March 16, 2004


Did John Kerry say "foreign leaders" or "more leaders"? The reporter who first published the line now says he made a mistake:

"I mistranscribed a key word," explains Patrick Healy, a political reporter for the BOSTON GLOBE who covered the event in a pool capacity. "Listening to the audio recorder now, in the quiet of my house, I hear 'more leaders' and I am certain that 'more leaders' is what Senator Kerry said."

As Instapundit notes, this doesn’t explain subsequent Kerry statements. In any case, instead of relying on the journalist’s revision, the Boston Globe should put the tape online. Let John Kerry be heard!

Posted by Tim Blair at March 16, 2004 12:49 PM

More "leaders" of what, who? Business? Union??

Doesn't really change anything.

Posted by: Sandy P. at March 16, 2004 at 12:51 PM

This is typical liberal b.s. I just watched Kerry's despicable performance in some townhall meeting in which somebody in the audience asked Kerry who these leaders were. Kerry, refused to name them, but made it clear he was talking about foreign leaders, "our allies" as he kept calling them.

Posted by: Lewis at March 16, 2004 at 12:59 PM

Maybe if Kerry had denied he said "foreign leaders" we could believe that. Considering that when asked, his response was "I'm not going to betray a private conversation with anybody", not "I don't know anything about this 'foreign leaders' business, I said 'more leaders'", I'm pretty sure he said "foreign leaders".

Posted by: dorkafork at March 16, 2004 at 12:59 PM

This is starting to look like Italy's Dorando Pietri finish in the '08 Olympic marathon. He collapsed short of the finish line, so race officials and spectators picked him up and helped him across the line. This is going to be a looooong eight months....

Posted by: moghedien at March 16, 2004 at 01:06 PM


Or is lying...or didn't lie but then decided to run with a lie he didn't make..or..hell...KERRY LIED!!!

Posted by: Rob A. at March 16, 2004 at 01:11 PM quotes Kerry saying the following when responding to questioner at a town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pa:

"I haven't met with foreign leaders for any overthrow purpose," Kerry responded. "I never said that. What I said was, that I have heard from people who are leaders elsewhere in the world, who don't appreciate the Bush administration approach and would love to see a change in the leadership of the United States."

"[L]eaders elsewhere in the world" = "foreign leaders," so it was "foreign" and not "more." Interesting though, that Kerry is now avoiding the word "foreign," with its negative connotations, and switching to "leaders elsewhere in the world." Keep an eye out to see if Kerry continues to avoid the word "foreign."

Posted by: Ed Jordan at March 16, 2004 at 01:24 PM

Ed -- Maybe Kerry will refer to foreign policy as "elsewhere policy." That would be the politically correct thing to do.

Posted by: Lewis at March 16, 2004 at 01:27 PM

Healy's mea culpa is ludicrous. Kerry's actions and responses since the story hit the newscycle proves it. Besides, I defy anyone to listen to Kerry's monotone delivery and mistake an "M" for an "F"...the notion is completely asinine.

Posted by: TC at March 16, 2004 at 01:30 PM

I'm thinking Mrs. Heinz is having Drago have a little chat with Mr. Healy about him saying things that he really didn't wanna be sayin'.

Posted by: Screamapiller at March 16, 2004 at 01:55 PM

In context, it makes no difference whether Kerry said “more” or “foreign.” That fact that, in context, it makes no difference, helps explain the error.

It’s all there at

MILTON FERRELL: "This is more than just the 50 states. You travel around outside the states, the people are still [inaudible] Europeans and elsewhere, they're counting on the American people. They hate Bush, but they know we're going to get rid of him. They're counting on us. [inaudible] It's a lot more than just [inaudible]-"

KERRY: "I've been hearing it, I'll tell ya. The news, the coverage in other countries, the news in other places. I've met more leaders who can't go out and say it all publicly, but boy they look at you and say, you gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy, things like that. So there is enormous energy out there. Tell them, whereever they can find an American abroad, they can contribute," a reference to donations, prompting laughter from the crowd. [emphasis added]

Kerry has already confirmed the gist of what he said. When you look at the story closely one way or another, you see that the reporter Healy can’t help Kerry by doing this. Either Healy hasn’t paid enough attention to realize that, & thus shows what’s becoming a pattern of sloppiness, or Healy does realize it, but is nevertheless afraid of getting dinged on his mistranscription at some point simply because of all the attention to the story now, & so he is simply correcting it ASAP.

