Bush calls Kerry heroic

Bush calls Kerry heroic

: Matt Lauer interviewed Bush today and in excerpts on the Nightly News, he is asked point blank whether Kerry’s military service was “heroic.” Bush said, yes, it was heroic.

“He’s proud of his service and I’m proud of mine,” Bush said.

Were they equally heroice? No, Bush said; Kerry want to Vietnam and that was more heroic than flying his plane. He said that if his unit had been called up to go to Vietnam, he would have gone, but he did not and Kerry did.

He said we should move on. I’ll second that.

(The interview will be on Today Monday.)

  • stable dictum

    The idea that it’s the job of the President of the United States to investigate the basic facts of a challenger’s military record is patently absurd.
    But is it the reality, with the extreme left wing bias of the mainstream media?
    All I read from Bush’s statement is that he doesn’t want to be the first modern President to have to do the “dirty work” of sorting through all the conflicting eyewitness testimony surrounding Kerry’s service.
    I second that. So, where’s the media?

  • And yet, why is it that I have a feeling that a month from now the talking points will still be “Bush smears” against Kerry?

  • (Oops, sorry! Had to come right back)
    When will Kerry do the same for Bush? Not call him heroic, of course, but at least acknowledge that he served the country honorably in the way he did, instead of embracing the Moore/MoveOn.Org tales?
    Bush has risked alienating his base by calling for an end to these ads. If this is the right thing to do, why isn’t Kerry at least meeting him halfway?

  • paladin

    Bush made a classy move – we’ll see if Kerry responds in kind.

  • Shane

    paladin, I second that!
    I’m happy to see it! Im sure it’s a pipe dream, but maybe this is the start to a little bit of civility among both parties? That might actually get me excited about the election again!

  • Shane

    paladin, I second that!
    I’m happy to see it! Im sure it’s a pipe dream, but maybe this is the start to a little bit of civility among both parties? That might actually get me excited about the election again!

  • I agree that it’s time to move on – please!
    Nevertheless, doesn’t Mr. Kerry bear some of the blame for making his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign? Shouldn’t he have known there would be controversy? After all, John O’Neil has dogged him at every turn since 1972.
    It seems disingenuous to claim that only vets who praise Mr. Kerry should be allowed to speak.
    Anyway – everyone has had his/her say in the matter, and the media has amplified both sides, deservedly or not. So it should be over. Right?

  • Kat

    Allow me to put an exclamation point on the discussion with a quote from Kerry:
    This is in regards to Boorda, a guy who committed suicide after being caught getting a medal under false pretenses:.
    “Is it wrong? Yes, it is very wrong. Sufficient to question his leadership position? The answer is yes, which he clearly understood,” Kerry told the Herald.
    Who am I to argue with that? Sufficient to question his leadership…………………………..or is it?

  • President Bush proved he is a bigger man than John Kerry by not questioning *his* service despite Kerry having to walk back multiple claims he made about his time in Vietnam and despite Kerry, on multiple occasions and to this day on his website, having personally questioned President Bush’s service.
    If Kerry would show even the slightest hint of strength of character and unequivocally state that he will not question President Bush’s service, then the whole “Vietnam” discussion could be over. He won’t. So whose fault will it be that we can’t “move on”?
    Kerry says he wants to talk about issues, but he doesn’t. If he did, he would have squashed the Vietnam extravaganza at the convention so he could focus on his plan for the future of the country instead. He would have put a muzzle on Terry McAuliffe way back in March when the Democrats started the furor over Bush’s guard service. He would have publicly denounced the steady stream of Democrats who have done the same. He could have focused on the issues any day he chose to, but he and his party chose to focus on Vietnam instead.
    So whenever Kerry says he wants to “talk about the issues,” remember this: Kerry is a liar…and his actions prove it…

  • chuck

    Nah, I’m not ready to move on. Who cares what Bush says? Kerry brings on nemesis by his very nature. I’ve got the popcorn and beer, and I’m looking forward to a long, ugly, and degrading take down.

  • AllenS

    They say that Bush is a good poker player. So here is the situation: Bush has a pair of aces down. Kerry has a pair of kings up. The other two kings are on the table. Bush is telling Kerry that he has a nice hand. Does this make sense?

  • Chris Josephson

    I doubt Bush could ever say enough to please those who hate him.
    Since Bush is not the driving force behind the swifties, and other anti-Kerry vets, why does anyone assume this statement by Bush will cause people to move on?
    Bush isn’t responsible for the Vietnam spotlight Kerry is in from the swifties. Bush can’t move the spotlight being used by the swifties.
    I guess people really must believe we have some sort of totalitarian state under Bush. Bush speaks and the swifties close up shop and go away?
    Don’t think so. They have stated over and over that this isn’t about Bush for them.
    They don’t seem to care what Bush says or does. they have their own agenda. It’s between them and Kerry. It hasn’t all played out for them yet. There is supposed to be more to come. It seems to be payback time that has decades of festering behind it.

