Invoking his 2004 battle with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., thinks he can impart lessons to Barack Obama learned from his failed White House campaign as the president faces criticism from a group of former special forces and intelligence agents for exploiting sensitive national-security information and bragging about killing Osama bin Laden for political gain.
In a letter to Obama supporters, Kerry warns that “attacks, smears, and lies” can be effective, lamenting he learned the hard way eight years ago that “even completely baseless attacks can stick if people don’t call them out quickly enough.”
“No matter how self-evidently false the attacks are, or how disreputable the people telling them may be, there’s no attack that can’t take hold,” Kerry explains.
The problem for the Massachusetts Democrat, however, is that none of the substantive charges made by the more than 250 Swift Boat veterans have been debunked.
Kerry himself never responded to the charges, other than to call the veterans liars; and his campaign simply ignored most of the accusations presented in the group’s No. 1 New York Times bestseller “Unfit for Command.”