John Kerry on Fighting To Pass Efforts to End the War

John Kerry appeared on Fox News Sunday, and the efforts to begin a withdrawal were discussed. This portion of the transcript begins with discussion of the fact that those supporting withdrawal are short of the necessary votes:

KERRY: Well, actually, Chris, we’re 19 votes short because you need 67 to overcome the veto. And there would be a veto. We all understand that.

But last summer when I brought that resolution to the floor, I got 13 votes, 48-13. That is an enormous change in a very short time.

And what we’ve learned in the great fights of the Senate and historically in this country is you have to keep fighting. You keep trying.

The Civil Rights Act didn’t pass immediately. Important pieces of legislation take time. We will change this policy over time.

But the reason I wanted to interrupt you there is because you and others in the media, and particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, continually characterize the plan we put forward as a complete withdrawal of all the troops and as a precipitous withdrawal.

It is not a complete withdrawal. It specifically allows the president the discretion to leave troops there, to complete the task of training the Iraqis, and that is fundamentally all we ought to be there for.

It allows the president to leave troops there to chase Al Qaeda and prosecute the War on Terror, and it allows him to leave troops to protect American facilities and forces.

Now, six years into the war, really, what more could you want for our troops to be doing? This has got to — this debate has to be real, not a straw man debate where you set up a phony deal which is precipitous and complete withdrawal. It’s a responsible plan that allows us…

WALLACE: Senator?

KERRY: … to stay positioned against Iran and do what we need to protect American interests.

WALLACE: Senator, let me just say for the record, I never said it was a complete withdrawal or a precipitous…

KERRY: Yes, you did. If you go back and look at the transcript, you said all the troops out.

WALLACE: Well, but I never said a complete or precipitous — I also said that it was a goal, not an absolute deadline. But you’re right. It is not a complete withdrawal.

Update: A Daily Kos diary by Beechmom catches Fox at altering the transcript.


  1. 1
    beachmom says:

    Thanks Ron for the hat tip. I actually couldn’t believe they changed the transcript, as if they weren’t going to get caught if anyone took the time to compare it to the video.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Next time they’ll tamper with the video too!

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