He said allegations that former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., sent inappropriate messages to underage congressional pages and leaders failed to act on them are just the latest examples of decaying values in Washington. He said congressional leaders are failing to live to the same standards as the public.
He said it's troubling that some people in Congress knew about the allegations before they became public. If teachers and administrators failed to act on allegations like that in a school, he said, no one would stand for it. The same should go for Congress, he said.
"I've never seen ... more willful denial of a fundamental responsibility to heed the law and live by a certain standard," he said.
Kerry devoted much of his speech at Rockingham Park Wednesday to national politics, as the mid-term elections are weeks are. Kerry was in Ohio on Tuesday campaigning for Ohio candidates and in Iowa on Monday urging students to take "political action." Citing Bob Woodward's new book "State of Denial," Kerry told New Hampshire voters that "Americans have been misled about the Iraq war."
"We've lost our moral authority in the world, and we're spending billions of dollars," he said.
Kerry declined to predict what effect the book could have on the midterm elections while speaking with reporters after the event. Asked whether he planned to run for President in 2008, he said, "I'd rather break news about '06, which is what's important."
Roth, a business attorney, is running against former state Rep. Michael Downing of Salem for the Senate seat. The race is wide open because Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, is running for Executive Council instead. Earlier in the day, Kerry and Roth visited the Pelham Senior Center.
Roth said she was a supporter of Kerry during the New Hampshire primary, and stood outside the polls campaigning for him. In March, Roth was elected a selectman in Salem, garnering the highest number of votes in the race. She said she wants to avoid the "polarity" of politics and instead help make progress in the Statehouse.
"What I'm hearing in New Hampshire is probably what Sen. Kerry is hearing throughout the country," she said.