The Ultimate Flop?

This was in the Washington Times this morning, and Drudge has linked to it, so it may be old news, but it’s still pretty stunning. This may be the ultimate John Kerry flip-flop:

During a 1997 debate on CNN’s “Crossfire,” Sen. John Kerry, now the Democratic presidential nominee, made the case for launching a pre-emptive attack against Iraq.
“We know we can’t count on the French. We know we can’t count on the Russians,” said Mr. Kerry. “We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it’s in our national interest.”

Rep. Peter King was on the Crossfire show with Kerry, and had a tape of the program, which he has shared with the Times and a New York radio host.
It would be possible, but not easy, to imagine a more damaging quote from Kerry’s past.
By the way, at lunch today I saw an editorial cartoon that made an excellent point–one that should be obvious, but that I, at least, hadn’t put together. The cartoon shows “President” Kerry on the phone, saying something like: “Bonjour, Jacques, I’m calling to ask you to send some troops to help fight the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I’m not sure that anyone ever believed that Kerry could somehow persuade our reluctant “allies” to lend more help in Iraq. But given the way in which he is now trashing the war effort, it would seem that Kerry will have to abandon the claim that if elected, he would be able to bring more allies on board.
UPDATE: A transcript of the 1997 CNN show has surfaced via Lexis/Nexis, and, while it has some similar comments by Kerry, it does not include the language quoted above from King’s tape. So what gives? I don’t know; for now, we’re suspending judgment. Congressman King was on the show himself, so it’s not like someone handed him the tape in an envelope at a livestock show. No doubt we’ll learn more soon. In the meantime, we won’t add this one to Kerry’s Hall of Fame collection of flip-flops.
Thanks to reader Scott Hoge for the Lexis/Nexis transcript.


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