FOX's Colmes confronted chair of Swift Boat Vets about the group's partisan tiesJune 2, 2004 7:18 PM EDT ››› ANDREW SEIFTER
Hannity & Colmes co-host Alan Colmes once again confronted a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group founded to discredit Senator John Kerry's record during and after his service in Vietnam. This time, on the May 28 show, Colmes confronted the group's chairperson, Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann, USN (retired); Colmes noted the group's Republican ties and questioned Hoffmann's standing to challenge Kerry given that Hoffmann "had no firsthand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims" and "really didn't know Kerry much personally." (As Media Matters for America reported, Colmes challenged the credibility of the Swift Boat Vets during the May 4 edition of Hannity & Colmes.)
From the May 28 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes:
COLMES: Roy, your group claims to be nonpartisan, but indeed, Merrie Spaeth, who as the spokesperson for your group, is a Republican operative. Clearly, this is an attempt to make sure Kerry doesn't become president. So it seems disingenuous to think that you don't have a political agenda.
HOFFMANN: Well, we do not have a political agenda. We -- we are actually made up of Republicans and Democrats.
Our thesis is just simply that Kerry is not fit to be the commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States. If you review his book, his biography, "Tour of Duty," by Douglas Brinkley, you'll see that he is -- very definitely has a bias against the military and there are all types of outrageous exaggerations...
COLMES: Well, I didn't get that from Doug Brinkley's book, but I want to put up on the screen something that was quoted in the "Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel" [5/6/04] about you just recently.
It said, "Hoffmann," meaning you, "acknowledged that he had," meaning you, "had no firsthand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor and said that although Kerry was under his command he really didn't know Kerry much personally."
Now if that's true, what gives you any credibility now in the heat of a presidential campaign to come after him?
HOFFMANN: Well, I can tell you that I did not know Kerry personally. I didn't ride the boat with him. But I was on many combat missions with boats in the same group against the same enemies at the same time, and I know enough about Kerry to feel very confident that he is not qualified.