Kerry continues to churn out comedy classics, offering his views on judicial appointments:
"Do they have to agree with me on everything? No," Kerry said. Asked if they must agree with his abortion-rights views, he quickly added, "I will not appoint somebody with a 5-4 court who's about to undo Roe v. Wade. I've said that before."
"But that doesn't mean that if that's not the balance of the court I wouldn't be prepared ultimately to appoint somebody to some court who has a different point of view. I've already voted for people like that. I voted for Judge Scalia."
...Asked if he regretted the vote for Scalia, Kerry said, "Yes. Given what he has done on a number of cases." Kerry said he didn't see at the time "such a level of ideology and partisanship" he now sees in Scalia.
And the AP invokes Nixon in discussing Kerry's Iraq strategy:
"It will not be like Vietnam," Kerry said. "I will get our troops home from Iraq with honor and with the interests of our country properly protected."
How soon? "It will not take long to do what is necessary. I'm not going to give you a specific date, but I'll tell you that I have a plan and I will put that plan in place." Republican Richard M. Nixon used similar language during the 1968 presidential race, but the war dragged on for years after his election.
It's not clear that this press confab went well.
UPDATE: The Note rips Kerry:
John Kerry -- mystifying his friends and delighting his enemies by displaying the kind of pandering, flip-flopping verbal gymnastics over abortion that truly have the capacity to single-handedly keep him from winning the White House. Not a smooth slide to the center or a Sister Soulja -- just flailing.
John "Let me make one thing perfectly clear" Kerry clarifies:
"I want to make myself clear," said a Kerry statement issued by his campaign. "I believe that a woman's right to choose is a constitutional right. I will not appoint anyone to the Supreme Court who will undo that right."
Read his lips - no new Scalias!
PILING ON: It hardly seems fair to check his website (under women's issues, "Protect the Right to Choose") but we find this:
John Kerry believes that women have the right to control their own bodies, their own lives, and their own destinies. He believes that the Constitution protects their right to choose and to make their own decisions in consultation with their doctor, their conscience, and their God. He will defend this right as President. He recently announced he will support only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court. Kerry also believes that we should promote family planning and health plans should assure women contraceptive coverage.
We presume that the recent announcement to which the website refers predates his latest non-announcement. Maybe this was the announcement, described in a story titled "Kerry says he'll filibuster Supreme Court nominees who do not support abortion rights". Of course, a President can't filibuster his own nominees, so perhaps that pronouncement is no longer operative...
UPDATE: From the WaPo:
What is more remarkable to many Democrats is how Kerry is catching little flak from the party's base even when he strays from liberal orthodoxy. Abortion rights groups, for example, defended Kerry this past week when he told the Associated Press he would consider nominating antiabortion judges. Even so, Kerry sent a clear message to the base hours later when he issued a statement saying he would never appoint an abortion rights opponent to the Supreme Court.