Post article reported Beauprez's criticism of Kerry's "shameless" comment, omitted actual comment and Kerry's explanation

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The Denver Post repeated Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez's criticism of a comment by Sen. John F. Kerry as "shameless." But the Post did not note what Kerry actually said or his explanation that the remark was a "botched joke" aimed at President Bush.

In a November 3 article about the final campaign push for Colorado's gubernatorial candidates, The Denver Post repeated Republican candidate Bob Beauprez's criticism of U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) for a comment he made at a California campaign rally. The article, by staff writers Chris Frates and Mark P. Couch, reported that Beauprez called Kerry's recent controversial comment "shameless" and said that it demonstrated what Beauprez called "a disdain for our military, a disdain really for America that has permeated that other party." However, the Post article gave no indication as to the content of Kerry's "controversial comments" and failed to note Kerry's explanation, made days earlier, that his remark was a "botched joke" aimed at President Bush, not the military.

As the Post reported, "Beauprez, who has done less traveling in the past two weeks despite lagging poll numbers, was joined by a phalanx of prominent Republicans during stops in Fort Collins, Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Woodland Park." After noting Beauprez's criticisms of his Democratic opponent, Bill Ritter, the Post reported, "In Greeley, he [Beauprez] also called recent controversial comments by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., 'shameless.' " The Post also quoted Beauprez as saying that Kerry's comment demonstrated "a disdain for our military, a disdain really for America that has permeated that other party."

The Associated Press reported on November 1 that, during an October 30 campaign rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, Kerry "stirred controversy when he told a group of California students that individuals who don't study hard and do their homework would likely 'get stuck in Iraq.' " According to an October 31 AP article:

Kerry opened his speech at Pasadena City College with several one-liners, saying at one point that Bush had lived in Texas but now ''lives in a state of denial.''

He then said: ''You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.''

As The Boston Globe reported on November 1, "President Bush joined prominent Republicans yesterday in blasting Senator John F. Kerry for comments they said demeaned the intelligence of US troops, after Kerry gave a speech at a political rally where he said that students who don't perform well 'get stuck in Iraq.' " Kerry later said that his comment was a "botched joke" aimed at President Bush, not the troops. In response to the controversy, members of Kerry's staff provided reporters with what they said were Kerry's prepared remarks for the speech. Those remarks appear to support Kerry's explanation. The Globe reported:

According to Kerry's prepared text, as provided to reporters, Kerry intended to reference Bush in that portion of the speech.

"Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy?" Kerry was to say. "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

The November 1 AP article further reported, "Aides said the senator had mistakenly dropped one word from his prepared remarks, which was originally written to say 'you end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.' In that context, they said, it was clear Kerry was referring to Bush, not to the troops."

In a November 1 statement, Kerry said, "As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop." Kerry added, "I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended."

From the November 3 Denver Post article, "Plains, strain and governorship":

Beauprez, who has done less traveling in the past two weeks despite lagging poll numbers, was joined by a phalanx of prominent Republicans during stops in Fort Collins, Greeley, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Woodland Park. Among those joining Beauprez and running mate Janet Rowland were Gov. Bill Owens, Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and state Treasurer Mike Coffman.

Beauprez slammed the "supposed pro-life" stance of Ritter, who supports fully funding Planned Parenthood emergency contraception, and abortion exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother and fetal anomalies.

He also knocked what he characterized as Ritter's "plan to have a plan to develop a plan" on issues such as health care and transportation.

"This is exactly Democrats' campaign strategy to say and do nothing and trust that the voters are dumb enough to elect people who say and do nothing. Well, I don't think the voters are going to be that dumb," Beauprez said.

In Greeley, he also called recent controversial comments by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., "shameless" and demonstrated what Beauprez called "a disdain for our military, a disdain really for America that has permeated that other party."

On the road, Beauprez was upbeat, saying the base has caught fire in the past few weeks as demonstrated by the increased attention he's getting on the streets.

"Call me nuts, but I've actually enjoyed this campaign," he said. "We're going to win Tuesday night."

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