John Kerry blasts Fiorina for blasting Boxer

Add 2004 Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to the chorus of party, environmental and other voices knocking Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina for her attack this week on incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s national security record.

Fiorina released a television ad Wednesday mocking Boxer’s 2007 identification of climate change as a national security issues. “Terrorism kills, and Barbara Boxer is worried about the weather,” Fiorina says in the ad.

Boxer – who had been letting most of her Republican rivals’ jibes pass without comment as they duke it out in the primary – jumped all over it, as did the California Democratic Party; Media Matters for America; the Truman National Security Project, “training a new generation of progressives to lead on national security;” and now, Kerry.

Kerry’s comments came in an e-mail soliciting contributions both for Truth Fights Back, his committee that’s “restoring truth to the energy and climate change debate,” and for Boxer’s re-election campaign:

John KerryI had to forward this because some things just can’t be allowed to stand in American politics – you have to do more than respond – you have to make the opposition pay for peddling the kind of malarkey that does our country a disservice. I just got this email from my friend Barbara Boxer in California. She’s under attack for telling the truth: that climate change is a national security issue. Her opponent – how predictable! – says Barbara is “worried about the weather.”

Just last week, you probably remember me fighting this fight with some guy from a conservative “think tank.” Now Barbara is fighting it with her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina. But Carly isn’t just disagreeing with Barbara – she’s mocking the words and findings of the Pentagon, the CIA, analysts in the Bush Administration, generals like Anthony Zinni, Admirals like William Fallon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and, oh, gee, literally hundreds of other national security experts.

Stand up for the truth and hit back in a way that counts: You can click below to give to Barbara’s campaign to help her fight back, and you can click here to help us at TruthFightsBack fight back for the truth everywhere we can.

We’re sending $1 billion a day overseas to feed our oil addiction, repressive states like Iran are using the oil income to fund their schemes, climate change threatens the stability of nations around the globe, and folks like Carly Fiorina talk about the weather. Stand up for a Senate that stands for the truth and debates real issues.

Generals and Admirals stand with Barbara. A bunch of Republican one-line writers stand with Carly. Who are you gonna stand with?

Kerry’s comments aside, the more I think about Fiorina’s ad, the less sense it makes to me. Never mind that it comes from someone who herself said just two years ago that “the issues of climate change and energy independence are inextricably linked,” and also called a cap-and-trade system an effort to “provide the incentives of a private marketplace to encourage people to innovate and also to encourage people to find new ways of reducing their greenhouse emissions. I’m a businessperson, I know that incentives and competition in the private marketplace work.”

No, what bugs me is the ad’s apparent political tone-deafness. She targets Boxer as if she’s already the GOP nominee, yet she’s still tacking pretty far to the right with a stance that’s popular in next week’s primary but probably won’t get her very far with the independent voters she’ll need in order to beat Boxer come November.

True, by calling out Boxer before the primary, Fiorina got Boxer and the rest to respond to her as the presumptive nominee – but that could be what Boxer wants. Fiorina is better-funded than either of her GOP rivals, but a lot of analysts believe Tom Campbell would pose a bigger threat to Boxer by attracting more independents with his somewhat more moderate social stances. “Tom Campbell is Barbara Boxer’s worst nightmare,” Center for Governmental Studies President Bob Stern told the Los Angeles Times this week. And indeed, at least one recent, prominent poll showed Campbell as the only Republican defeating Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up.

Sure, this and other polls show Fiorina surging and Campbell fading in next week’s primary, but Fiorina’s ad might’ve let Boxer go a little way toward choosing her general-election opponent. Only time will tell whom this ad helped the most.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Did you know that John Kerry served in Viet Nam?

    This is what makes him such an expert on national security.

    He was wounded three times:

    Shaving cut, hangnail, and a pimple on his ass.

  • Josh Richman

    Still repeating 2004’s myths, eh, Elwood?

  • Common Tater

    Josh, say what? You mean that John Kerry really didn’t serve in Viet Nam. I always thought that was a myth…

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Ms Boxer: Call me Senator. I worked hard to earn this title.
    General: I risked my life and limb. Does that count for anything?

  • Elwood

    Re: #2

    The American people saw through Kerry in a New York minute just as most readers of this forum can see through your liberal bias Josh. Your myths are thinking people’s facts.