Posted by: ForNow at March 16, 2004 at 01:59 PM

You know, maybe he didn't say either "foreign" or "more." Maybe what he said was "moron."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 16, 2004 at 02:17 PM

the fact of the reporter's "correction" is nonsensical and desperately partisan. even absurder is how he thinks he is helping a lying kerry by proving a lying press will say absolutely anything for him

Posted by: charlotte at March 16, 2004 at 02:43 PM

I just relistened to the tapes and it turns out he never said he was in Vietnam, either. He was saying "La Jolla" the whole time.

Posted by: Mike G at March 16, 2004 at 02:55 PM

First, in the original context, Kerry had to be speaking about foreign leaders.

Secondly, his subsequent comments have been about foreign leaders.

As to the timing of this story - Kerry recently introduced the "I was misquoted" defense - he claimed that he had said he had "heard from" foreign leaders, not "met with" them. That didn't really square with his later bit, "they look at you and say..." (is he videoconferencing?), but it was a bit of a wedge.

So, the reporter decides to replay the tape, and GASP! He is right about "met with", but wrong about "foreign".

Odd that Kerry could remember the "heard from" detail, but not the "more/foreign" distinction. Unless, of course, he is full of it.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at March 16, 2004 at 02:57 PM

Kerry should be forced to tell who he meant.

And the vice president should tell who attended that private energy summit that helped shape American energy policy.

But since both are lying scum working for players behind the scenes we'll likely never get either.

Posted by: IXLNXS at March 16, 2004 at 03:13 PM

He said, "Moron leaders."
I heard it, plain as day.

Posted by: Brian at March 16, 2004 at 03:16 PM

And the vice president should tell who attended that private energy summit that helped shape American energy policy.

Why it was the Illuminati, the Priory of Zion, The Saucer People and the Reverse Vampires.

Don't you know anything?

Posted by: Quentin George at March 16, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Borg leaders. The Borg leaders prefer Kerry to Bush—of course.

Posted by: ForNow at March 16, 2004 at 03:30 PM

Actually, if Kerry said "more" leaders it makes even less sense, because it is followed by "who can't go out and say it publicly" in refernce to the leaders. Okay, what kind of leaders would Kerry meet with who can't say publicly that they want Bush out? Union bosses? Businessmen? career bureaucrats? All of them afraid to be thrown in the Deprivation of First Amendment Rights Prisoner Camp with the Dixie Chicks and Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon?

I, for one, would be much more interested in knowing which "leaders" in the US support Kerry and are afraid to speak out in public. Maybe Al Franken, Michael Moore, or Terry McAuliffe?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 16, 2004 at 03:52 PM

Boring leaders

Posted by: perfectsense at March 16, 2004 at 03:54 PM

I am totally creeped out by the fact that the reporter thought that he could change the words he reported in order to better support the Democratic candidate.

I am not suprised that it happened just creeped out that he thought it would work.

Tell me again the fairy tale about 'no liberal media'

Posted by: mapchic at March 16, 2004 at 03:59 PM

More back flipping by Senator Kerry, spin doctoring by the Democratic Party, and stupid coverage by newsrags.

If Bush did this sort of backtracking, the media and liberals would be all over him. As it is, Kerry's supporters are apologists. That's only proper, I just wish they'd stop licking his boots in public. Ugh!

Yeah, this is going to be a looooooooonnnnnggggg election year.

Posted by: JeffS at March 16, 2004 at 04:54 PM
"In any case, instead of relying on the journalist’s revision, the Boston Globe should put the tape online. Let John Kerry be heard!"
Absolutely - let us hold their feet to the fire.

In my opinion, this goes to the heart of John Kerry's duplicity.

As far as John Kerry's personality and demeanor, he'll either play up a populist anti-war personna only to be just as tough or tougher than Bush, in which case he would be betraying his constituents; or he's going to appease Osama bin Laden by withdrawing from Iraq, Afghanistan and leave Israel to twist in the wind, in which case he would be betraying America.

