Kerry Labels Bush a ‘Contradiction’


Lampooned by President Bush on Monday as a waffling politician, Democratic front-runner John F. Kerry fired back Tuesday, accusing President Bush of being a “walking contradiction” who routinely says one thing and does another.

Arguing that Bush had gone back on his word on the budget deficit, on education, on the environment and on foreign policy, the Massachusetts senator told workers at an aluminum factory near here, “There are more broken promises in the trail of this administration than any administration I’ve ever served with, and the president is trying to change the topic.


In his Monday evening speech, Bush ridiculed Kerry for being on both sides of such issues as the Iraq war to the USA Patriot Act to the No Child Left Behind education accountability act.

But Kerry responded by saying the president has created a record of walking away from past positions. “I think the president is a walking contradiction and the president is the single biggest say-one-thing-and-do-another administration in the modern history in this country,” he said.

Kerry said Bush’s speech, which boasted of an improving economy powered by tax cuts, was “a fantasy speech about a world that doesn’t exist” and said the president had talked about a prosperity that “millions of Americans are not seeing, feeling or living.” He challenged the president to “come to Ohio” and tell workers what he has done to make their lives better. “Let the workers of Ohio hear from the president about how he’s going to help them keep their jobs or find new jobs in an economy that is not creating jobs as fast as they are disappearing,” Kerry said.

I’m sure both sides could cite examples of flip-flops. But at least Bush did so. For Kerry to retort with a variant of the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” routine is rather childish.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rodger says:

    Kerry did cite examples of contradictions between the reality and the fantasy talk, the Post just didn’t report all of them:

    In addition, he [Kerry] said Bush had presided over a huge expansion in the deficit as well as a loss in jobs. Accusing the president of trying to change the subject, he said, “he can’t talk about making the world really safer because he’s left our allies and our relationships disappointed all around the world.”