CNN's Inside Politics host Judy Woodruff misrepresented a statement Senator John Kerry made during his September 20 speech at New York University (NYU). During an interview with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Woodruff claimed that when Kerry said "my answer is no," he was responding, as Woodruff put it, "to the question whether he [Kerry] would do again what he did before: authorize that the U.S. should have invaded Iraq." In reality, Kerry was answering "no" to a different question entirely; further, in his NYU speech, Kerry stood by his vote giving President George W. Bush the authority to use force in Iraq.
From the September 20 edition of Inside Politics:
WOODRUFF: Well, today, John Kerry said, among other things, he said, "I -- my answer is no" to the question whether he would do again what he did before: authorize that the U.S. should have invaded Iraq, given -- knowing now what the circumstances were then, whereas one month ago John Kerry said he would have voted for the authority to go to war in Iraq. This doesn't seem to be consistent.
A look at Kerry's NYU speech reveals that he was answering "no" to an entirely different question than what Woodruff reported:
KERRY: Yet today, President [George W.] Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no -- because a commander in chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.
Contrary to Woodruff's assertion, in his NYU speech Kerry actually reaffirmed his vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq -- the same vote Woodruff falsely claimed that he recanted:
KERRY: Two years ago, Congress was right to give the president the authority to use force to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. This president -- any president -- would have needed the threat of force to act effectively. This president misused that authority.