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,


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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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Before this horsefaced asswipe is allowed to speak another word about our troops, he should fess up and reveal his military discharge papers to the public. What’s the big secret John-boy?

At least our soldiers in Iraq are smart enough to remember when and where they served. (Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia?)

fogw on October 31, 2006 at 9:25 AM

While some of the country club Republicans here play apologist for John Kerry claiming his comments are taken “out of context” I’ll remind you of what he’s said in the past

The country doesn’t know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence…..

..there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America…..

Capitalist Infidel on October 31, 2006 at 9:27 AM

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

Left_Behind on October 31, 2006 at 9:28 AM

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

“Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear”, but I’m not sure that would have helped.

htom on October 31, 2006 at 9:39 AM

Kerry is disgusting…

He has dishonored all Vietnam Vets…he got a dishonorable discharge that Carter had reversed…

He’s a moron…and I hope he runs for President again…so 3 million of my Veitnam Vet Brothers can trash him…

God Bless our soldiers…

areseaoh on October 31, 2006 at 9:41 AM

It’s easy to get too worked up regarding the Libs during the height of an election. Sometimes I have to remind myself to lighten up.

However, as JF’ng Kerry has just proven. There really is something fundamentally wrong with Democrats and the Democrat Party.

These people are creeps.

there it is on October 31, 2006 at 9:44 AM

What a wack job! Seems to me that the Dems sent Rangel, Pelosi and Dean on vacation the last few weeks as they try to position themselves as being moderate. Rangel hasn’t been on Hannity is quite a while. Oh well – they cant keep JFK from making an ass out of himself. I can’t wait to see how he will spin his way out of this one. Here’s one JFK – Rove put an implant in your brain and you can’t remember anything from the last 2 days. Also can’t wait to see the how Mehlman uses this clip on TV ads.

iam7545 on October 31, 2006 at 9:44 AM

I continue to expect better of Sen. Kerry, because of his military service. Yet he continues to disappoint. Is he listening only to the ramblings of the alcohol soaked ‘friends’ left to him since he got his behind whipped two years ago?

doufree on October 31, 2006 at 9:49 AM

And that certainly is not a flip flop. In fact its probably the one stance he’s been consistent on since he was a young lad bashing the troops.

Zetterson on October 31, 2006 at 9:55 AM

Why do people continue to make the argument that the military and college are mutually exclusive, meaning that if you do one you can’t do the other? If Kerry is an example of a supposedly smart individual who has benefitted from an Ivy League University education if I was a Yale alumni I would be very embarrased.
I am glad he served in the Navy, not to say the Army doesn’t have its’ share of idjits, ref: Weasley Clarke
/GO ARMY!!!!!!!

LakeRuins on October 31, 2006 at 9:59 AM

Wow…so many in Massachusetts must be so proud! Do you think he uses to much of the Heinz “Bold and Spicey” on his cereal?

JoeFunk on October 31, 2006 at 10:03 AM

Furthermore any military member can attend college but the same rule doesn’t apply in reverse. For all of the highbrow, look down their nose at the poor military, only 2 out of about every 10 college students would meet the physical and mental standards required of our armed forces. I speak from experience since I did some time as an Army recruiter in the early 90’s.

LakeRuins on October 31, 2006 at 10:04 AM

Oh, by the way, I was a Korean linguist in the Army.

Mountain Soldier on October 31, 2006 at 12:30 AM

98C or 98G ?? Did you go to Goodfellow?

BlueStateBlues on October 31, 2006 at 10:22 AM

Until shown otherwise, I’d go with those here who feel that Kerry was intending Bush as the last “you” and those who join the military.

But, from his vantage of having the good of the country in mind, the equal, if not better, point ought to have been:

‘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 being the loser of the 2004 presidential election.’

Dusty on October 31, 2006 at 10:31 AM

I guess we should be happy he didn’t call them murderersthis time.

TexasRainmaker on October 31, 2006 at 10:34 AM

J.H.C., “and those who join the military”=”and not those who join the military” in my previous comment.

Dusty on October 31, 2006 at 10:35 AM

We may be dumb and uneducated, but at least we didn’t give aide to north Vietnam during the war.

E L Frederick on October 31, 2006 at 10:40 AM

Good ole Lurch. You can always depend on him to screw up a free meal.

Flipper is confused since he enlisted when the draft was still in effect. Back then his talking point was relevant, but neither it, nor he is relevant today. We can add the Democratic Party to the list of irrelevants as well.

My son enlisted, and he is hardly a lazy moron. Indeed, he is a very responsible young man who quickly rose from the bottom at his place of work. He is now in line to be THE manager of the next communications shop they open.

Vote on the 7th, or be prepared to have clowns like Lurch make the important decisions for America.

DannoJyd on October 31, 2006 at 10:46 AM

Why is anyone surprised about Kerry’s character? We shall remember that here’s a man who already confessed that he “cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war.”

Niko on October 31, 2006 at 10:52 AM


What does education have to do with it? Kerry’s formula for success has always been to cut corners. If there’s a weakness to a system Kerry will find it just like a computer hacker. In the Navy Kerry took advantage of the Navy’s honor sytem to dishonor it. In marriage, Kerry twice chose multimillionaire heiresses dumping the first for an even richer one when the former’s mind drifted south.(If you were married to Kerry wouldn’t your mind drift south too?)

MaiDee on October 31, 2006 at 10:55 AM

For some reason I can’t find any comments from our left-wing friends on this thread …

Allah, please ask your webmaster to allow us to border our comments with either red or blue .. would make it easier for us to know where someone was standing prior to readin their comment.

FFOG (Formerly Fat Old Guy)

Fogpig on October 31, 2006 at 11:02 AM

I wonder what several former soldiers who came back from Iraq and are now running for Congress would say (including Tammy Duckworth) about his stupid remarks.

Here’s what Kerry also said when he was raising funds for several of these soldiers

“You and I both know how Rove-style Republicans treat veterans who speak the truth,”

link here

Well, Thanks for letting the world know how “Kerry-tyle Democrats” treat veterans.

I’m still amazed at how he could say that!!! Where’s the MSN on this one?

HarryStar on October 31, 2006 at 11:05 AM

That is simply classic Kerry. He has completely dismantled the idea that he has any ability to be CnC over the armed forces.

Only the current DNC could lose this election, so thank God we have the Democrats we have.

[registered republican since 199?]

centuri0n on October 31, 2006 at 11:05 AM

Here’s the Republican response I’d like to see. Permission is granted to all Republicans to freely use this.

“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, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in the Democratic Party begging the hard working and patriotic Americans to take care of you and put their lives on the line for your freedom to be a slacker. Don’t be slacker — vote for “

bhernon on October 31, 2006 at 11:07 AM

Perhaps the greatest (read: funniest) irony of Kerry’s suggestion that it’s either college or the military … is the fact that the military is an OUTSTANDING way for young people to get an education. When I was in – and I assume this is still true – the military would pay 3/4 of your tuition! (Not to mention the GI Bill when you get out … and not to mention the full YEAR of college credit I got for my military schools).

The truth is that a dozen years later, I know that if I’d been REALLY smart, I would have stayed in!! I know plenty of people who got several degrees almost entirely paid for by the military.

If I’d stayed in, I’d probably have a Ph.D. by now – paid for by the USMC – and I’d be 3 years from retirement! (Instead of having some impressive student loan debt!)

Shorter me: Kerry’s kinda stupid, ain’t he?

Professor Blather on October 31, 2006 at 11:17 AM

I really hate this POS.

StephC on October 31, 2006 at 11:24 AM

I really hate this POS.

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!

Professor Blather on October 31, 2006 at 11:29 AM


It’s entirely possible he’s saying since Bush is stupid, Bush got stuck in Iraq (metaphorically). It’s quite possible the uneducated insult wasn’t aimed at the troops.

