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Entries in John Kerry (24)

Wednesday
Oct172012

John Kerry Slams Romney's ‘Etch A Sketch’ Memory

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Weighing in as President Obama’s sparring partner in debate prep, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said, “I don’t believe the American people can trust” Mitt Romney.

“Mitt Romney comes in tonight and thinks he can just ‘etch a sketch’ the American people,” Kerry said overnight in a post-debate interview, slamming the former Massachusetts governor for changing his position on issues such as women’s health.

“That’s an insult to the intelligence of Americans and it’s an insult to the presidency.  The presidency is worth more than that.  It’s certainly worth the truth, and Mitt Romney just didn’t tell it tonight,” he added.

Kerry pointed specifically to Romney’s onetime support for legislation that would have limited access to contraceptive services and the math to explain Romney’s current tax proposals.

“Mitt Romney can’t add up his tax numbers,” Kerry said.  “His tax plan doesn’t work.  It’s been thoroughly exposed.”

And with scorn, Kerry, Massachusetts’ senior senator and the Democratic presidential nominee who lost to George W. Bush in 2004, said, “It is unheard of that a former governor running for president cannot even carry his own state.”

Massachusetts is considered safe Obama territory on Election Day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug292012

Democrats Tap Sen. John Kerry for Stadium Speech on Foreign Policy

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats will make President Obama’s foreign policy achievements a major theme of the final night of their convention next Thursday at Bank of America Stadium, ABC News has learned.

Organizers announced Wednesday that Sen. John Kerry — chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a decorated combat vet– will deliver a televised address in primetime that night, preceding Vice President Joe Biden and Obama.

Kerry is expected to tout Obama’s record on ending the war in Iraq, setting a timetable for Afghanistan, and stepping up the targeting of al Qaeda leaders, including the killing of Osama bin Laden.

“Senator Kerry will speak to how the President has restored America’s leadership in the world, has taken the fight to our enemies, and has a plan to bring our troops home from Afghanistan just like he did from Iraq,” said an Obama campaign official on condition of anonymity.

“He will contrast the president’s strong leadership in this area with Mitt Romney, who has embraced the go-it-alone, reckless policies of the past that weakened America’s place in the world and made us less secure here at home,” the official said.

The Obama campaign believes that with the president getting some of his strongest polling numbers on foreign policy they can effectively woo independent voters by highlighting his record.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Kerry Plays Romney in Debate With Obama

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will pretend he’s Mitt Romney in mock debates with President Obama, the campaign has confirmed.

“There is no one that has more experience or understanding of the presidential debate process than John Kerry,” said David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist. “He’s an expert debater who has a fundamental mastery of a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts. He’s the obvious choice.”

Obama and Romney will face off in three debates before the election. Romney is probably getting help from Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a possible running mate who helped Sen. John McCain prepare for Obama in the previous election.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Senators Trying to Keep up Pressure on Joseph Kony

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the eve of the Kony 2012 national “day of action,” senators wanted Americans to know they haven’t forgotten about the campaign to find Uganda’s Joseph Kony.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., on Thursday introduced legislation to expand the existing Department of State Rewards Program for Kony.

“Information is a powerful tool and with these authorities, we can help bring brutal and dangerous fugitives to justice,” Kerry said in a statement.  “These kinds of programs promote tips and leads that lead to arrests and hobble the movement of international criminals.  It sends a message to brutal thugs like Kony that their days are numbered and they can only hide out for so long.”

The Kerry legislation would expand existing authority to allow the State Department to publicize and pay rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals engaged in transnational organized crime, or foreign nationals wanted by any international criminal tribunal for war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

At a press conference Thursday, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a cosponsor of the legislation, expressed confidence that the Department of Defense is having some luck in narrowing down where Kony is hiding.  He added that an expanded rewards program would offer an incentive to people to leave the Lord’s Resistance Army and “provide critical, recent intelligence about their movements, their practices and Kony’s whereabouts.”

A group of senators, hoping to whip up a little Internet frenzy like the original Kony 12 campaign video did, came out with their own video on Thursday.  The seven-minute video focuses on the Senate’s efforts to support the removal of Kony and his top lieutenants in the Lord’s Resistance Army from the battlefield in central Africa and is aimed at the young Americans who have become part of the Kony 2012 movement in the last month.

