During a question and answer session after remarks before a minority journalists' convention, Sen. John Kerry yesterday criticized President Bush's actions in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. ABC World News Tonight reported "Kerry's comment. . .was the first time he's criticized the President's actions on September 11th. When Mr. Bush was told about the second plane hitting the World Trade Center, he stayed in front of a class of children in Florida for upwards of seven minutes." Kerry was shown saying, "I would have told those kids very politely, nicely, that the president of the United States had something that he needed to attend to. And I would have attended to it." White House spokesman Scott McClellan shot back, "It is just sad to see Senator Kerry make such a comment, simply for political purposes, about one of the most tragic events in our nation's history." The Bush campaign later said "Kerry was 'taking his cues' from Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11." The Washington Post says Rudolph W. Giuliani "was tapped by the Bush campaign to fire back. 'John Kerry must be frustrated in his campaign if he is armchair-quarterbacking based on cues from Michael Moore,' he said." The Washington Times notes "Kerry made the comments before a packed house at the Unity Conference, a quadrennial gathering of the four largest minority journalism associations, whose major focus this year is how to increase diversity in news bureaus covering national politics and newsrooms in general."
Kerry Draws Cheers, Enthusiastic Response From Minority Journalists Convention. USA Today reports Kerry got an enthusiastic reception from the journalists, noting there was "applause nearly 50 times during his address. There was laughter when he took a shot at the Bush administration by noting that 'just saying there are weapons of mass destruction (in Iraq) doesn't make it so.' He got a standing ovation at the end." President Bush "speaks to the conference today."
Kerry "Slightly Thrown" By Question About Cosby Comments.
The New York Times reports that at the journalists' conference, Kerry "was asked if he thought the comedian Bill Cosby was right in saying recently that African-Americans should take responsibility for their own economic status, incarceration rate and educational shortcomings." Kerry "seemed slightly thrown by the question. After saying that 'all of us are responsible,' he proceeded to suggest that Mr. Bush was more responsible than others, because public schools in black neighborhoods rely largely on property taxes, and because 'the great ethic of the politics of our nation' is to cut taxes and spending, and 'because it's more important to get a tax cut to people earning more than $200,000 a year.'"