John Kerry blasted Senator Joe Lieberman this morning on 'This Week' for "continuing his bid in the Connecticut Senate race despite a narrow loss to newcomer Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary earlier this month." Kerry came out strong with his support of Ned Lamont last week, when he used his 3 million strong email list in a fundraising pitch for Lamont, Daniel Akaka and Bob Menendez.
"I'm concerned that [Lieberman] is making a Republican case," Kerry told ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in an exclusive appearance.
Kerry accused the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate of "adopting the rhetoric of Dick Cheney," on the issue of Iraq.
"Joe Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut," Kerry added, insisting Lieberman's stance on Iraq, "shows you just why he got in trouble with the Democrats there."
Kerry called Lieberman's independent bid a "huge mistake" and applauded businessman-turned-politician Lamont as "courageous" for challenging Lieberman on the war.
Addressing his own views on Iraq, John Kerry stated bluntly with complete candor, "The course of this country in Iraq is making the world more dangerous." Ed O'Keefe of ABC News typically mischaracterzied Kerry's vote in reporting on the interview:
Kerry, the Democrat's nominee for president in 2004, supported the 2003 Senate resolution that ultimately led to the invasion of Iraq, and was criticized throughout his White House bid for then opposing a measure funding continuing operations in that effort. The Bush campaign seized on what they described as Kerry's wavering views on Iraq, which in part led to the senator's 2004 election defeat.
O'Keefe goes on to note that "Since 2004, Kerry has steadily sharpened his opposition to the Iraq war, calling for a steady withdrawal of U.S. troops beginning last year."
"Iraq is not the center of the war on terror," Kerry told George Stephanopoulos in today's interview, as he asserted that, "Iraq is in a civil war; of course it's in a civil war." In April, John Kerry was one of the first to recognize that Iraq was in a civil war, in an OP/ED in the NY Times, that prefaced a powerful speech on the Senate floor calling for a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.
Kerry told Stephanopoulos that "he supports the efforts of Senator John Warner, R-Va., to introduce a second resolution on Iraq if and when the country descends into outright civil war." The general consensus is of course that it has, Kerry said he "believes that moment has come."
He reiterated, "We have to set a date for the withdrawal," before concluding, "The absence of diplomacy is putting our troops at greater risk and is reducing our ability for success."
Speaking on the uncertain ceasefire involving Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah, Kerry said "the near-month-long violence "set back" Hezbollah, but did so "at a greater cost to Israel.""
Kerry also criticized President Bush's approach to the troubled region.
"I know that I would have handled the diplomacy," he said.
Kerry connected the hostilities between Israel and Lebanon to Iraq, once again proclaiming, "I believe the president's policy in Iraq is a disaster of catastrophic proportions." He said his more diplomatic approach to Iraq might have prevented the instability the region currently faces.
Discussing the possibility of an '08 run for president, Kerry "remained uncommitted, but dismissed early polls that seem to frame Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., as a leading contender."
"George, you're talking to somebody who was once 30 points down," Kerry said. "My decision [to run] … will not be based on any poll. It will be based on my vision for the direction of the country."
No potential '08 candidate has a clear, stronger progressive platform in my opinion. Kerry's "vision for the direction of the country," is needed now more than ever.