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Kerry: I'm prepared to kick Swift Boat's ass

Published: Thursday September 14, 2006

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Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) doesn't believe that Hillary Clinton has the inside track on the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and says he would vigorously defend himself against new attacks by the Swift Boat team, according to an interview with The Examiner.

"Iím prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other," said Kerry, in a strong hint that he intends to run for president once again.

In response to wide talk of Sen. Clinton (D-NY) being the favorite for the Democrats in 2008, Kerry says, "I donít buy it. ... I donít care what the dominant, conventional wisdom is today; it will not be the dominant, conventional wisdom in a year."

Excerpts of the interview and article, available here, follow:


Kerry says the only reason he didnít compete in more states in 2004 was that he ran out of money. He says this was also the reason he did not adequately respond to a series of devastating TV ads by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, a group that questioned Kerryís service in Vietnam and criticized his later opposition to the war.

"Iím prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other," he declares. "I am so confident of my abilities to address that and to demolish it and to even turn it into a positive."

Kerryís tough talk triggers laughter from John OíNeill, a fellow Vietnam veteran who helped found Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth and wrote a blistering 2004 book on Kerry, Unfit for Command.

"Well, heís got eight times as much time to prepare for us as he spent in Vietnam," says OíNeill, referring to Kerryís short tour of duty.