Washington Times distorted Kerry quote to cast him as a flip-flopper


An August 11 editorial in The Washington Times distorted a quotation by Senator John Kerry in order to cast Kerry as a flip-flopper. The editorial began by accurately quoting Kerry's statement from August 9 when -- in answering President George W. Bush's public challenge to Kerry to state whether "knowing what we know now, he [Kerry] would have supported going into Iraq" -- Kerry said, "Yes, I would have voted for the authority." But the Times then accused Kerry of flip-flopping: "As late as July 11, Mr. Kerry called the Iraq war a 'mistake.'"

In fact, what Kerry actually said on CBS's 60 Minutes on July 11 was the following: "I think the president made a mistake in the way that he took us to war." Kerry's August 9 and July 11 statements are consistent with one another and with Kerry's other statements about the Iraq war during the campaign. As The Boston Globe noted, "Kerry has said previously that US presidents deserve to have military leverage against an enemy, but that Bush misused the authority granted by the 2002 Senate vote." For example, Kerry made the same point in a July 23 interview with USA Today:

Kerry said Bush promised "to build a legitimate international coalition, to go to war as a last resort." It appears "more and more evident ... that they intended to go no matter what," Kerry said. "The president broke his word. That's why I say he misled America. ... He went back on his word with respect to an issue that involves the lives of our young Americans."

2004 Elections
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