    The dimmiecrat party’s death wish must have been raging when they nominated Kerry. My grandmother could have beaten George W. Bush, and she’d been dead for 30 years.

    There aren’t enough apologists in the world to cover up that **** up.

  • Josh Richman

    There’s no denying he was a lousy candidate, Elwood, but when it comes to his war record, I linked to the facts and you brought the grade-school playground taunts – as usual.

  • Tony Quinn

    I just returned from two weeks in England and Switzerland. Europe is in an economic meltdown that may destroy its common currency and its banking system. They are now much more skeptical about “climate change” than they were before the East Anglia scandal. This was the last issue people cared about in the recent UK election. Californians are no longer willing to risk our economy over climate change; in fact, this is the issue that may defeat Brown and Boxer.

  • Karen Suarez

    Thank you Senator Kerry,
    Senator Boxer is a fighter for the people, by the people. I sure hope Californians do not vote against the peoples interest and buy Fiorina’s one liners. Fiorina has only billionaires interests in mind. She will advocate for outsourcing jobs, that benefit multinational corporations that office over seas, and pay no taxes here. Put USA first! Vote Barbara Boxer!

  • Elwood

    Re: #6

    The “facts” you link to are highly dubious as usual, Josh.

    Brinkley noted that as in the previous case “Kerry’s wound was not serious enough to require time off from duty” –Snopes

    Look at the “sources” for the Snopes piece, Josh. Highly dubious and of questionable objectivity. But then these “facts” fit your world view, so obviously you’re right, and any one who questions your wisdom is using “grade-school playground taunts”. It must be wonderful to know you’re always right.

  • Elwood

    Re: #8

    Karen, do you also believe in fairies?

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    The only thing Senator Boxer is willing to fight for is her re-election. Having said that, she has lots of company in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Re No.6: Mr Richman, be civil to your interlocutors.

  • bbox231

    Those who would dare to challenge the integrity of any individual who enters into harms way in defense of our country completely discredit the political position they argue for.

    These same folks can, at once, choose to minimize the integrity of this individuals’ war record – -But CHOOSE to overlook the fundamentals that HOWEVER minimal the wounds were, the man and his crew were under fire !!! – – ever been under fire smElwood ??? (didn’t think so) – and while that in and of itself, may not qualify this individual for political office, it was indeed a sacrifice he made in defense of this country.

    I speculate that these very same political factions choose to overlook much more blatant and certain lack of political integrity within their own party as they look beyond the obvious denial of political responsibility and a proverbial thumbing of a nose at the democratic process by one Meg Whitman –

    You know – when she for YEARS, refused to actively participate in the very process she now claims to want to lead ??? There can not be a better example of “U-turn” politics. A record which has no associated vaguery (unlike that of Mr. Kerry).

    How two-faced.

    How dare you dishonor and call into question the integrity of any individual who has stepped onto the field of battle – – to perform ANY task !

  • Josh Richman

    RR – it wasn’t my intent to be uncivil, merely to challenge falsehood.

    Elwood, if it seems to you as if I’m always trying to be right, perhaps that’s because you so often insist on being demonstrably wrong.

    As I said before, I agree with your opinion that Kerry turned out to be a terrible candidate to whom the electorate certainly didn’t warm. However, the Purple Heart is awarded (per page 40 of this PDF document) to servicemembers wounded or killed in action, with a wound defined as “an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent” and examples of enemy-related injuries including those “caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile created by enemy action.” Also, “(a) physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.”

    He was wounded, he was treated, the records exist, so it doesn’t matter a whit whether “Kerry’s wound was not serious enough to require time off from duty.” In fact, he acknowledged as much; had you read the page to which I directed you, you’d have seen: “Asked about the severity of the wounds, Kerry said that one of them cost him about two days of service, and the other two did not interrupt his duty. ‘Walking wounded,’ as Kerry put it.” Admiral Zumwalt said such minor injuries, and the Purple Hearts that accompanied them, were commonplace among troops doing the type of duty that Kerry did.

    Yet you characterize Kerry’s shrapnel injuries as a “(s)having cut, hangnail, and a pimple on his ass.” Perhaps, Elwood, you’d be kind enough to share with our readers – particularly with the veterans out there – when and where you served and were wounded in combat, the circumstances that have made you so cavalier about denigrating others who did. (For the record: I never served, but I’d sure as hell think twice about insulting those who did and do.)