“The timing here is deliberate,” said Coons.  ”It’s an effort to communicate back to millions of people around the world to say that we, the United States Senate, hear you, we are listening, we are acting and we are hopeful that everyone that has been interested in and concerned about the issues raised by the Lord Resistance Army, Joseph Kony and the efforts to bring him to justice.”

“We’re going to do it,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said.  “We’re going to bring it to a close.  And it’s now, everyone’s talking about it, assuming we can do, we’ve got kids from all over America joining in and saying you’ve got to get this guy Joseph Kony, and we’re going to do it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

Super Committee Takes Shape: Reid Taps Sens. Murray, Baucus & Kerry

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has made his choice of three people to serve on the 12-member “super committee” charged with identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Nov. 23.

Reid has chosen Senator Max Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Finance Committee; Senator John Kerry, D-Mass.; and DSCC Chair Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash. A Senate Democratic aide confirmed the picks after they were first reported by Politico. All three voted in favor of the debt ceiling bill last week that created the super committee.

The selections of Senate Democrats are the first of the picks for the 12-person committee to drip out.

Senator Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi each will also get three, but none of them have made a formal announcement of their choices. At a town hall in Kentucky Tuesday, McConnell said he is “very close” to picking his choices, but is not ready to make an announcement yet.

“The Joint Select Committee has been charged with forging the balanced, bipartisan approach to deficit reduction that the American people, the markets and rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s are demanding," said Reid in a paper statement.

“As the events of the past week have made clear, the world is watching the work of this committee," he said, referring to the turbulence in the stock market and the economy. "I am confident that Senators Murray, Baucus and Kerry will bring the thoughtfulness, bipartisanship, and commitment to a balanced approach that will produce the best outcome for the American people.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun212011

McCain and Kerry Introduce Libya Resolution 

Scott J. Ferrell / CQ-Roll Call Group (WASHINGTON) -- Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced a resolution Tuesday morning authorizing force in Libya.

Countering efforts in the House to cut off funds for the operation in Libya, the resolution grants President Obama a one year time frame from which he can use American forces in a supporting role as part of NATO's efforts against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. The resolution does not support the use of U.S. ground troops in Libya.

Senator Kerry defended the Obama administration's claim that the U.S. has taken limited military action thus far in Libya and that the involvement is consistent with the War Powers Resolution. Critics, however, are arguing the opposite. Last week, a bipartisan group of 10 House members filed suit in U.S. District Court challenging the president's authority regarding his use of force in Libya, insisting the War Powers Act had been violated. The Obama administration insisted in a report it didn't need to consult Congress on the use of force in the North African country because American lives weren't at risk. House Speaker John Boehner said that report didn't "pass the straight-face test."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May172011

Clinton and Kerry Clashing on US-Pakistan Relations?

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There appears to be a disconnect between what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., are saying about U.S. relations with Pakistan. Administration officials, and Secretary Clinton, don’t seem particularly pleased by his recent effort in Islamabad.
 
On Monday, during his visit there, Kerry told reporters that relations between Washington and Islamabad had been “re-set.”
 
Yet Tuesday, when asked whether U.S.-Pakistan relations had actually turned the corner, Clinton said there was a long way to go.
 
“We are working very hard to have an understanding with our counterparts in Pakistan about the best way forward,” she said. “There are important concerns and many questions that have to be addressed and worked through.”
 
In fact, Clinton made it clear that Kerry didn’t speak for the administration, offering perhaps a pointed dig at the fact that Kerry issued a joint statement with Pakistani officials that was billed as a joint U.S.-Pakistan statement (administration officials insist this was Kerry freelancing).
 
“I appreciate very much his delivering to the Pakistanis, in his capacity as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, a clear perspective on the concerns of the United States Congress,” Clinton said Tuesday, emphasizing Kerry’s position in the legislative branch.
 
Clinton is dispatching her top aide on the region, Marc Grossman, who is slated to arrive in Pakistan on Thursday. It’s maybe another sign that Clinton had her own messages to deliver to Pakistani officials.
 
