Less than an hour after President Bush finished making his speech this morning on the War on Terror, Sen. John Kerry held a pre-scheduled press conference with Sen. Jack Reed to blast the administration.
Kerry spent the first few minutes of his remarks criticizing the Naval Academy background the President chose. Kerry said the setting reminded him of one from “Mission Accomplished” and suggested the backdrop was unfair.
“Jack (Reed) and I can’t summon the Naval Academy to talk about the troops,” he complained. Kerry went on, “The President draws a false line in making his case to America. The troops don’t belong to his point of view. They belong to America and Americans. They are Americans.”
The Massachusetts senator also accused the President of setting up a “straw man” in his speech. Kerry, who is currently leading a grassroots campaign to withdraw 20,000 troops by Christmas, said Democrats were being falsely accused of requesting an “artificial date” to withdraw troops. What the Democratic Party is requesting, Kerry clarified is an “estimated timetable.”
The difference was not explained. But it seems, from the senator’s own words, the administration is in fact meeting their demands. Keeping in line with the excursive language we all remember from his failed presidential campaign, Kerry said, “We all believe in those elections, the success of those elections provides a benchmark, ladies and gentleman, for success which allows you then to withdraw some of the troops, which you will notice the President, Vice President and the Secretary of Defense have now acknowledged. They will withdraw if the elections are successful. That’s precisely what we’ve been saying.”