    As for sources deemed “(h)ighly dubious and of questionable objectivity,” I find the testimony of those who were there (plus that of Zumwalt, who signed the citation for Kerry’s Bronze Star following the same incident in which he received his third Purple Heart) given to a major news organization much more compelling than that of those solicited by a campaign organization founded and heavily bankrolled by Kerry’s political enemies 35 years after the fact. (Or, for that matter, of those who still repeat it six years later, even after such thorough debunking; it’s like reading comments from someone who believes the moon landing was faked.)

    I’m certain none of this will convince you of anything, Elwood; per all our previous dialogues, you’ve never let logic, research and facts get in the way of a good insult – a fine definition of the bias of which you so often accuse me. That’s OK, it’s your prerogative. But it’s my job to correct blatant mistruths sometimes posted here, just as it’s your hobby to be our pre-eminent blog troll.

  • Elwood

    Josh, blatant mistruths are opinions which don’t agree with yours

    Trolls serve a valuable function: Cutting through the bullshit of people like you.

    Good luck in your career.

  • bbox231

    Didn’t think so . . .. .


  • Truthclubber

    Hellwad is a typical American fascist in the same mold as Karl Rove — his motto and MO is:

    Never let the facts get in the way of my spreading as much hate, fear and mistrust as I can with my lies.

    Or, as we learned during the maladmistration of “43”, “the only thing we have to fear…is (the misuse of) fear itself.”

    Thank God we liberals got the vote for women, the vote for (as Hellwad would call them) coloreds, an end to child labor abuse, the right to collectively bargain, and maintained the right to a fair and speedy trial by our peers — all of which clearly caused American fascists like Hellwad much intestinal gas…while he sat on the sidelines and never served a single day in our military forces he is so willing to piss on.

  • Elwood

    Ah, dear Truthclubber. Won’t you please point out my lies? Merely saying that I’m a liar simply points out that you’re a fool.

    And, oh, by the way, to all you facile liars out there, I did serve, which is probably more than can be said for you.

  • Truthclubber

    Hellwad and others of his ilk — Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck, Palin, Bachmann, just to name a few — are your new American fascists — ready and eager to use the tactics of fear, hatred, and mistrust to practice the politics of division and bigotry — something Rove took to the mountaintop with his re-election campaign of “43”, and what McFail tried to do back in 2008, only to find that “Mooseburger” Palin was too far beyond the pale for the average American voter to swallow.

    Note how Hellwad doesn’t actively dispute any of this — rather, he desperately wants to ignore it, trys constantly to discredit its claimant on this blog (me) and, like the others I listed, hopes he doesn’t get tagged by it — the “f” word.

    For several decades these folks have tried to demonize the “l” word — liberal — to the point that many weak-kneed liberals (unlike John F. Kennedy, for example) are hiding behind the new and improved (sarcasm) “progressive” skirt.

    What will work a lot better than retreat is attack against their tactics — which are the tools of fascists — and call them what they are — fascists.

    They try to hide behind the skirt of “conservative” — but that is total crap. Barry Goldwater was a conservative, Ronald Reagan was a conservative, even Alan Simpson of Wyoming is a conservative — but these jackals are nothing like those statesmen with whom I disagree with on many social issues — these aforementioned jackals are your new American fascists, pure and simple.

    It scares the crap out of these folks to conceive of the possibility that they might get tagged with a word that is ALREADY demonized and has been for the better part of a century — fascist — and that is precisely what those of us who are not going to put up with this divisive, fearmongering, hateful crap need to do — call them out as what they are — fascists.

  • Truthclubber

    P.S. For Hellwad to now come out from behind his figleaf and desperately proclaim “I am NOT a fascist!” is just too remarkably like Nixon standing on the front lawn of the White House, Marine helicopter in the background, both arms in the air, V signs formed by each hand, and proclaiming “I am NOT a crook!”

  • John W

    Anybody who disparages the service of anybody who has served this country honorably for one day in combat, regardless of political affiliation, is a complete lowlife. These are people who think patriotism is wearing a flagpin and having a “support our troops” bumper sticker.

