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Statement from John Kerry on Howard Dean's Remarks

Location: Unknown

November  05,  2003

"Howard Dean has finally admitted that his words have caused pain but I am puzzled as to why he does not seem to regret the words that caused the pain.

"Rather than politics as usual, Howard Dean should have taken responsibility for his rhetoric and simply said 'I was wrong.'

"We should not forget that the insensitive and offensive remarks Howard Dean made five days ago were not in a discussion about race in this country but instead as a way of explaining why he told the NRA, in an effort to get their endorsement, that he opposed a federal ban on assault weapons."


MSNBC, approx 1:00 PM, November 5, 2003

Anchor: "Felix, the headlines this morning was Dean offers no apology, so was this a surprise?"

MSNBC Embed Felix Schein: "Well it was a surprise Chris but that being said it was a half apology and half sort of a righteous stand. In fact asked just moments ago, campaign manager Joe Trippi saying 'It's not really an apology, he said what he said I'm going to let those statements stand for themselves.' Pressed again by reporters why he wasn't more outgoing and used the words 'I'm sorry,' Trippi refused to answer that question. So it's somewhat of a political calculation here Chris.  It's not quite an apology. It's halfway there to say the least."

Dr. Dean: "Not only do I have the temperament to be president but I have the honesty to be president.  When I make a mistake, I'm very pleased to apologize for it.  The fact is that a lot of this stuff is about what goes on spinning, and I'm surprised the reporters take the bait all the time.  I've issued one apology, and it was an apology I ought to have issued.  I mischaracterized John Edwards' position in March at the California convention because I didn't know what he had said." [Meet the Press, 6/22/03]

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