Thursday, November 2, 2006
John Kerry, former Presidential candidate, U.S. senator from Massachusetts, and decorated war veteran, apologized yesterday for a statement made on Monday at an appearance at Pasadena City College that American students who did not study hard and stay in school would end up “stuck in Iraq.”
“You know education,” he said, “if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
Kerry posted on his website that he meant to say if you don’t study hard, you would end up like U.S. President George W. Bush stuck in Iraq.”My poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to, any troop,” Kerry said yesterday. “I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.”
Mr. Bush said Kerry’s comment was “insulting” and “shameful” and that he should apologize to the U.S. forces. War veterans also demanded that he say he was sorry.
On November 1, 2006, the following statement was released by the Democratic Senator’s office:
As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop.
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.
It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy. I don’t want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops.
“Sen. Kerry’s apology to the troops for his insulting comments came late, but it was the right thing to do,” said the White House, which were quick to respond to Kerry’s apology.
In response to the comment, U.S. troops in Iraq held up a sign saying: “Halp us Jon Carry — We R stuck hear N Irak.” Eight U.S. soldiers, who are stationed near the southeastern city of Nasiriya, are shown holding the sign in a photo that has been widely distributed on the Internet.