In criticizing Senator John Kerry for not being as "declarative" as President George W. Bush of his position on Iraq, MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed on September 28 that Kerry and the Democrats "won't say he [Bush] was wrong" in going to war in Iraq. Matthews should pay closer attention.
Here are some recent quotes from Kerry on the campaign trail:
"Instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan ... the president rushed to a new war in Iraq. That was the wrong choice." [Kerry speech at Temple University, September 24]
"At every critical juncture in Iraq, and in the war on terrorism, the president has made the wrong choice." [Kerry speech at New York University, September 20]
"George W. Bush's wrong choices have led America in the wrong direction in Iraq and left America without the resources we need here at home." [Kerry speech at the Cincinnati Museum Center, September 8]
"[T]he wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." [Kerry at a campaign rally in Racine, West Virginia, Reuters, September 6]
From the September 28 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: [T]hat seems to be the difference between the two candidates. Because George Bush, the president of the United States, defends going to Iraq. He said it was the right and necessary decision to go to war with Iraq. It is hard to get a declarative sentence from the other side that says he was wrong in going to war. He was wrong to go to war. Why is that so hard to get here in this debate? The president says he was right. The Democrats won't say he was wrong.