Posted by: Dwayne at March 16, 2004 at 05:31 PM

Why does Kerry think he'll get my vote because any type (foreign or not) of leader wants to see him as president? He wants a US presidential election to be influenced by the opinions of un-named leaders?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at March 16, 2004 at 07:27 PM

A guy ought to be able to try out stories and use what works, without all the carping. So foreign leaders doesn't work. Big deal. Move on. It's just normal bullshitting. The important thing about bullshitting is that the speaker doesn't care if it's true any more than the audience does. You'd think the press could get the genre right once at least. He didn't lie - he was bullshitting. That's what I'm doing too. People do it all the time.

What worries Kerry is the frame break, from Presidential to moron. It's not about lying.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at March 16, 2004 at 08:26 PM

I'm starting to think Kerry is the sleaziest,sly,
schmoozing,festering fuck to ever attempt the

And that's saying something.

Posted by: R.Nixon at March 16, 2004 at 11:16 PM

I think I've figured it out. He actually said "I've met sore losers who can't go out and say it all publicly..." And who's the biggest sore loser of the last decade? Clearly he means Al Gore.

I can't blame the reporter. With Kerry's stuttering lisp and thick Swedish-Cockney accent I'm sure it's just an honest mistake.

Posted by: Bryan Costin at March 16, 2004 at 11:54 PM

Hey, now CNN's getting into the game!


The brouhaha stemmed from a comment Kerry made to supporters March 8 at a fund-raiser in Florida: "I've met more leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, 'You got to win this. You got to beat this guy.' "

No mention that it was first reported as 'foreign leaders'. Just a nice, quiet alteration of history. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, and John Kerry has always said "more leaders".

Posted by: Jeepster at March 17, 2004 at 12:31 AM

Folks, this doesn't even scan; "more" is a single syllable while "foreign" is two, even with a Boston accent.

Posted by: Dean Douthat at March 17, 2004 at 12:48 AM

Within the context quoted by Drudge, it doesn't matter whether he said "foreign" or "more" or "forn", or even "porn." What he meant was that a lot of non-Americans support him and hate Bush. Hmmm, let's see ... Kim, Chirac, Castro, the Mad Mullahs of Iran, ... I'm sure more will crawl out of the woodwork eventually.

Posted by: ExRat at March 17, 2004 at 04:34 AM

I think Ron Hardin has got it right. Look, y'all, he just took the liberty of bullshitting us. It's not lying, just bullshit.

"Hey, the new Chevrolets are in early this year. ... hmm, Pier 1 Imports..."

Posted by: Jimmy Antley at March 17, 2004 at 04:56 AM

I've listened very carefully, and it's quite obvious he actually said:

"...S'mores eaters..."

He's clearly referring to his meetings with poor, frightened civilians who've been intimidated by marauding bands of Girl Scouts who force them to buy cookies.

Naturally, he's reluctant to divulge their identities, since they fear retribution.

Posted by: ex-Democrat at March 17, 2004 at 05:50 AM

"leave Israel to twist in the wind, in which case he would be betraying America."

Yes after all letting Israel twist in the wind for bad political dealings would be betraying America. Israel being America and all that.

Your an idiot. An Anti, anti semite. Worse than those folks who seek to defame jews, you wish to forgive them every injustice.

Posted by: IXLNXS at March 17, 2004 at 07:01 AM

Heck, we tried to bribe Turkey, Mexico and numerious other countries to support the invasion of Iraq and they refused. Even after all that money, these third world countries wouldn't support the US. Spain, well they did and now they have decided to change their Government. Tony Blair may not last. In the eyes of most of the world, the US has lost it's respect as being truthful and trustworthy.
The US blamed Iraq for a laundry list of problems like 911 and WMD. Now we pretend that the "end justifies the means", never mind our pre-war rhetoric. Our credibility may take a generation to restore.
Kerry shouldn't have said that he "heard from leaders". Our politics should stay within our borders. Nevertheless, his statement is probably true.

Posted by: mike at March 18, 2004 at 11:09 AM