  • It only took Bush four weeks-plus to be a man – after the Swift Boat Vet story had started dying down anyway. This just revives it a little longer. Yeah, what a grade-A peach.
    Bush’s “classy” move would have been classy a month ago. Now it is purely empty. Especiually when he knows it ain’t working out like it did in 2000. Fuck him.
    Man you people – his voters – will kiss anything.
    Think of it this way – Kerry bent this man’s will to his liking. May not be accurate, but it’s certainly another perspective.

  • chuck

    Sure thing, AndrewBB. I look forward to Bush crawling around and barking like a dog as Kerry sends forth his mighty brain waves.

  • steve

    Kerry had his chance back in February (-ish) when the controversy about Bush’s service was raging. He could have said something similar to what he said about Clinton in 1992:

  • Robert Brown

    Chris Josephson : “They don’t seem to care what Bush says or does. they have their own agenda. It’s between them and Kerry. It hasn’t all played out for them yet. There is supposed to be more to come. It seems to be payback time that has decades of festering behind it.”
    I agree completely. The swifties hate Kerry’s guts. They have drawn blood and now they are moving in for the kill.
    Just because Bush called Kerry a hero doesn’t mean he didn’t lie about being illegally ordered to Cambodia for political gain. I doubt if Bush is eager to bail Kerry out since Kerry was only too happy to pile on when the Bush haters were beating up on his national guard service.
    I think the federal government can censor the swifties TV spots 60 days before the election. That may be Kerry’s only hope.

  • Steve: Commondreams.org, now there’s an unbiased source we can all count on. [/END SARCASM]

  • Kat

    “In a sense, there’s nothing that says more about your career than when you fought, where you fought and how you fought,” Kerry told the Boston Herald.
    “If you wind up being less than what you’re pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you.”– John Kerry ,saying it better than I could.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    When will Kerry do the same for Bush? Not call him heroic, of course, but at least acknowledge that he served the country honorably in the way he did, instead of embracing the Moore/MoveOn.Org tales?
    … and pull down the piece questioning Bush’s ANG record from his web site?

  • Kat

    He won’t–this is what Kerry said:
    “Those of us who were in the military wonder how it is that someone who is supposedly serving on active duty, having taken that oath, can miss a whole year of service without even explaining where it went.”
    Well,”Those of us who were in the military or not, wonder how it is that someone who served on active duty, having taken that oath, can betray a whole group of servicemen without even explaining his lies and fraudulent medals.”
    There can NOT be a double standard. Ginsberg should not be tarred when Moveon.org lawyers are a big part of the Kerry campaign. Why are they not forced to quit? You can’t have it both ways.

  • shark

    Kerry won’t ever do that. He’ll continue trying to attack Bush TANG until the day he loses the election.
    (Way to try to ban my free speech Jeff, you hypocrite lol)

  • Shark:
    Behave in a civil manner and I won’t ban you again. Don’t behave and I will.

  • Mork

    The time for Bush to say this and be congratulated for his moral courage was about three weeks ago.
    He waited until the SBVFT had done maximum political damage and THEN entered the fray. This statement was completely cynical … he’s trying to have his cake and eat it, too: unleashing his surrogates to do their worst, then standing back wringing his hands at the depth of the sleaze that modern campaigns have become.
    And meanwhile, there’s Laura Bush in TIME magazine saying that the SBVFT ads were NOT unfair … just a little wink and a nod to keep up the good work, fellas.

  • That page on John Kerry’s Web site is a news release, it’s not a position paper, or a platform plank. I looked there for the first time since people keep on mentioning it.
    You can’t change news (or at least you shouldn’t be able to). That’s what he felt then in April, before he was even a shoo-in for nominee. If he changes now you’ll all accuse him of flip-flopping. The words there are consistent, however. Kerry: GWB, if you attack my record through surrogates, you should be able to answer these following questions.
    If he took it down there’d be a lot more caterwauling.
    NOTE: My narrative of Kerry bending Bush’s will was just that. Not something I believed happened.
    Now, check out my RNC 2004 page and quit yer partisan yapping.

  • Chris Josephson

    “The time for Bush to say this and be congratulated for his moral courage was about three weeks ago.”
    And the time for Kerry to be congratulated for his was when? Where are Kerry’s statements apologizing for those who speak in his name and lie about Pres. Bush?
    Oh, I get it. Everything that folks such as Michael Moore have said about Bush is true, while the Swifties and others just tell lies?! So, Kerry has nothing to apologize for.
    What color is the sky in your world? Here on planet Earth, in the USA, all but ardent ABB people realize that Moore ‘played with the truth’ in his so-called documentary. I’d like Kerry to apologize for the lies spread about by Moore.
    I give Bush credit for standing and taking the crap that’s been said about him. Bush hasn’t needed to go crying to anyone to make it stop. Kerry is the one that’s trying to make people shut up. Bush seems to believe in free speech, even when that speech is against him, much more than Kerry does.

