Radio host Rush Limbaugh asserted that Senator John Kerry "really doesn't think 3,000 Americans dead in one day is that big a deal, doesn't warrant what we're doing [in the war on terror]. I don't think he thinks that the World Trade Center warrants what we are doing." Limbaugh then appeared to suggest that Kerry would, in fact, wish to prevent 3,000 American deaths on a single day but would be willing to accept smaller numbers of fatalities periodically occurring.
From the October 11 broadcast of the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: I am assuming, based on these two quotes, that John Kerry really doesn't think 3,000 Americans dead in one day is that big a deal, doesn't warrant what we're doing. I don't think he thinks that the World Trade Center warrants what we are doing. Not if he's going to say this. If he's going to say, "We need to get back to where it's a nuisance. We don't want 3,000 Americans dead in one day, maybe 120 every six months or so, but not 3,000 in one day." (transcript)
LIMBAUGH: I think what needs to continue to be said is, "define a nuisance." A nuisance, go back to when terrorism was a nuisance. That's code words for going back to 9-10. Let's go back to the pre-9-11 mentality when occasionally Americans died but not in great numbers. (transcript)
I mean, it didn't change me much at all. It just sort of accelerated, confirmed in me, the urgency of doing the things I thought we needed to be doing. I mean, to me, it wasn't as transformational as it was a kind of anger, a frustration and an urgency that we weren't doing the kinds of things necessary to prevent it and to deal with it.
Asked "what it would take for Americans to feel safe again," Kerry stated:
We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. ... As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.