While top Democratic Party luminaries were running for cover, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland was quick to embrace John Kerry’s insult to the U.S. military in Iraq, to the point where Strickland virtually made the comment his own.
Within hours of Kerry’s gaffe making national news, Strickland was on the radio with Tom Roten of Ohio’s News Talk 800 station WVHU, agreeing with Kerry that those who don’t study “get stuck in Iraq.”
Even Hillary Clinton distanced herself from the junior senator from Massachusetts, telling the press that “What Kerry said was inappropriate.”
But not Ted Strickland. Rushing to seize the opportunity to display his true far-left colors, Strickland told Roten that he embraced as valid Kerry’s class argument:
“I strongly believe that if this war was being fully shared by all segments of our society and by all income levels and so on that a lot of people may have a different attitude about what’s happening and the lives being lost and the young people that are being maimed.”
The camp of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell reacted immediately, expressing disappointment with Strickland’s comments. “Playing class politics on this important issue is simply disgraceful,” Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo told the press. “To say Americans don’t care about who is fighting and dying in Iraq is outrageous. Strickland needs to apologize for his callous and irresponsible comments.”
Blackwell demanded that Strickland apologize, a demand Strickland ignored. “Strickland just doesn’t get it,” LoParo added. “Strickland is an unabashed Washington D.C. liberal who doesn’t understand Ohio values.” The Strickland campaign has worked hard to re-package the candidate as a moderate, hiding his pro-taxing voting record and the numerous endorsements he has received from LBGT (“Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender”) sexual extremist groups.
Blackwell’s campaign website posted two audio clips from Strickland’s radio interview, archiving what the Blackwell website identified as Strickland’s “irresponsible comments.”
A television spot video clip appeared almost immediately on YouTube.com featuring Strickland’s support of Kerry, including Strickland’s own words from his radio appearances arguing that the senator was right in claiming that our military in Iraq are largely drawn from America’s poorly educated underclass. The video clip replays Kerry’s comments and compares both Kerry and Strickland to the same class-based argument Michael Moore made in his anti-Bush film “Fahrenheit 9/11″ from the 2004 presidential campaign.
Yet, even in the 2004 presidential campaign, Rep. Strickland was a strong supporter of Democratic presidential contender John Kerry. In a previous article, I documented that Strickland was Kerry’s hunting partner in the famous goose hunting photo op staged during the 2004 presidential campaign in Columbus, Ohio.
John Kerry and Ted Strickland
In co-authoring “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” John O’Neill and I documented that Kerry’s insults against the U.S. military trace back to his 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There, Kerry falsely accused our troops in Vietnam of being an army of Ghengis Khan that were committing unspeakable crimes. Kerry further claimed our military in Vietnam were committing these crimes on a daily basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
Kerry based his claims to the committee on false statements made to a Vietnam Veteran’s Against the War set of “hearings” known as “The Winter Soldier Investigation,” held in Detroit, Mich., in January and February 1971. In a book entitled “Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History,” authors B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley documented that much of the testimony given at these mock hearings was fraudulent, much of it given by those who had never served in Vietnam.
Appearing Thursday on the Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” television show, swift boat veteran John O’Neill rejected Kerry’s contention that his comments were a failed joke. “The words that came out of his mouth were the words he intended to speak,” O’Neill told the national television audience.
“I think this is exactly the same thing Kerry has said over and over again since 1971,” O’Neill charged. “Kerry has been a serial assaulter and liar about our troops, for some 35 years or more. A whole nation heard Kerry describe our troops as a bunch of dumb people who are stuck there.” O’Neill further characterized Kerry’s attempt to apologize as “a little note Kerry put out on his Internet site as he slunk off into the shadows.”
Ted Strickland’s campaign website is entirely silent on the issue.
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