Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry defiantly and in no uncertain terms declared Tuesday that he would "apologize to no one" for statements made a day earlier, in which he told a gathering of California college students that if you don't do well in school, you will "get stuck in Iraq."
"I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and his broken policy," Kerry told reporters in a press conference in Seattle. "My statement yesterday, and the White House knows this full-well, was a botched joke about the president and the president's people and not about the troops." Read more.
FNC wants to know what YOU think — Should Senator Kerry apologize for his comments, or have his remarks been taken out of context?
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Here's what FOX Fans are saying:
"Kerry apologized 'if' he offended. Oh, my gosh — 'if' he offended? That is so lame! He KNOWS by now that he did indeed offend millions of Americans. It seems that Kerry just cannot say he was wrong, and he is sorry! So many Dems don't seem to see how offensive their continuous bashing of Bush and Republicans is. So disrespectful and unacceptable." — Julie
"Hey, I'm a veteran and a retired cop. In other words, I would rather catch my face on fire than say anything good about Sen. Kerry, but even given his lack of common sense, and his arrogance, he wouldn't have made that comment on purpose. He doesn't support the troops, but he isn't suicidal either." — David (Charleston, WV)
"I was an uneducated soldier who joined the military. I served for over five years as a NCO next to people without degrees. Some were brilliant soldiers not ready for school, and some had been given the option between jail time and military service time. It's true our troops are uneducated in the ways of academics. I've heard every excuse as to why soldiers don't take part in the FREE general education courses and why they don't use the 75% tuition assistance. Every excuse was lame! I went to schools in Korea, Colorado, Texas, Bosnia and England. I made time to carry my books to the field to CLEP tests when I returned. Kerry's a dumb man for making a stupid remark in public, but let's concentrate on more important topics." — Megan
"John Kerry's 'joke' and subsequent 'apology' was disgraceful. He has stated that he didn't mean that the troops are stupid, rather the President of the United States is. Is that much better? We boycotted Hugo Chavez for similar remarks. Maybe Kerry should build yet another home, in Caracas!" — Rich (Boston, MA)
"How stupid does the GOP think the American people are? Do they really think that Kerry's faux pas is going to distract us from what the real issues are? I'm a combat-wounded Vietnam vet, and after hearing his FULL comments and explanation, I still don't think he slighted the troops in any way. It was a poor attempt at a snipe at Bush, and it missed the mark." — Hastings
"Really, Kerry's Freudian slip should not be held against him. The man can't help the way he thinks, feels and believes." — Bill (Waynesville, MO)
"Does Kerry realize that President Bush had a higher GPA than he did at Yale? The answer is, yes, he does. He just doesn't think that we know." — Lynne (California)
"Is this all the Republicans have to run on right now? Let's really look at what is going on in Iraq before it's too late. Senator Kerry's words have not killed 2800+ Americans, the decision by George W. Bush to enter Iraq, unprovoked, did. Should Kerry apologize? Yes. Should he also educate people about what failed homework has done to Iraq and those poor people? Yes. My names Doug and I approve this message. " — Doug (Maryland)
"I think John Kerry did mean this statement to be insulting to the president more than he did the troops, which to me is even more offensive. I am glad that our president is doing all that he can to win the war in Iraq." — Shawn
"This is ridiculous. I am getting sick of mud slinging. John Kerry said something he should not have said, then instead of taking the high road, the Republicans decided to use this as a chance to imply that Democrats are wrong for this country. In reality, most of the people running for office are wrong for this country. Our current government is failing us and proclaiming victory. This war on terror is solving nothing and our leaders are acting like second graders. Both the Republican and Democratic party should be ashamed." — Nate (Wisconsin)
"I have watched reruns of Senator Kerry's comments enough to feel like he may have made an honest mistake and clearly botched a joke. However, the joke was in bad taste and it needs to be clarified. With that said, when you look back on Senator Kerry's past and present actions, as they relate to our armed forces, he clearly is not a friend of the military. Also, if you evaluate the Senator's colleagues and their treatment of our military then it is also easy to see how so many people are fed up with them and their arrogance." — Anonymous
"John Kerry meant exactly what he said and backpedaled when he was called on it. His refusal to apologize is an example of the incredible arrogance that continues to turn his own party against him." — Robin (California)
"His remarks were not taken out of context. He clearly knew what he was saying, and wanted the world to know what he believes. He should apologize." — Michelle
"I think Kerry meant what he said. He believes what he said, so why apologize?" — Warren
"Kerry's comments are an insult to all veterans and servicemen and women. This was not 'just a botched joke,' especially when he refuses to apologize. If it were a Republican Senator who said this, there would be a Democratic outcry for him to resign!" — Jim (Katy, TX)
"Kerry's comments are deplorable. An apology is definitely in order." — Paul
"Sen. Kerry's comments were not taken out of context. He was expressing precisely what he believes. His career as a politician is memorialized by innumerable statements that reflect his arrogance, self-righteousness and self-centeredness." — GMC
"If Kerry owes the troops an apology for a botched joke, then what does Bush owe them for his policies that have resulted in thousands dead and tens of thousands more wounded?" — John (East Lyme, CT)