  • Ptolemy

    If Dems fielded a worthy candidate you wouldn’t have this problem now. After all the things said about Bush by Dems, DNC leadership, partisan citizens, and foreigners Bush has not filed one lawsuit or threatened a single communication outlet for spreading the lies about him. Why does Kerry need to do so? Why doesn’t that bother you Mork? You wanted a draft dodger to meet your war hero. They’re going to meet. What’s the problem? Independent citizens are making these ads. An independent citizen made F9/11. How do you put out so much hate and false witness against Bush and dare to be so furious with the Swift Vets? There is obviously no limits in this campaign now let it all out. All the things said this whole year and now Mork’s got a problem. You can hate Bush without selling your soul you know.

  • john

    Well, Kerry would have a good case about his service being called into question- if he had not attacked Bush’s National Guard service. Once he did that, he was fair game. Bush seems to be implying that this is the case- “leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.” Al Gore didn’t go there, and Bush left Gore’s relatively safe Vietnam tour (as a journalist)off the table.
    Also, for people under thirty, attacking the National Guard is a loser. There are a lot (thousands) of Guardsmen in Iraq right now, and they served in the Gulf War. My old unit went to both wars. Attacking the National Guard right now is a bad idea. The National Guard is not a ‘Get Out of War Free Card.’ It is a ‘Get Your Life Totally Disprupted and Maybe Get Divorced and Lose Your Job (or Get Killed)’ deal. So the Kerry folks attacking Guard service as somehow unpatriotic are gonna lose a lot of votes. They lost mine.
    Lastly, WE LOST VIETNAM. Why does Kerry want to run on a war we lost? Is he going to lose this one, too? It seems to me Bush can say that “Kerry served proudly in a losing war. I am leading a war we will win.” The president could imply that Kerry is more interested in losing well than winning ugly.
    I am pretty much a single issue voter on the war. I am mad at Bush for many reasons- the restrictions on speech from campaign finance reform, the protectionist retrenchment, the pork, the lack of national health coverage for anyone under 60, the cynical policy shifts to appeal to swing states, and many more. But he fights. Kinda like U.S. Grant- lots to hate but he won the war. Kerry, well, I don’t see a fighter. He did all his fighting 35 years ago in four months. After that he was done.

  • Angelos

    It should be readily apparent to anyone, even Bush partisans, that he has not done anything honorable here. He doesn’t want this Swift scumbag campaign to end, no matter what he says on TV. That’s how the Bushes operate. Dating back to every campaign senior ran, to Jeb’s Florida campaigns, to Junior’s Texas and Pres campaigns, they have their friends do the dirty work so there are no direct fingerprints.
    There is no high road here. All the Bushes are covered in shit, regardless of the free pass they get in the “liberal” media (another silly idea I think we can put to rest).
    As an independent voter, I am sick of both sides of this. Yes, Kerry served in Vietnam. No George didn’t. Are there things to be learned there, about the candidates? I guess. But, the here and now, and tomorrow, are what really matter.
    And, since Georgie himself just admitted he can’t win the war on terror, there goes the argument that he is somehow better for our national security. That argument was nonsense to begin with, but at least it’s out in the open now.
    So, we have (in no particular order) the economy, the environment, social services, science and research, education, etc.
    Bush gets very poor grades in all of these.
    Bring on the debates, as silly as they are.

  • Sure you, and Jeff, and all Kerry supporters are “sick” of this. You should be sick — Kerry LIED.
    And Kerry’s LIE was also about how terrible the US soldiers (drafted) were acting in Vietnam; which helped create the PC idea that America could never win in Vietnam, therefore getting out in 1971 was the “morally superior” thing. John O’Neill debated Kerry in 1971 on the Dick Cavett show (look it up).
    Kerry said in his 1971 Fulbright testimony only some 3000 would be likely to die if the US pulled out.
    How many have to die before it becomes immoral for the US to pull out after 1971?
    Over 2 million died…
    Where was Jeff, and the press, at the big SBVT May 4 Open letter to Kerry? It’s not Bush running this, its hundreds of Vietnam vets who thought Kerry LIED, and that they suffered.
    Oh yeah, no sensationalist claims, no press coverage. Pathetic Kerry pimping Press.
    Kerry’s no “hero” (though certainly he DID do some heroic deeds for some medals; likely not all). It was stupid to claim he was.
    “Stupid dumbass”, “dumb as doorknob” (from This Land!) — who’s the song talking about, for real?