Kerry said during a hearing Tuesday morning that Pakistan had agreed to take several steps to pave the way for Clinton’s eventual visit, but he said he would leave it up to the executive branch to announce them.
 
Asked what those steps were, Clintons again seemed a bit annoyed in her response.
 
“I’m not going to comment on any specific issue that Senator Kerry referred to in any of his public remarks, but we are going to be working very hard in the days and weeks ahead to ensure that we have a path forward that continues the progress and answers a lot of the concerns that both sides have at this point,” she said.
 
There has been a bit of tension between Kerry and Clinton, despite the fact that Kerry has been used to send messages for the administration to leaders around the world. In particular, officials say Clinton was peeved at Kerry’s staunch support for Syrian President Bashar al Assad, which he insisted was a reformer. Clinton was not convinced.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May152011

Sen. John Kerry Has Preliminary Meeting with Pakistan Army Chief

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- U.S. Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., has warned that the relationship between the United States and Pakistan is currently at a “critical moment.”

Kerry, who is in Afghanistan, met with top U.S. and Afghan officials on Sunday and following those meetings the Massachusetts senator said that he has deep reservations about “whether or not Pakistan is committed to the same goals or are prepared to be a full partner in pursuing those goals.”

The relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. was hit by turbulence following the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs in Pakistan on May 1. Pakistan was not informed about the raid until it was completed, and some have questioned whether Pakistani officials knew that the world’s most wanted man was hiding out in the city of Abbottabad. Pakistani officials claim they were not aware that bin Laden was hiding out in the city, in a mansion located near a top Pakistan military academy.

On Sunday Kerry also met with the head of Pakistan’s army for approximately 30 minutes in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A senior Pakistani military official said that during the meeting Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani told Senator Kerry about the “great resentment” the Pakistan army had with the raid in which bin Laden was killed. It is not clear exactly how Kerry responded to Kayani’s statements. U.S. officials were not immediately available to comment on how the meeting went.

Kerry, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is scheduled to have more extensive meetings with Kayani on Monday, with Pakistan’s president and prime minister also expected to be in attendance.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio

Monday
May022011

Osama bin Laden's Death Brings Praise from Capitol Hill

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- News of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces striking inside Pakistan Sunday brought praise from both sides of the political aisle in Washington, D.C., but all agree the U.S. must remain vigilant in the war on terrorism.

Here is what some lawmakers are saying:

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, top Republican on Senate Armed Services Committee:

“I am overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist.  The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it.  I hope the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done.  I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement.  But while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them.”

Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"The killing of Osama bin Laden closes an important chapter in our war against extremists who kill innocent people around the world.  We are a nation of peace and laws, and people everywhere should understand that our ten-year manhunt was in search of justice not revenge.  Terrorists everywhere must never doubt that the United States will hunt them down no matter where they are, no matter how long it takes.

"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women of our intelligence agencies and our military for their tireless dedication and enormous sacrifice to bring justice to a man responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11 and thousands more men, women, and children around the world.

"I commend President Obama and his national security team for never forgetting the need to secure justice for those who lost their lives nearly 10 years ago and for those who have lost their lives in the war against extremism that continues today.

"A single death does not end the threat from al Qaeda and its affiliated groups.  We must remain vigilant and committed to keeping the world safe and secure."

House Speaker John Boehner:

"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world.  We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people.  I want to congratulate -- and thank -- the hard-working men and women of our Armed Forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success.  I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaeda.  I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment.  It is a testament to the professionalism of our dedicated national security professionals that no American lives were lost in this operation.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I hope that today’s action provides some comfort to the 9/11 families who lost loved ones in the devastating attacks on our shores.

“Though the death of Osama bin Laden is historic, it does not diminish our relentless pursuit of terrorists who threaten our country.”

Rep. Peter King, R-NY:

“Today, the American people have seen justice.  The leader of the United States’ top enemy has gotten what he deserves for orchestrating the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

“In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.’  President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words.  President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda.

