CBS's Schieffer picked up false GOP talking point; claimed Kerry "laid out no agenda" for IraqJuly 19, 2004 2:20 PM EDT ››› JEREMY CLUCHEY
On Face the Nation on July 18, CBS host Bob Schieffer echoed Republican Party talking points in questioning Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and falsely asserted that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) "really has laid out no agenda" on Iraq. Joining McAuliffe as a guest on the show was Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.
From the July 18 edition of CBS's Face the Nation:
SCHIEFFER: [to McAuliffe] Don't you have to say more in answer to "What are we gonna do about Iraq?" Don't you have to do more than just say "I'm a Vietnam veteran"? Because he [Kerry] really has laid out no agenda about how to make this situation better than it is.
Kerry has laid out a plan for creating a stable Iraq: It is called "A Strategy for Success in Iraq," and anyone, including Schieffer, may read the plan on Kerry's website. Kerry's plan calls on the president to "[m]ake Iraq a part of NATO's global mission"; to "[a]uthorize a high commissioner for governance and reconstruction"; and to "[l]aunch a massive effort to build an Iraqi security force." He outlined this agenda in an April 30 speech in Missouri, titled "This Moment in Iraq is a Moment of Truth." As Knight Ridder Newspapers reported that day, Kerry's speech detailed his three-point "Strategy for Success in Iraq" -- a strategy, according to the paper, "that he's stressed for months."
So why did Schieffer claim that Kerry's only response to the question "What are we gonna do about Iraq?" has been to say "I'm a Vietnam veteran"? When Schieffer asserted that Kerry "really has laid out no agenda about how to make this situation better than it is," he was either unaware that Kerry has an agenda on Iraq, or he was inserting his own opinion of Kerry's agenda into the interview.