"I have a smile on my face when I tell a joke, even if I botch it. It is obvious Kerry wasn't joking, as he continues to sling petty verbal arrows toward President Bush. All politicians should wake up and realize the majority of American people have an aversion to personal attacks and tactics used by grade-schoolers. I can disagree with someone's position, while at the same time respecting his or her right to have it. Apparently, Kerry and others of his ilk on both sides of the aisle have issues in this area." — Quinn
"Kerry blew his slam on President Bush. Think about it. One week before the election, would you be talking about the education level and intelligence of the troops or the education level and intelligence of your opposing party's leader? Watch him on TV; he hesitates and tries to find his joke in his notes just as he is screwing up. What he probably meant to say is, if you don't get educated, and you don't make yourself smart then you could end up leading the country into a war. This sounds like typical liberal rhetoric and would have been much funnier to a young liberal crowd. As much as Kerry has shown in the past that he has little respect for our troops, don't think for a second that there was anything to gain from his delivered comments. Hate Kerry for his policies, not these comments." — Mike
"What good would an apology do? We all know how Kerry feels about the military. Any apology would be the equivalent of crocodile tears and only offered for political purposes after an outcry from the majority of Americans. John Kerry is an enemy of our troops and his academic, elitist, and know-it-all attitude is reflective of what's going on at our college campuses." — Bonny (Shelbyville, TX)
"Whether John Kerry's comments were directed at our troops or at our president, his remark says a lot about the mean spirit within the man. What comes out of the mouth, comes from the heart. We could use more statesmen and fewer politicians on both sides." — Fred (Cary, NC)
"I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He says his joke was supposed to have the punch line — "...just look at George Bush." But even so, the analogy he was making in his attempt to skewer the president was that uneducated, stupid people only have the military as a career option, and that's not only very wrong, but very condescending and shameful." — Susan (Baltimore, MD)
"Yes, Kerry should apologize to the fine men and women of our country serving to protect us (and Kerry's family). Regardless of the intent, he did offend! His arrogance by refusing to apologize to our troops will definitely help Republicans. If he had humbled himself and apologized, he could have bolstered his image and the Democratic Party. Now, he continues to degrade his image (and that of the Dems) by degrading not only our president, but also our troops!" — Kelli
"Kerry can rationalize all he wants about the meaning but the words remain the same. Even if he was correct in his view of the intention, he should apologize to the troops that his comments were misunderstood and were not intended for them. He should apologize for having inadvertently offended them. " — Gary
"To castigate Kerry for a remark that obviously wasn't meant to denigrate the troops is typical of the egregiously broad brush of intellectual dishonesty that highlights this political season. Kerry would never denigrate troops; he is neither that cold-hearted nor that stupid. Whereas George Washington supposedly couldn't lie about cutting down a cherry tree, George Bush is lying in cherry-picking from a cut-down aimed at him. Shame on Bush and his boys for making a stink bomb out of a foggy statement." — George (Charleston, SC)
"The word 'apology' has lost its true meaning in today's world. It has become an empty word not worth very much. Don't even bother asking Kerry to 'apologize.' The damage has been done and the hurt is still there." — JSM (Glendale, AZ)
"I am sickened by John Kerry's comments. I have a son in Iraq right now. He left college in February 2005 to join the active service. Kerry's displaced anger with President Bush or the GOP, does not give him the right to insult 140,000+ American patriots. I wish Senator Kerry well in his future political campaigns. I don't think he could win the election for dog catcher after this." — Debra (Ames, IA)
"If John Kerry has all the answers, why wasn't he elected president?" — Shawn
"Our son is in the military. What was said was a disgrace. I cannot believe what we heard. That's it — enough is enough. We truly hope that every family who have military personnel in the armed services shows their anger on November 7." — Greg and Debbie
"Sen. Kerry ought to join Al Gore on the Polar Ice Cap and just melt away. What a jerk." — Frank (South Carolina)
"Yesterday, Sen. Kerry again put his foot in his mouth. Today he put his other foot in his mouth. I know he has a BIG mouth, but he is running out of feet." — Betty (Brewster, NY)
"Kerry displayed his hatred for the military after Vietnam, and he continues do to so. I guess integrity, honesty and selflessness, the traits displayed daily by our military, are traits he tries to avoid." — George
"Let's get real. The man volunteered to enter combat in Vietnam. It is amazing to me that we are even talking about this. If you really want to respect the troops, let's give them real support: the resources that they need to actually fight the war. Lip service has never saved a single life. TALK ABOUT ISSUES!" — Douglas
"Kerry's arrogance will never let him get over losing to President Bush. Giving Kerry the benefit of the doubt though, he should have explained what he meant, and then apologized to the troops if his comments were clumsy and misunderstood. — Lanny (Pennsylvania)
"Sure, maybe the White House did know it was a botched joke about the president and the president's people, but I didn't. I guess I'm not as smart as the next guy or girl. I wonder what the families of those who have bled and died in Iraq would say to that? I really must be some kind of idiot for enlisting in the Marines, serving multiple tours in Iraq, and continuing the tradition that has gone on in my family for four generations. That tradition is serving my country." — Matt (San Diego, CA)
"No politician in their right mind would openly insult soldiers. He was obviously criticizing the fact that wars are generally fought by those from the lower classes. I don't like Kerry, but he is a veteran and his refusal to apologize is warranted." — M.P.