“This great success would not have been possible without the tireless work of countless brave men and women who have served around the world in this War on Terror.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, top Senate Republican:

"The death of Osama bin Laden marks a long-awaited end to the work of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks.  No one who remembers the horror of that day can help but feel relieved that Osama bin Laden is dead.  This is a great victory in the War on Terror and for all who have worked so tirelessly over the years to thwart the monstrous designs of this madman and his disciples.  On Sept. 11, 2001, America came together and vowed that we would never forget the memory of those whose lives were lost on that terrible day.  Tonight's announcement shows that we have made good on that pledge.  It is proof that no matter how difficult or how long it takes, our military, intelligence forces and law enforcement officials will never stop until the job is done.  America celebrates tonight, and is grateful for the heroic efforts of the many men and women around the world who have fought and who are still fighting to protect the world from terrorism.  Though they may never make the headlines, we are ever mindful of their many sacrifices.  This war on terror continues, but we can be happy tonight that with the death of Osama bin Laden, the world is a better place.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY:

"This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers -- and citizens from all over the world -- who were murdered on 9/11.  It took close to ten years, but the world's most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate.  New York's heart is still broken from the tragedy of 9/11, but this at least brings some measure of closure and consolation to the victims and their families.  This is a massive accomplishment for the countless military and intelligence personnel who have been urgently dedicated to this task for the past decade.  Because bin Laden's evil dogma has poisoned the minds of so many others, we cannot let up in the war on terror.  This successful mission sends a definitive message to those who would test the resolve of the people of the United States of America: do not doubt our resolve; if you do us harm, we will find you, we will mete out justice, and we will prevail."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate:

“I was advised by Vice President Biden this Sunday evening that Osama bin Laden has been killed.  Though this is not the end of the threat of terrorism, it is a clear warning to our enemies that when they threaten and kill Americans, they will be pursued and held accountable.  Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to our intelligence community and military for pursuing this manhunt for almost ten years and successfully eliminating the most high profile terrorist on earth.  Those who believed bin Laden and his network were invincible will now awaken to a new reality.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, top Republican on U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

"This is a historic moment for the U.S. special operations and intelligence communities.  I highly commend the special operations units who undertook this mission and carried it out with no injuries to women or children inside the compound.  The CIA and others in the U.S. intelligence community did a phenomenal job over several months in carrying out this assignment."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb042011

John Kerry Not Interested in Being Secretary of State

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., wants to make one thing perfectly clear:  He has no interest in being Secretary of State.

Of course, there is no opening.  Hillary Clinton is now Secretary of State and shows no sign of leaving any time soon.  But Senator Kerry, who now serves as Congress’s ambassador to the world in his role as chairman of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee has frequently faced speculation that he secretly covets Hillary Clinton’s job.

The most recent example:   A story in the Boston Globe, Kerry’s hometown newspaper, reports that Kerry “is running an unofficial campaign to become the next Secretary of State.”  The Boston paper also indicates Kerry may be using the crisis in Egypt as a backdrop to his "unoffical campaign."

“With Egypt as the backdrop,” the Globe said, “Kerry knows the truth of an often-cited maxim that is associated with Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Out of crisis, comes opportunity.”

ABC News called Senator Kerry’s office to ask if he is, in fact, running an “unofficial campaign” to become the next Secretary of State.  The answer:  a firm NO that came in the form of a 148-word statement from Kerry spokesman Jodi Seth.

“I don't know what else we can do to stop the parlor game speculation about who's coming and who's going,” the statement began.  “Lord knows we've knocked it down a thousand times over, and at a time of such challenge for American foreign policy the punditry is especially unwelcome and unhelpful.”

Seth continued, “The one thing that hasn't changed one iota is that John Kerry loves his job as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and as the senior senator from Massachusetts,” the statement continued. “He worked a long time to get this job, and doing your job so well doesn't mean you're auditioning for another job. So one last time:  the only job John Kerry is contemplating, or considering, is the one job he already has, and he isn't looking elsewhere. Sometimes in politics, no really means no, and sometimes the best place to be really is the place you already are, end of story."

Got that?  John Kerry is not auditioning to be Secretary of State.  He is not lobbying for the job.  He does not secretly covet the job.  He is perfectly happy right where he is.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio