.

If Kerry meant Bush, not the troops, that makes totally no sense. Last time I checked, Bush and Kerry went to the same school and Bush got slightly better grades.

Even if that was what he meant, there is a thing called a Freudian slip. He meant to say one thing, but his subconscious made him say something else — something that is deeply ingrained in his belief system. He came from an era when the military was to be abhorred and a good way to avoid the draft was to advance in school. He had a 60′s flash back. Keep your grades up or you’ll get drafted and sent to Vietnam…

tommylotto on November 1, 2006 at 12:43 PM

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