  • John W

    The back and forth over Carly’s comments is just normal politics. But it was a pretty stupid statement on her part and will haunt her in the general election. Whether or not one believes mankind is contributing to climate change, the fact of climate change itself is undeniable. As was pointed out in some of the responses to Carly, the Pentagon and other agencies responsible for long-term national security strategy have long focused on global climate change and its geopolitical and economic implications as one of the major threats to global stability and America’s national security. And, as Josh pointed out, her statements completely contradict her previous public statements on the matter.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    “Why can’t we all just get along?”–Rodney King, L.A. activist

    I haven’t seen the word “fascist” so many times in print since the “Daily Worker” was in its heyday.

  • Elwood

    It’s Truthclubber’s favorite word, applied to anyone slightly to the right of Karl Marx.

    I think he has an orgasm every time he uses it.

  • Truthclubber

    “Arr, Arr” wishes we could all get along after we’ve been beaten by fascist LAPD cops bent on squashing any and all resistance (real or otherwise) from (as he and Hellwad would call them) coloreds — if only dictatorial rule by the nobles were as easy as they would like it to be.

    As for Hellwad, well, never let the facts get in the way of a good lie, but I’ll try:

    1) Ronald Reagan was “slightly to the right of Karl Marx.”

    2) Ronald Reagan was not in my mind, nor anyone’s mind, a new American fascist like “Arr, Arr”, “Hellwad”, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or Michelle Bachmann, just to name a few new American fascists.

    Note, dear readers, how much (as I predicted) they fight to evade the tag without outright denying it — because then they would have to deny what fascism is and how their tactics line up so well with same — such as “don’t call me a rapist as I screw you again and again without permission — the truth is ‘you wanted it’ or ‘you deserved it’…my behavior is NOT to be questioned!”

    Hellwad (fascist) wishes he (fascist) had an (fascist) orgasm every (fascist) time I use that (fascist) word — not like he’s gotten any lately (it shows, believe me!) and I’ll bet he even wishes he had an orgasm everytime I do…

    Note to fellow liberals: The next time you are arguing with one of these troglodytes about social policy and they shout “you’re just a f’ing liberal!”, shout back at them “you’re just a f’ing fascist!” — and then follow that shout with “and don’t hide behind that crap that you’re merely a conservative — real conservatives (feel free to name some as I have) don’t divide their country with hatred, fear and mistrust the way you and your ilk do!”

    Tag them with the “f” word big-time — as you see from “Arr, Arr” and “Hellwad”‘s latest comments, they are scared crapless that they will indeed get tagged that way — and they know from their tactics that THEY CAN’T ESCAPE THAT TAG.

  • Elwood

    Professional help is available for your problem.

    You should seek some, ASAP.

  • Truthclubber

    See, fellow liberals? It works — call these a-holes what they really are and they completely shut down any efforts to argue on the merits of the argument — because they know that it’s not the merits that they are counting on, it’s their tactics of spewing fear, hatred and mistrust, just like Frank Luntz has schooled them.

    Example? Re: #26 — a classic “when you can’t possibly succeed in discrediting the message, try to discredit the messenger” move.

    Geez Louise, Hellwad — did you graduate from Debate 101 just now?

    Or sadder still, did you think no one would notice that?

    Note to fellow liberals: This is how you deal with these a-holes who just won’t stop trying to tear this country apart with their tactics of fomenting fear, hatred and mistrust — you call them to their face what they are — fascists.

    You see from the above (#26 response) how, as far as their original arguments go, they STFU instantly on the merits rather than continue in light of that label and risk having it (the “f” word) REALLY stick to them as they have nothing but tactics to rely on.

    P.S. Thanks, Hellwad — I didn’t know that caring for my country AND my democracy was “a problem”. I think I’ll seek out some professional help at my local polling place today…

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Fomenting fear, hatred and mistrust, as practiced by Truthie. See #17, et seq.

  • Elwood

    Two good survival tips:

    Never look gorillas in the eye.

    Never argue with crazy people.

  • bbox231

    What an excellent synopsis of everything that is wrong and dysfunctional in our political system today.

    Busy focusing on political and personal traits and characteristics.

    Busy ignoring real issues.

    Put that same energy into discussing solutions to some problems – or, in Elwood’s case maybe think about re-upping and helping out the boys and girls in uniform who will be glad to show you a little respect for anyone who has taken hostile fire.