In Press Conference, Kerry Blasts Bush's UN Speech
After Bush's speech, Sen. Kerry held a press conference in Florida, where he criticized Bush's speech. According to the Washington Times, Kerry "offered an instant rebuttal to President Bush's speech. . . . 'After lecturing them instead of leading them to understand how we are all together with a stake in the outcome of Iraq, I believe the president missed an opportunity of enormous importance for our nation and for the world,' he said." ABC World News Tonight showed the Democratic nominee saying, "He has no credibility with foreign leaders who hear him come before them and talk as if everything is going well." Once again, "Kerry was at pains to explain why if he thinks Iraq is such a mess, he voted to give Bush authority to go to war. But this time, he boiled it down to just two sentences." Kerry: "My vote was a vote to do this the right way. And had I been president, we would have done this the right way."
While Kerry also addressed the issue of health care in Florida, television and print media focused virtually all of its coverage on the senator's comments on Iraq. Local TV was no exception. Local newscasts termed Kerry's response to Bush's speech "strong" and "heated," and many noted his portrayal of the President's address as a "missed opportunity". WJXX-TV of Jacksonville reported, "There were a lot of strong words from John Kerry today about President Bush." Kerry "told the crowd here today, he does not believe the President has been truthful with the American people." KPLR-TV of St. Louis noted Kerry held "his first news conference in six weeks." The Florida Times-Union says "there was standing room only in the auditorium of the Prime Osborn Center" in Jacksonville as Kerry took the stage for his press conference. The room "seats about 700 people. Several times in his speech Kerry received a standing ovation."
In Remarks After Speech, Bush Says Kerry Not Credible.
After his speech, Bush also answered a few question posed by journalists. Asked to react to Kerry's speech, CBS Evening News says the President "ripped" the Massachusetts senator's "statement Monday that he would not have invaded Iraq. 'Absurd,' the President said." Bush: "My opponent has taken so many different positions on Iraq his statements are hardly credible at all."
Bush Said To Mischaracterize Kerry Statement On Saddam.
ABC World News Tonight last night analyzed the following Bush statement: "We agree that the world is better off with Saddam Hussein sitting in a prison cell. And that stands in stark contrast to the statement my opponent made yesterday, when he said that the world was better off with Saddam in power. I strongly disagree." ABC's Peter Jennings said, "We were struck today by a very pointed attack by President Bush on John Kerry," adding, "This is what Mr. Kerry actually said." Kerry: "Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, who deserves his own special place in hell. But that was not that was not in and of itself, a reason to go to war. The satisfaction that we take in his downfall, does not hide this fact that we have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure." Jennings commented, "Trying to keep track of the Iraq debate."
Annan Equates Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse With Beheadings, Sudan Atrocities.
In his own speech to the General Assembly, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan seemed to equate prisoner abuses by US forces at an Iraqi prison with atrocities committed in the world in the last year. The Los Angeles Times says "Annan delivered one direct strike at Washington on Tuesday. Listing a 'few flagrant and topical examples' of shameless disregard for law, Annan mentioned 'Iraqi prisoners disgracefully abused' along with atrocities in Sudan, beheadings in Iraq and the bloody school takeover in Beslan, Russia." The New York Times, meanwhile, quotes Annan saying, "Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it." He also "noted pointedly that 'even the necessary fight against terrorism is allowed to encroach unnecessarily on civil liberties.'"