  • Angelos

    “And Kerry’s LIE was also about how terrible the US soldiers (drafted) were acting in Vietnam”
    Really? Read this from Salon:
    Take a close look at what Kerry said to the Senate committee. He was summarizing testimony given publicly at the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation of Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 1971, presented by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, in Detroit. One hundred five Vietnam veterans testified there. Seventy-one of them said they were eyewitnesses to war crimes of the sort Kerry later mentioned. Thirteen said that they themselves had committed war crimes.
    These veterans testified to rape; to torture and the killing of prisoners; to the torching of Vietnamese homes and whole villages. In sickening detail they filled in the blanks — as the Pentagon was itself unwilling to do — to put to work this sentence from a U.S. Army field manual: “Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.”
    The cutting off of heads — on Operation Stone — there was a Lt. Colonel there and two people had their heads cut off and put on stakes and stuck in the middle of the field.
    Before we went out on the operation we were told not to waste our heat tablets on food but to save them for the villages because we were going to destroy all the villages and we didn’t give the people any time to get out of the villages. We just went in and burned them and if people were in the villages yelling and screaming, we didn’t help them. We just burned the houses as we went.
    People cut off ears and when they’d come back in off of an operation you’d make deals before you’d go out and like for every ear you cut off someone would buy you two beers, so people cut off ears. The torturing of prisoners was done with beatings and I saw one case where there were two prisoners. One prisoner was staked out on the ground and he was cut open while he was alive and part of his insides were cut out and they told the other prisoner if he didn’t tell them what they wanted to know they would kill him. And I don’t know what he said because he spoke in Vietnamese but then they killed him after that anyway.”
    I looked out across the field and I spotted a Vietnamese woman peasant running away from the ship. I fired a burst of about six or seven rounds into her back before we fired, before we hit the ground. When I was being questioned as to what happened about two weeks later by a captain in my company, I told him what we did and what I did. We both had a good laugh about it. That was pretty much company policy. Also in Hue, during the Tet offensive in ’68, I observed American fighters and bombers (Phantoms) dropping bombs and napalm into very crowded streets full of civilians. I don’t know how many people were wiped out in that place.
    “…kids 4 years old, ranging up to 16 years old, came around the fence to sell GIs cigarettes, or candy, or beg for food, they were CSed. And what I mean is they were gassed. This didn’t happen just once, it happened constantly,
    We encountered a large amount of civilian population. The civilian population was brought out to one end of the village, and the women, who were guarded by a squad and a squad leader at that time, were separated. I might say the young women were separated from their children and the older women and the older men, the elderly men. They were told at gunpoint that if they did not submit to the sexual desires of any GI who was there guarding them, they would be shot for running away.
    Two men were leading a young girl, approximately 19 years old, very pretty, out of a hootch. She had no clothes on so I assumed she had been raped, which was pretty SOP, and she was thrown onto the pile of the 19 women and children, and five men, around the circle, opened up on full automatic with their M-16s.
    Regarding throwing people out of helicopters, I only saw one incident to this … There were five Vietnamese people. I do not know if they were civilians, Viet Cong or Viet Cong suspects. Three of them were wounded, had bandages on their bodies and their legs and their arms looked in bad shape. The other two were older men, somewhere around 50 years old. The lieutenant from the armored personnel carrier and the captain from the chopper helped place these people in the helicopter. He got in the helicopter and took off. He got a couple of hundred feet up and three bodies came out.
    The Toledo Blade won a Pulitzer Prize for its October 2003 series about killings committed by an elite U.S. Army “Tiger Force” unit in the course of a seven-month period in 1967. “Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed — their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings,” the Blade reported. “Investigators concluded that 18 soldiers committed war crimes ranging from murder and assault to dereliction of duty. But no one was charged.”
    Keep your blinders on, you won’t get hurt.
    What kind of fantasy land do people live in, who believe absolutely everything out of GWB’s mouth, who buy the crap that the Swift Boat For Bush campaign is selling, who think Bush can somehow protect you from terrorism better than any other guy?

  • Wow, here’s some prime NotBushism right here — Angelos, the “other guy” happens to have a name: it’s John Kerry. And the reason a lot of people, myself included, think that John Kerry won’t be up to the task of “protecting” us from terrorism (actually, fighting is a better word) because we have actually listened to and/or read the things he’s said. And most of what he has said boils down to: “I’m going back to the appeasement stage.” Because that way, when Americans get killed in terrorist attacks, we can be helpless poor widdle victims again, and everyone will love us as we lie there bleeding.
    But don’t take it from me. Just wait. If Kerry wins, I fully expect terrorism against Americans to escalate. I’d actually like it not to be so — I’d like to believe all you have to do is say some pretty words and sit around a big shiny table and sign fancy papers and peace will bloom between all nations and unicorms and rainbows will spring up everwhere — but no matter how many times I close my eyes and click my heels I wake up in the same real world.