Kerry Attacks McCain

John Hinderaker reports on a huge blunder by the Kerry campaign:

John McCain has done John Kerry a huge favor by helping him to fend off the Swifties. In fact, McCain’s endorsement of Kerry, based in part on what McCain has characterized as their friendship, has been by far Kerry’s best defense against the vets.

Now Kerry has repaid McCain by accusing him of being a liar. A reader has pointed out to us (and a number of other bloggers) that Kerry’s website is carrying a press release titled: “The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths.” No fewer than four of the lies and mischaracterizations were in McCain’s speech.

None too smart.

What are McCain’s lies?

10. Senator John McCain: “My friends in the Democratic Party and I’m fortunate to call many of them my friends assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government’s most important obligation. I don’t doubt their sincerity. They emphasize that military action alone won’t protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy. They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies. We agree. And, as we’ve been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle. That is what the President believes. And, thanks to his efforts we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some.”

Where’s the lie here? That McCain has friends in the Democratic Party? That the Democrats are sincere? [They may be onto something there! -ed.] That we’ve been a good friend to allies? That we’ve received valuable assistance from friends around the globe? All of those things are demonstrably true.

11. Senator John McCain: “Our President will work with all nations willing to help us defeat this scourge that afflicts us all.”

Like “Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others…”

12. Senator John McCain: “However just the cause, we should shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us. But there is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly. And while this war has many components, we can’t make victory on the battlefield harder to achieve so that our diplomacy is easier to conduct.”

This is an opinion rather than a factual statement subject to falsification. But what’s Kerry’s objection to it?

13. Senator John McCain: “After years of failed diplomacy and limited military pressure to restrain Saddam Hussein, President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq. Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone. “

This would seem factual enough. There was a status quo and a not status quo. Bush (with Kerry’s backing) chose the later.

Update (1637): Kerry Camp Deletes News Release from Web Page

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kerry Campaign Calls McCain A Liar
    At Power Line, Hindrocket points out what an ingrate Kerry is. McCain did Kerry a huge favor when McCain put down the attacks on Kerry’s medals. Kerry has repaid Senator McCain by calling McCain a liar. Kerry’s website posted a

  2. One Fine Jay says:

    The Caged Hamster went rabid
    Disloyalty is a wonderful trait of the ordinary. — Lucy Butler

    John Kerry, in a response to the RNC, released 134 “Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths” sold in the convention. At attempt to fisk an entire four-day convention…

  3. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb
    Via James Joyner, we learn that John Kerry has resorted to attacking John McCain on his website, characterizing McCain as a liar. As the only Republican who can say good things about Kerry, this seems to be an extraordinarily dumb…

  4. JIm says:

    Well James,

    It seems that to the Democratic party a lie is anything that goes against their party line.

  5. Kerry Slaps McCain
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  6. A laundry list is not a critique
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  7. PoliBlog says:

    Not Re-Tooling Fast Enough, It Would Seem
    This morning, James Joyner noted a press release at the Kerry website that lists purported “Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths”.

    I see that Jay Tea had the same response that I did:It’s called a list of lies, but it’s mer…

  8. greyhawk says:

    it’s gone. (been “kos’d” as they say)

  9. Page Not Found
    Interesting page at the Kerry site. Here’s what it used to be….