A Democratic strategist outside the campaign said the thinking appeared to be to get the candidate out to speak about the mounting Swift Boat Veterans for Truth controversy before the Republican Convention.
“I don’t know if they are thinking a full-blown mea culpa from Kerry, but that seems to be the way some people are thinking,” says the strategist. “He wouldn’t use the words ‘I’m sorry’ in speaking about his actions after Vietnam here at home. But he would seek to try to put this thing to rest.”
Swift Veterans for Truth have pointed to Kerry’s antiwar activities as a reason for their campaign. But they have also pointed to Kerry’s use of a fancified military record.
Kerry appeared on “Meet the Press” earlier this year, and at the time made a statement that appeared to be an indirect apology to veterans he might have offended with his activities in 1970. During that appearance he said he might have allowed his anger and frustration to get the best of him. But he stopped short of making any formal apology or admission that he was wrong for taking such a public stance against the war.
Kerry advisers are said by some to be alarmed at how quickly the Swift Boat story has spun out of their control. Not only is campaign staff now furiously trying to keep up with the Swift Boat story, but there are mounting inquiries coming into the campaign about Kerry’s Purple Heart awards and the citations for his two other medals, one of which was re-written and expanded by then-Secretary of the Navy John Lehman around 1986.
“As long as Kerry wouldn’t be followed by a Swift Boater on the show my guess is that the campaign would like to try to get this thing dead and buried before the convention. The New York speech today [Tuesday] doesn’t appear to have done much to help them,” says the strategist.p> HELL’S ANGEL br> Could Sen.
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