"I am in the U.S. Army serving in Iraq, and I am more disgusted with the commentators who are saying that all military members feel Senator Kerry referred to them as uneducated, than I am about what he actually said. DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. I believe Senator Kerry misspoke, and the Republicans are simply trying to profit from that. I am on my second tour in Iraq, and I am intelligent enough to realize the 'stay the course' philosophy is in desperate need of an overhaul." — G.D.
"My son enlisted in the Army after high school because he always wanted to do that. He just returned from Afghanistan last week and will likely go to Iraq next summer. That young man has more character in his little finger than Mr. Kerry does in his entire body." — John (Houston, TX)
"Bush botches almost every other sentence out of his mouth. If anyone in this country should give someone a pass for misspeaking, it is George W. Bush and the Republican Party." — Jason
"I think Kerry's comments were just another one of his despicable attempts to marginalize President Bush's efforts in Iraq, with no thought for the wonderful ladies and gentlemen putting their lives on the line for democracy. He himself was a Yaley in the Vietnam War — what's he thinking?" — Bonnie
"Kerry is RIGHT ON TARGET. This administration should apologize to our troops and stop politicizing every remark made that is made in due respect about this failure in Iraq. G W Bush has set this country back decades and embarrassed us on a global level. He is a failure as a president and leader and history will not be kind. It is going to take extraordinary leadership in the next 20 years to dig us out of the failures of the past six years." — Judy
"Kerry just keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper. Regardless of what his intentions were, the statement was crude and distasteful. If he was just trying to insult the president's intelligence, then it was a tacky jab by a sore loser." — Brian
"The irony is that the military as a whole are much more educated than the people of Massachusetts who continually elect Senator Kerry. The proportion of high school and college graduates in the military is higher than that of his state. The disdain comes from the fact that the military votes decidedly in favor of conservative candidates. So the real questions are:Why don’t more liberals join the military? Why do so many conservatives join the military? The answer is very telling. But obviously I’m no Rhodes Scholar, I had to join the military and fight in Iraq! Hooah!" — MAJ Anonymous
"Whatever Kerry thinks of the Bush administration it gives him no right to degrade our troops. He said it and no amount of spin can change that. He speaks of taking responsibility so take some and apologize." — MS (Ohio)
"John Kerry was bashing the armed forces in Iraq. He, along with a majority of American voters, are fed up with the Bush administration policies in Iraq. His voice needs to be listened to. Grateful that he's willing to take a strong justified stand against and unjustified war." — Stephen (New York)
"Sen. Kerry's refusal to apologize after what was clearly an insult to all those that have, are or will serve in Iraq, makes it clear for all to see why he never was presidential material. The only 'botched joke' is one where Sen. Kerry is the punch line to a long running joke that is both humorless and in poor taste." — Jon (Colorado)
"It is obvious that he was referring to Bush. Why is everyone getting so upset? Facts speak for themselves. We should be questioning the negative responses to what might have been a bit of a blunder of words." — L.T.
"If Kerry's comments were the result of a joke gone wrong, he should apologize for it. What's so terrible about saying he's sorry, that he forgot a few lines and didn't intend it to come out the way it did. I'm sorry, but the more he refuses to apologize, the guiltier he looks." — Army Mom
"There is no way that Sen. Kerry's comment can be interpreted as a criticism or President Bush's policies on Iraq, and appending the comment to previous speeches does not change the meaning." — Brantz
"Kerry had just mentioned he had been in Texas the previous day, and it was it that context his comments were made. I knew immediately he was talking about the president, but he didn't mention the president by name and I knew his remarks would be taken out of context and become an issue during this critical phase of the campaign." — K
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