John Kerry: Rush Limbaugh Forced McCain to Pick Palin
An angry Senator John Kerry is also an entertaining John Kerry. And on ABC's This Week yesterday, Kerry provided us with a lot of comedy entertainment including his assertion that John McCain was forced to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate by Rush Limbaugh and "the rightwing." There are a lot of other comedy nuggets in this interview conducted by This Week host George Stephanopoulos who fails to challenge Kerry on most of his absurdities including the notion that that merely traveling though countries overseas on a brief campaign stint counts as foreign policy experience. The transcript is below but to fully enjoy the flavor, you need to see the video featuring a clearly perturbed John Kerry who seems not to have gotten over his 2004 election loss. The interview begins following an appearance by Senator Lindsey Graham and Kerry sounds a bit confused (emphasis mine):
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Kerry, he's joining us today from Massachusetts. You heard Senator Graham there, Senator Kerry. Good morning first of all. What's your response?
JOHN KERRY: Well, he just admitted the case. He just said we've exposed him for being the calculating politician that he is. Barack Obama in his own speech said he's not going to attack John McCain's motives but you just heard them attack John McCain's motives. Calculating...
I think Kerry meant "attack Barack Obama's motives" but his obvious ire seems to be confusing him. Let us now rejoin Kerry in mid-rage:
KERRY (continuing): The fact is that Barack Obama has shown judgement that has been correct. I mean everything that...Lindsey Graham is very good, he's very good. But let me tell you something, he just didn't tell you the truth. John McCain has been wrong about Iraq. He bought into the neoconservative theory that by military invasion of Iraq you could transform the Middle East. That has been proven incorrect. The Middle East is in shambles. America has lost credibility. In fact, Iran is stronger today. Hamas is stronger today. Hezbollah is stronger today and the United States of America that the President is supposed to protect is weaker today in the region and in the world. Al Qaeda is reconstituted and is now in 60 countries, not in the 4 countries that it was at the time of Afghanistan when the war began. So the bottom line is that the Republicans are trying to hide the fact that they have failed on their watch to make America safer. And now, now George, you have a choice. Where John McCain has proven that he's not a maverick. He's erratic. He's crossed the line from maverickism to errratic...I mean it's unbelievable what's happening. Because he...
STEPHANOPOULOS (interrupting): Let me stop you right there, Senator. You said he's erratic. What are you talking about there? Is that referring to the choice of Governor Palin?
Let me stop George Stephanopoulos right there. John Kerry spouts a series of factual errors such as ignoring the success of the surge in Iraq in breaking the backbone of Al Qaeda. Stephanopolis didn't ask about this. And what 60 countries is Al Qaeda operating in? We don't find out because Stephanopolous is obsessed with Sarah Palin. We now return to the factually challenged Kerry:
KERRY: Absolutely. Because what has happened is that John McCain...You know, we've been warning against the third term of George Bush. With the choice of Governor Palin it is now the third term of Bush-Cheney. Because what he's done is chosen somebody who actually doesn't believe that climate change is man-made. He's chosen somebody who has zero, zero experience in foreign policy. The first threshold test of a president, of a nominee, in choosing a vice-president is to prove to the American people that the person that you've chosen can fill in tomorrow. That they come with the requisite experience to lead the nation in foreign policy and in national security. You know, she may be, I mean I'm sure she's a terrific person. I'm not attacking her. I think John McCain's judgement is once again put at issue because he's chosen somebody who clearly does not meet the national security threshold. Who is not ready to be president tomorrow. And there's just no way...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard Senator Graham though. He said that she has more experience than Senator Obama.
KERRY: That's just ridiculous on its face. Barack Obama has been in the United States Senate. He has not been absent more than he's been there. She's been a governor for what, two years now. Barack Obama in four years. But moreover, Barack Obama has traveled abroad. Look at the trip Barack Obama took. I mean its remarkable to me that the Republicans would try to denigrate a trip that a candidate for president takes where he attracts more attention, more support if you will, than a sitting president of the United States of America. That's what you need in leadership for a president. You need somebody who can go to Europe and say to them, "We need more help in Afghanistan." He actually called the Europeans to account on their need to be frankly more front and center in the effort to deal with Afghanistan than President Bush has. I think that's leadership and I think the United States of America is well-served if we have a president who is able to do that. But coming back to these stories for a moment...
So Kerry rewrites history in a pathetic effort to make it seem that Obama has foreign policy experience. Obama's obvious campaign enhancing tour of Europe has been magically transformed into some sort of diplomatic mission. Oh, and who did Kerry pick to be his running mate? A serial liar with no foreign policy experience who has been recently featured in the National Enquirer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you another question. Howard Wolfson, Senator Clinton's former communications director, said that this pick just might work to draw women to the Republican ticket. Are you worried about that?
KERRY: Well, with all due respect to Howard, I have much more respect for the Clinton supporters than that sort of quick blush take...I mean how stupid do they think the Clinton supporters are for heaven sakes? Do they think Clinton supporters supported Hillary only because she was a woman? For heaven sakes, they supported Hillary because of all the things she's fought for. Because she fights for health care, which John McCain doesn't support. She fights for, uh, children and children's health care which John McCain voted against. She fights for a windfall profit tax on the oil company which John McCain opposes. I mean, for heaven sakes, the people who supported Hillary Clinton are not going to be seduced just because John McCain has picked a woman. They are going to look at what she supports. The fact that she doesn't even support the notion that climate change is man-made. She's back there with the flat earth caucus and I don't see how those women are going to be fooled into believing...I think it is almost insulting to the Hillary supporters that they believe they would support somebody who is against almost everything that they believe in.
Okay, after spouting such absurd "facts" such as Al Qaeda operating in 60 countries, and accepting man-made climate change as a proven fact that can't be challenged, Kerry comes up with his money quote:
KERRY: John McCain wanted to choose Tom Ridge. He wanted to choose Joe Lieberman. He wanted to choose another candidate but you know what? Rush Limbaugh and the rightwing vetoed it. And John McCain was forced to come back and pick a sort of Cheneyesque social conservative who's going to satisfy the base. What John McCain has proven with this choice is that John McCain is a prisoner of the rightwing, not a maverick.
I'm sure that Rush Limbaugh will have a lot of laughs on his next broadcast that he somehow wields veto power over John McCain.