Kerry blames election loss on Sept. 11 attacks; Papers hold story

John Byrne

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A story authored by Cox News' Ken Herman which revealed that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) blamed 9/11 for costing him the 2004 presidential election seems to have been ignored by the news service's clients, RAW STORY can reveal.

Cox Washington Bureau chief Andy Alexander confirmed the story had moved to the wires.

"It went out to all sixteen Cox papers," he said.


Asked whether stories filed by the Washington bureau sometimes don't make it into print, he said, "It occasionally happens. The decisions on what to publish are made by the member papers."

Cox News owns the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Austin American Statesman, among other papers.

Because the story didn't move in print, RAW STORY has decided to release the embargoed copy in full (which we'll happy pull if we can find a link to the story posted anywhere), acquired from a member paper. If you spot the story elsewhere, please shoot the link to [email protected]


Cox News Service (WASHINGTON) - Standing outside the big white government mansion he had hoped to call home, Sen. John Kerry on Thursday offered a terse assessment of how he lost last year's election to a president whose approval ratings are now in the tank.

"9/11," Kerry said without hesitation.

The Massachusetts Democrat refused further analysis. "No assessments," he said as he walked down the White House driveway. "This is not the time and place for it."

Just before his parting shot, however, Kerry - who had been invited to the White House complex to watch President Bush sign a resolution calling for a Rosa Parks statue at the Capitol - had deemed it the proper time and place for sharp criticism of the man who defeated him in November 2004.

"I think that the American people have serious questions, not just about the policy in Iraq but about what's happening here at home with respect to the cost of health care, the cost of gasoline, fuel, what is not happening in our schools," he said when asked about Bush's low poll numbers.

"There are a series of critical issues. America's ability to compete in the world, that has a lot of Americans unsettled," Kerry said. "Thousands of jobs are being lost in Detroit, tens of thousands. Pensions are being taken away from people who had an expectation for a secure retirement, and there isn't a response."

It adds up to, he said, "a sense of questioning" from people who perceive an "absence of the kind of response people expect from their leadership."

Asked if he spends much time wondering how he lost to a president now mired in low poll numbers, Kerry said, "No. I know how I lost."

Kerry and Bush shook hands three times during the signing ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. At the event, he said his differences with Bush are "not personal."

"It's about a difference of opinion in a democratic process. I think he respects that and I respect that," he said.

Kerry previously has talked about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks' impact on the 2004 election. On NBC's "Meet the Press" in January, Kerry said "that 9/11 was the central deciding issue in this race."

White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy stood among reporters and scribbled notes as Kerry spoke at the White House driveway microphones where visitors talk to reporters. The administration's only on-the-record response to Kerry came from press secretary Scott McClellan, who said Kerry's views on Iraq are "very hard to reconcile."

Kerry had spoken about how the Iraq war might have played out differently if he had been elected.

"I think we would be in a different kind of transformation," he said. "I've laid out what I believe is the plan, and we can't get into a lot of hypotheticals about what would have or wouldn't have been the response."

Kerry has called for the withdrawal of 20,000 U.S. troops after the Dec. 15 Iraqi parliamentary elections. And, while not calling for a timetable for full withdrawal, Kerry backs a "target" for what he calls "transfer of authority" to the Iraqis.

"For instance, we ought to be able to say that within the next two months or three months we're going to transfer the responsibility for the control of Baghdad to Iraqi troops, or by such-and-such a time it is our goal," he said Thursday on NBC's "Today" show.

Originally published on Thursday December 1, 2005


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