Thursday, July 8

The Kerrys on Larry King Live

Both of the Kerrys sat down with Larry King for the full hour. Here's Senator Kerry's comment on the intelligence information used to justify the war in Iraq:

KING: Concerning weapons of mass destruction, do you think they believed it, or do you think you were mislead?

KERRY: Oh, I think many of us believed it based on the information that we were given, Larry, but it's ...

KING: You don't blaming the president for believing it.

KERRY: Here's -- I went to a briefing at the Pentagon where we were shown photographs and we were told, with specificity, what's in the photographs. And when you would try to find -- well what's the source for this? Do we have a -- well, we have you know -- this is from the following sources. We can't share all the sources, and so forth.

The fact is that with their sources, had I been president, would've raised remarkable doubts at that moment. Because when we've learned after the fact who the sources are, many of us knew those sources at that time, and we would have put doubt in them.

In addition to that, and much more importantly -- much more importantly -- they mislead America about certain weapons that were in fact available. Whether it was intentional or not, I can't tell you.

I'll just tell you that the responsibilities were not properly carried out. I think reports have come out publicly that show us that. But what's more important to me -- I mean people can make mistakes on intelligence -- is breaking one's own word as president in the manner in which you actually take your nation to war. When you say you're going to build an international coalition and do the diplomacy, do it. They didn't. When you say you're going to war as a last resort, and it really is the last thing we're going to do, mean it. They didn't.

They're very rushed to war, without the plans to win the peace, without adequate support, to minimize the risk to America, and to minimize the cost to America. The job of the commander in chief is to do both of those things and maximize the capacity of their success. ...

It's an interesting interview, and I liked what I heard from Theresa Heinz Kerry. King touched briefly on the fact that she'd been a Republican, and this is what she had to say about that:

HEINZ KERRY: I think what I've taken from my life always is that what matters about choices that one makes at this level -- and I don't mean at the presidential level, but in one's life -- questions about morality of issues, not you're right, I'm wrong, Republicans are bad, Democrats are good, or vice versa. It is what is in the best interests of people. And so, it's just the way I think. And so, I never judge things according to party lines.

KING: So you don't label yourself, Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal.

HEINZ KERRY: No. [...] All my work is bipartisan, because what I'm -- as nonpartisan actually, because I look for solutions. I'm very practical. And so was my late husband.

And so, the transition doesn't come from anything that I have to change inside, it's more -- mind you, I did not change my party until two years ago -- a year-and-a-half ago.

KING: Wait a minute, you remained...

HEINZ KERRY: A Republican until a year-and-a-half ago, until Max [Cleland]* was defeated. And when Max [Cleland] was defeated the way he was, I was so very upset that I thought if Jack had been alive he would've been so offended by what they did to him, and I just left then. I was really upset by that.

He was a hero. With 3 limbs gone and they called him unpatriotic. It's just not right. ...

Other Kerry news: Picking Edwards has given the ticket a bump in the polls. The Kerry site now has a home for people of faith who support Kerry.

*Note: The transcriptionist used the name Max Green in error, when Mrs. Kerry was clearly heard referring to former Senator Max Cleland, D-GA.


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