I’d let Kerry clarify before going too crazy about this.

frankj on October 31, 2006 at 11:30 AM

Glad to see Rove’s Orbital Mind Control Lasers are working again. Now if he can only get Harold Ford to say he wants mandatory military service.

Nethicus on October 31, 2006 at 11:34 AM

People volunteer for the military, even educated people. Thanks for suggesting that I got “stuck” in the military just because my parents couldn’t afford to send me to college.

Maybe if Kerry tried even harder, he could’ve been even MORE disrespectful to the military. To think he’s a “veteran” makes me ill at times.

Yakko77 on October 31, 2006 at 11:38 AM

Is that John Kerry bound and gagged at the back of the DNC store? After this mess you won’t see him till after the elections.
I love this guy!!

I am John Kerry and Teresa approves of this ad

right2bright on October 31, 2006 at 11:49 AM

Only time he opens his mouth is to change his feet

Defector01 on October 31, 2006 at 11:51 AM

Idiots like Kerry make me even more glad (and proud) of the fact that I spent six years in the Navy before I ever set foot in a college classroom.

F U Kerry, you elitist prick.

thirteen28 on October 31, 2006 at 11:53 AM

If he meant it as it appears that he meant it then it will completely derail any chance he has in ’08. What I’m wondering though is if it’s put in context was he talking about Bush being “stuck in Iraq”?

Anyone have a full transcript of the speech?

Benaiah on October 31, 2006 at 11:54 AM

I’m a retired Air Force officer, who served three years enlisted in the Army, then seventeen commissioned in the USAF. I earned my BS and MBA while I was in the military. I now own an investment business, employing people. If it wasn’t for my service experience, I would not be the person I am today. It’s a shame that more young people don’t serve their country in this manner. We would be a much better country if they did. Kerry, unfortunately, stated what a lot of liberals believe, but won’t say. They loathe the military. We can’t let them lead this great nation.

liberty on October 31, 2006 at 12:00 PM

We may be dumb and uneducated, but at least we didn’t give aide to north Vietnam during the war.

Dead on, E.L.!

Corky on October 31, 2006 at 12:03 PM

Keep quoting his words for the next week and the Republicans will win this election in a major landslide of epic proportions. Tie Murtha to Kerry and Irey is in, Kerry to Ford and Corker is in, etc. Tie Kerry to every Dumbocrat.

marianpaul on October 31, 2006 at 12:07 PM

As a university professor (History), I can tell you this: Our men and women in uniform–active and reserve–and those who have had prior service make the best students one could ask for. They attend every class, do all the work, participate, and are an absolute joy to have in the classroom. They also tend to have the best grades. Whenever one of my military students has to deploy to Iraq or wherever else they’re called to serve, my first words to them are: “My hopes and prayers are with you,” and my second words are: “What can I do to help?” If they need an incomplete–they get it; if they need extra time to complete assignments–they get that; if they need to submit assignments through their CO or via email they get that. Whatever they need so that they don’t have to worry about my class when they have so much more important things to worry about. It’s the least I can do for those who are doing so much for me, my family, my loved ones, and my country.

Matt Helm on October 31, 2006 at 12:09 PM

Thank you Professor Helm. My wife is a college professor, as well, and I know a lot of her colleagues despise the military.

liberty on October 31, 2006 at 12:13 PM

OH my GOD!!!

This P.O.S. wanted to be president! He called our troops STUPID!!!! This guy is as far from a patriot as you can get without being the enemy!

dougless on October 31, 2006 at 12:16 PM

I think he said “in a wrap”… you know like a pita wrap. Veggie, w/a side order of “Oh crap, did that really come outta my mouth?”

At this point Kerry is the winner of the dumbshit of the day award. He may make it to dumbshit of week, but competition is high among the Demi-crew, so we’ll have to wait and see.

RalphyBoy on October 31, 2006 at 12:17 PM

This is who those people are. They hate the military (although they’ll say to the camera they love the military).

SouthernGent on October 31, 2006 at 12:22 PM

Uh Oh….I just had a thought…..

