Whatever Happened To Kerry Pal Rassmann? Surprise, He's a Hard-Core Liberal Democrat

Since we're on the subject of John Kerry and his "Band of Brothers," one of the real propaganda lines of the Kerry campaign was the story of Jim Rassmann, the man who John Kerry legendarily pulled on his Swift Boat to save him from being shot. Part of that legend was always to insist that Rassmann, who began campaigning with Kerry to give him a boost right before the Iowa caucuses, was largely apolitical, but a Republican voter. The media pushed that line hard, no investigation required. See how he put it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on August 10, 2004:

I am neither a politician nor an organizer. I am a retired police officer with a passion for orchids…I am a Republican, and for more than 30 years I have largely voted for Republicans. I volunteered for his campaign because I have seen John Kerry in the worst of conditions. I know his character. I've witnessed his bravery and leadership under fire. And I truly know he will be a great commander in chief.

Compare that with a recent AP dispatch from Oregon on Jim Rassmann, hard-core Democrat organizer:

“Sen. Hillary Clinton's fundraising trip to Portland is under fire from some Democratic veterans, who say she is siphoning away money that could go to local candidates. The group, which includes Jim Rassmann, the Florence veteran who hit the campaign trail with John Kerry in 2004 to speak about how Kerry saved his life in Vietnam, have issued a letter denouncing the former first lady's support for the Iraq war.

"As Oregon veterans and members of military families," the letter says, "we are concerned with your fundraising trip to Oregon on two counts: your strong support for the immoral war in Iraq and your plan to take Oregon donations that are needed elsewhere."

Oregon Democratic Chairman Jim Edmunson acknowledged the veterans' point that the event might divert money that could have gone to local candidates, and said the state party tried without success to arrange a joint fundraiser that would benefit both Clinton and Oregon Democratic candidates.”  

It might have helped if reporters actually looked into whether Rassmann was really a Republican before he magically appeared as an apolitical orchid grower for Kerry.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis