Bloomberg reports that Kerry, responding to criticism from President Bush that Kerry has changed position on Iraq, told supporters he's been "consistent:"
"The Bush folks are trying to say that we've changed positions, this and that," Kerry told a rally at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas yesterday. "I have been consistent all along, ladies and gentlemen."
Kerry voted Against the use of force in Iraq (S. J. Res. 2, CQ Vote #2: Passed 52-47: R 42-2; D 10-45, 1/12/91, Kerry Voted Nay)
ABC’S COKIE ROBERTS: "Senator Kerry, that was something you voted against ... was that Persian Gulf war."
SEN. JOHN KERRY: "I voted against the timing of it, Cokie. I said very clearly in my statement on the Senate floor that I was committed to getting Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait ... and that I was prepared to go to war if it took that ..." (ABC’s "Nightline," 11/27/95)
KERRY: "So clearly the allies may not like it, and I think that’s our great concern - where’s the backbone of Russia, where’s the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity, but in a sense, they’re now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up on this if there is not compliance by Iraq." (CNN’s "Crossfire," 11/12/97)
KERRY: "I think there is a disconnect between the depth of the threat that Saddam Hussein presents to the world and what we are at the moment talking about doing. ... [T]hen we have to be prepared to go the full distance, which is to do everything possible to disrupt his regime and to encourage the forces of democracy."
ABC’S COKIE ROBERTS: "And does that mean ground troops in Iraq?"
KERRY: "I am personally prepared, if that’s what it meant."
KERRY: "[H]e can rebuild both chemical and biological. And every indication is, because of his deception and duplicity in the past, he will seek to do that. So we will not eliminate the problem for ourselves or for the rest of the world with a bombing attack."
KERRY: "[I] believe he is the kind of threat that has been described. I believe that in the post-Cold War period this issue of proliferation, particularly in the hands of Saddam Hussein, is critical. It has implications for a Qaddafi, for a Sudan, for other countries in the world in the future."
GEORGE WILL: "Senator Kerry, you’re way ahead of the commander in chief in this regard."
KERRY: "I am way ahead of the commander in chief, and I’m probably way ahead of my colleagues and certainly of much of the country. But I believe this. I believe that he has used these weapons before. He has invaded another country. He views himself as a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar. He wants to continue to play the uniting critical role in that part of the world. And I think we have to stand up to that." (ABC’s "This Week," 2/22/98)
SEN. JOHN KERRY: "[I]t is something that we know-for instance, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and there is some evidence of their efforts to try to secure these kinds of weapons and even test them." (CBS’ "Face The Nation," 9/23/01)
KERRY: "He is and has acted like a terrorist, and he has engaged in activities that are unacceptable." - KERRY: "[I] think we ought to put the heat on Saddam Hussein. I’ve said that for a number of years, Bill. I criticized the Clinton administration for backing off of the inspections, when Ambassador Butler was giving us strong evidence that we needed to continue. I think we need to put the pressure on, no matter what the evidence is about September 11 ..." (Fox News’ "The O’Reilly Factor," 12/11/01)
KERRY: "I think we clearly have to keep the pressure on terrorism globally. This doesn’t end with Afghanistan by any imagination. And I think the president has made that clear. I think we have made that clear. Terrorism is a global menace. It’s a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein." (CNN’s "Larry King Live," 12/14/01)
MSNBC’S CHRIS MATTHEWS: "Do you think that the problem we have with Iraq is real and it can be reduced to a diplomatic problem? Can-can we get this guy to accept inspections of those weapons of mass destruction potentially and get past a possible war with him?"
KERRY: "Outside chance, Chris. Could it be done? The answer is yes. But he would view himself only as buying time and playing a game, in my judgment. Do we have to go through that process? The answer is yes. We’re precisely doing that. And I think that’s what Colin Powell did today."
KERRY: "September 11th. I mean, that’s changed the dynamic of this country and - and, I think, people’s perceptions of what people are willing to do." (MSNBC’s "Hardball," 2/5/02)
KERRY: "And I think we’ve all reached a judgment that obviously the United States has to protect our national security interests. And we have to do what we think is right." (Fox News’ "The O’Reilly Factor," 5/22/02)
KERRY: "I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq ..." "... Saddam Hussein is a renegade and outlaw who turned his back on the tough conditions of his surrender put in place by the United Nations in 1991." - (Senator John Kerry, Speech To The 2002 DLC National Conversation, New York, NY, 7/29/02)
KERRY: "If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement ..." "...even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act." - Sen. John Kerry, Op-Ed The New York Times 9/6/02 (Sen. John Kerry, Op-Ed, "We Still Have A Choice On Iraq," The New York Times, 9/6/02)
KERRY: "I would disagree with John McCain that it’s the actual weapons of mass destruction he may use against us, it’s what he may do in another invasion of Kuwait or in a miscalculation about the Kurds or a miscalculation about or particularly Israel. Those are the things that - that I think present the greatest danger. He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat." (CBS’ "Face The Nation," 9/15/02)
KERRY: "But the president, as I also wrote in that article, always reserves the right to act unilaterally protect [sic] the interests of our country." (MSNBC’s "Hardball," 9/17/02)
Iraq War Resolution 10/11/02 (H.J. Res. 114, CQ Vote #237: Passed 77-23: R 48-1; D 29-21; I 0-1, 10/11/02, Kerry Voted Yea)
KERRY: "George, I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him." (ABC News Democrat Presidential Candidates Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/3/03)
KERRY: "And the fact is, in the resolution that we passed, we did not empower the President to do regime change." (NBC’s "Meet The Press," 8/31/03)
KERRY: "I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations." (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Announcement Of Candidacy, Patriot’s Point, SC, 9/2/03)
KERRY: "But the president and his advisors did not do almost anything correctly in the walk-up to the war. They rushed to war. They were intent on going to war. They did not give legitimacy to the inspections. We could have still been doing inspections even today, George." (ABC’s "This Week," 10/12/03)
LOS ANGELES TIMES’ DOYLE McMANUS: "If that amendment does not pass, will you then vote against the $87 billion?" KERRY: "I don’t think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That’s irresponsible. What is responsible is for the administration to do this properly now. And I am laying out the way in which the administration could unite the American people, could bring other countries to the table, and I think could give the American people a sense that they’re on the right track. There’s a way to do this properly. But I don’t think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. We’re not going to cut and run and not do the job." (CBS’ "Face The Nation," 9/14/03)
Kerry Voted NAY S. 1689 10/17/03 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan Security & Reconstruction (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400: Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11; I 0-1, 10/17/03, Kerry Voted Nay)
MSNBC’S CHRIS MATTHEWS: "Are you one of the anti-war candidates?"
KERRY: "I am - Yeah." (MSNBC’s "Hardball," 1/6/04) )
KERRY: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it ..." (Glen Johnson, "Kerry Blasts Bush On Protecting Troops," The Boston Globe, 3/17/04)
CBS’ LESLIE STAHL: "You voted for this war. Was that vote, given what you know now, a mistake?" KERRY: "What - what - what I voted for - Lesley, you - you - you see, you’re playing here. What - what I voted for was a - an authority for the president to go to war as a last resort if Saddam Hussein did not disarm and we needed to go to war." STAHL: "But I’m trying to find out if you today, now that you know about that report, think the war was a mistake? And I ..." KERRY: "I think I answered your question. I think the way he went to war was a mistake." (CBS’ "60 Minutes," 7/11/04)
CBS’ DAN RATHER: "Voted for the war, but now didn’t vote for the money to finance the war." KERRY: "That’s not a flip-flop. That’s not a flip-flop." (CBS’ "Evening News," 7/21/04)The above quotes are from the RNC's "Kerry Iraq Documentary Backgrounder" script and fact sheet.
Last Friday, Bush challenged Kerry to answer yes or no to the question of whether he would support the war "knowing what we know now" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction that U.S. and British officials were certain were there.
In response, Kerry said: "Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have. (Washington Post via the Atalanta Journal Constitution "Kerry says Bush was right to invade Iraq" 8/10/04)
I guess it all depends on what the meaning of consistent is. According to Websters:
marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity : free from variation or contradiction
Voted against the Iraq war ...Now that's being consistent.
Before he was for the Iraq war ...
Before he voted for the Iraq war ...
Before he was against the Iraq war ...
Before he voted for funding the Iraq war ...
Before he voted against funding.