My arm is getting tired from smacking fish in a barrel. The Meet the Press transcript of Tim Russert's interview with John Kerry certainly is fertile ground.
MR. RUSSERT: Let me see if I can clean up a comment that you made in March that created an awful lot of controversy and stir. "I have met more leaders who can't go out and say it publicly but, boy, they look at you and say, `You gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy'--things like that. So there is enormous energy out there. Tell them, wherever they can find an American abroad, they can contribute."
The Washington Times added this: "Although Mr. Kerry indicated that he had met in person with foreign leaders who privately endorsed him, he has made no official trips abroad in the past two years. Within the United States, he has had the chance to meet with only one foreign leader since the beginning of last year, according to a review of his travel schedule."
Specifically, which foreign leaders have you met with who told you that you should beat George Bush?
SEN. KERRY: Tim, first of all, that is an inaccurate assessment of how I might or where I might be able to meet or talk to a foreign leader, number one.
MR. RUSSERT: But you have talked to foreign leaders who told you...
SEN. KERRY: Number--Tim, what I said is true. I mean, you can go to New York City and you can be in a restaurant and you can meet a foreign leader.
OK, I've got to stop for a second here and say that this is the lamest thing I've heard out of Kerry since his campaign claimed that a virus was responsible for the obscenities on his website. Back to the transcript:
There are plenty of places to meet people without traveling abroad. Number two, I'm under no obligation--I would be stupid if I were to sit here and start saying, "Well, so-and-so told me this," because they have dealings with this administration. This administration doesn't talk about its private conversations, and nor will I. I invite you, I invite The Washington Times editorial, go to European, go to foreign capitals, travel in the world. Talk to any American businessman who has been abroad, talk to any of our colleagues who've traveled abroad, and the conversations they've had. Never has the United States of America been held in as low a regard internationally--and polls have shown this--as we are today. We're not trusted and this administration is not liked.
MR. RUSSERT: So you stand by your statement, you met with foreign leaders who told you...
SEN. KERRY: I stand by my statement.
OK now remember back to when this was a top issue. John Kerry disputed the word, "met," saying that he had said, "heard," instead. This prompted the reporter who quoted him to review the tape of the interview and determine that Kerry had said, "I've met more leaders who can't go out and say it all publicly." [bold mine]
More. Not, foreign. Not heard. Kerry never made the statement he is still standing by. What does this tell you about the man?
Read this for the whole history of the quote.