On the November 1 noon hour ET edition of MSNBC News Live, while discussing the possible effects of an October 30 remark by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) at Pasadena City College in California, MSNBC political analyst Monica Crowley claimed that Kerry's comments "remind the American people, number one, how lucky we were that he was not elected president," and that they confirmed "the fact that the Republicans still remain, after 60 years of the Cold War and in to this war on terror, the Republicans remain the grown-ups, the responsible ones on national security." Additionally, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan suggested that Kerry's comment highlights "the antimilitary, you know, bias that is deeply ingrained in the baby boomers, not this generation and certainly not Jack Kennedy's, but some baby boomers from the 60s and 70s. They seem to be constantly contentious not only of the Vietnam War but of the guys who went over there and fought it." Host Joe Scarborough ascribed Kerry's comments to "elitism."
Kerry has claimed that that his remarks were not an insult against U.S. troops, but rather a "botched joke" about President Bush -- a claim that has been supported by news reports, Kerry's pre-speech prepared statements, and several prominent Republicans.
From the November 1 noon hour edition of MSNBC News Live:
BUCHANAN: I think there's a -- well, I think in House seats, I agree with Monica, in House seats -- I mean if I were running for the House I'd say, "Look, this is the sneering contempt this party has always had for the military, and I'd start talking about that and force my opponent to demand that Kerry apologize. I think Virginia could be a state, Joe. The reason I say that is The Washington Post buried this story completely, The New York Times had it on page one, The Financial Times led with it in a huge banner headline about Kerry. So, The Washington Post is very smart. I think they realized the impact something like this could have distracting attention, focusing in on, if you will, the antimilitary, you know, bias that is deeply ingrained in some baby boomers, not this generation and certainly not Jack Kennedy's, but some of the baby boomers from the 60s and 70s. They seem to be constantly contemptuous not only of the Vietnam War but of the guys who went over there and fought it.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, let me bring in Mike Barnicle, now. Mike, you're up in Boston obviously, you know John Kerry, don't you?
BARNICLE: Yeah, I know him very well.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I think his theme song should be "Sorry seems to be the Hardest Word," because back in 1971 he made some statements before the Senate, and most people were suggesting early on he should've just said he was sorry, that he maybe overstepped the bounds. And the same thing happened here. Immediately, people said, you know, Kerry ought to just apologize. Why is it so hard for John Kerry to say: "Hey, I'm sorry, I screwed up?"
BARNICLE: Well, you know, Joe, I've always known that John Kerry was not funny and couldn't tell a joke, but until the last 24 hours, I've never understood, really comprehended the fact that John Kerry also, clearly, apparently is deaf, because everyone is telling him the commonsense thing to do, which is what Tony Snow called upon him to do, which is what ordinary people from coast to coast probably want to hear: that he is sorry.
Most people, Joe, watching this or picking up the morning paper or turning on the radio for a few minutes or seconds or whatever, they're not going to get the chance to see what Pat and I were talking about last night, the whole context. Clearly, he screwed up a joke. They're going to hear, read, see, and take in what he said. And what he said, as Pat just referred to, gives the Republican Party the legitimate opportunity now to go and say, "The Democratic Party of your fathers and grandfathers, the party that used to like plumbers, cops, electricians, fire fighters, lance corporals, privates, captains, that's gone. This guy represents the new Democratic Party, the party that really thinks they're better than you." That's the unfortunate part about this for John Kerry, and I think for some Democratics -- for some Democrats in some specific states.
CROWLEY: And you know Joe, another point --
SCARBOROUGH: Mike, it does come down to elitism, doesn't it?
CROWLEY: Joe, can I just make one quick point here? You know, the Democrats have been jumping all over the president for being unwilling to admit mistakes in his presidency. Now you've got one of the top Democrats, who has made this outrageous statement, who is incapable or unwilling to admit that he made mistake here. I think Kerry's comments remind the American people, number one, how lucky we were that he was not elected president two years ago, but also, as Mike and Pat were pointing out, the fact that the Republicans still remain, after 60 years of the Cold War and in to this war on terror, the Republicans remain the grown-ups, the responsible ones on national security.