A Republican business owner here in this November battleground state and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had the same questions Sunday for Senator John Kerry: Which foreign leaders told you they support your campaign, and when did you meet with them?
The questions, in a volatile exchange at a forum here and in an interview on Fox News Sunday, stemmed from a comment that Mr. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, made last Monday at a Florida fund-raiser. It was the second time in recent days that stray comments by Mr. Kerry diverted attention from his themes of creating jobs and providing health insurance.
"I just want an honest answer," Cedric Brown, 52, who owns a small sign company, told Mr. Kerry.
"Were they people like Blair or were they people like the president of North Korea?" he asked, referring to the British prime minister, Tony Blair. "Why not tell us who it was? Senator, you're making yourself sound like a liar."
As many in the crowd shouted at Mr. Brown to "shut up," Mr. Kerry, a veteran of both the Vietnam War and the protests against it, calmly promised to answer all queries, no matter the tone. Then he turned the tables.
"Are you a Democrat or a Republican — what are you?" he asked. "You answer the question."
After Mr. Brown said he voted for Mr. Bush in 2000, Mr. Kerry added: "See? Democracy works both ways."
There are a couple of things that disqualify a candidate for my vote immediately. For example, being a pathological liar (think Clinton or Nixon) or too opportunistic a liar (think Johnson or Daschle). Kerry is likely not a pathological liar, but he seems an excessively opportunistic liar (well beyond the norm for a politician).Posted by Jeff at March 16, 2004 01:12 PM | Link Cosmos
Kerry's first hurdle will be to convince me he's not an excessively opportunistic liar. To do so, he'll need some really good explanations for his past behavior - in particular, his part in VVAW & his recent wildly-veering positions on issues.