Thursday, June 26, 2003

In NH, Kerry discusses economy, health care, energy plan, and his "misled" comment. By, James W. Pindell

WINDHAM, June 20 – Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry talked about the economy, health care, and energy policy to audiences in New Hampshire Thursday as he was heavily attacked for misinterpreted comments from the previous night that fueled his critics all day.

On the second day of a two day trip to New Hampshire Kerry found himself explaining comments from an event in Lebanon Wednesday where he said he and the American people were misled to believe that war in Iraq was necessary because the country was producing nuclear weapons.

Many were led to believe that Kerry had said that the country was misled in terms of all forms of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological, and chemical.

Because of this state and national Republicans leaders said this was hypocritical of Kerry because just on Sunday he was on television saying it was “irresponsible” to suggest the entire reason for going to war was based on White House lies.

But in fact, Kerry said Thursday he was misled only by the information on nuclear weapons, but that it’s too soon to assess if the country was also duped in regards to chemical or biological weapons.

The Associated Press story that reported his comments in Lebanon is consistent with what Kerry said on Thursday.

“There should be a full investigation of our pre-war intelligence if we don’t find anything,” Kerry said. “But there was nothing new in what I said. It was the same-old, same-old.”

It was Kerry, of course, who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, but when asked if he could vote today given the fact he has been misled, Kerry said it wouldn’t be possible to answer that question now, but that he is glad Saddam Hussein is out of power.

While the press cared about the “misled” statement the night before no one at the two biggest events of the day no audience member even appeared to know about it. Questions at the Concord Chamber of Commerce and at a house party in Windham were all about his campaign or his political feelings.

“The only person that deserves to be laid off is President Bush,” Kerry continued.

He explained how he wants to repeal the recently passed tax cut for the top two income brackets as well as end offshore tax loopholes. Instead he wants to have a payroll tax holiday for a year giving each person an extra $750 and restore what he called “fundamental fairness” in the tax code.



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