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

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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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 08, 2022