What would Olberman do??? He “could” make Kerry the “Worst person of the Week”

What to do, What to do…. I’m sorry, I’m trying not to laugh at his dilema..!!!

HarryStar on October 31, 2006 at 12:26 PM

From the 10/31 Whitehouse Press Briefing. DNC operative, I mean ABC reporter, Martha Radatz channels Kerry’s rebuttal:

“I was talking about Bush”.

Tony Snows response, “I’m sorry, tell him to try version 2.0.”

See CSPAN replay at about 43:30

dinasour on October 31, 2006 at 12:27 PM

Our amazing troops may be “stuck” in Iraq, but at least they are not “stuck” with John Kerry. None of us are. Arrogant dope.

bloggless on October 31, 2006 at 12:29 PM

I think John just flunked the global test.

bloggless on October 31, 2006 at 12:30 PM

John Kerry…the gift that keeps on giving!

Pulchritudinous Patriot on October 31, 2006 at 12:31 PM

Sorry bad link. The link wizard doesn’t like rtsp links.

Goto cspan home:

Or paste: rtsp://

dinasour on October 31, 2006 at 12:33 PM

I hope Kerry keeps giving speeches, the more he talks, the more our base will be energized.




flagwaver on October 31, 2006 at 12:35 PM

OH if we could just put Kerry in a room with Pat Tillman, for 2 minutes.
What complete opposites, lowlife vs. Honor, respectively.

shooter on October 31, 2006 at 12:35 PM

Eat your Wheaties or you’ll get stuck in Iraq.
Drink your milk or you’ll get stuck in Iraq.
Put down that crack pipe or you’ll get stuck in Iraq.
Stop banging those cheap ho’s or you’ll get stuck in Iraq.

Purple Avenger on October 31, 2006 at 12:35 PM

Ahhh…. Wow. What a numbnut.

I guess the “Heinz Trust Fund” allows some wiggle room for this kind of brain cell deficiency.

Another example of the self-described academic elite. Frankenkerry does it again!

Fargus on October 31, 2006 at 12:36 PM

Now we know what he thought of the enlisted guys he served with. Nice guy that Kerry.

hulbstar on October 31, 2006 at 12:53 PM

“I can’t believe I’m losing to this idiot!”
– John Kerry

“He tricked me!!”
– John Kerry

Pretty much says it all about the “superior” intellect … or as the South African ambassador so memorably remarks at one point to Mel Gibson’s character in “Lethal Weapon 2:”

Oh, I suppose that he was trying to take a swipe at George Bush; but in trying to come off as a sophisticated wag he ended up saying something incredibly stupid and hitting the wrong target. Thank God he’ll never be president.

He’s a walking, talking self-refutation: “Stay in school, study, and you can be an elitist jerk who makes his living off of other mens’ fortunes – just like me!”

By the way, weren’t Kerry’s grades at Yale lower than Bush’s?

Spurius Ligustinus on October 31, 2006 at 12:53 PM

And the worst part, the trolls at DU and DailyKos are defending this claiming its a right wing BS job
Why is this party still in existance at this point and time?

Kerry can go to hell!

Defector01 on October 31, 2006 at 12:54 PM

Even if he only meant it as an attack on Bush, and even if it was just a slip and not something intentional, the man is a disgrace for saying it.

Esthier on October 31, 2006 at 12:59 PM

Check out his wonk eye in the first picture. I had a friend named Bo Tox who had the same problem.

bloggless on October 31, 2006 at 12:59 PM

Tony Snows response, “I’m sorry, tell him to try version 2.0.”

Way to go Snow!

Just made the MSM web page rounds. Only 1 of 5 had this story on the front page.

db on October 31, 2006 at 1:07 PM

Seems to me when we were doing bin laden’s bidding in the Balkans, Kerry was one of the few Senators who wanted to send ground troops in there to kill the Christians faster.

I wonder if those troops would have been the lazy and uneducated variety.

Perchant on October 31, 2006 at 1:08 PM

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