John Kerry's words

note: Below is the text of two messages John Kerry sent out recently. The first is the text of a video message that went out to Democratic supporters on the weekend of 11/18. The second one is part of a transcript from a television interview at about the same time. In both of these, he reminds us multiple times that the votes are still being counted. He also mentions that he is only 50,000 votes short in Ohio by the latest estimate (until recently it was thought the difference was 136,000 votes). He also acknowledges that many people do not have confidence in the validity of the election and he promises to fight for election reform. The sections that pretain to these comments are highlighted. You can view the videos by clicking the links below the text

Message to Kerry Supporters

I want to thank you personally for what you did in the election -- you rewrote the book on grassroots politics, taking control of campaigns away from big donors. No campaign will ever be the same.

You moved voters, helped hold George Bush accountable, and countered the attacks from big news organizations such as Fox, Sinclair Broadcasting, and conservative talk radio.

And your efforts count now more than ever. Despite the words of cooperation and moderate sounding promises, this administration is planning a right wing assault on values and ideals we hold most deeply. Healthy debate and diverse opinion are being eliminated from the State Department and CIA, and the cabinet is being remade to rubber stamp policies that will undermine Social Security, balloon the deficit, avoid real reforms in health care and education, weaken homeland security, and walk away from critical allies around the world.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration. This is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accommodate extremists on critical principles -- it is a time to stand firm.

I will fight for a national standard for federal elections that has both transparency and accountability in our voting system. It's unacceptable in the United States that people still don't have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process.

I ask you to join me in this cause.

And we must fight not only against George Bush's extreme policies -- we must also uphold our own values. This is why on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance. And, with your help, that legislation will be accompanied by the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

There are more than eight million uninsured children in our nation.

That's eight million reasons for us to stay together and fight for a new direction. It is a disgrace that in the wealthiest nation on earth, eight million children go without health insurance.

Normally, a member of the Senate will first approach other senators and ask them to co-sponsor a bill before it is introduced -- instead, I am turning to you. Imagine the power of a bill co-sponsored by hundreds of thousands of Americans being presented on the floor of the United States Senate. You can make it happen. Sign our "Every Child Protected" pledge today and forward it to your family, friends, and neighbors:

This is the beginning of a second term effort to hold the Bush administration accountable and to stand up and fight for our principles and our values. They want you to disappear; they are counting on that. I'm confident you will prove them wrong, and you will rewrite history again.

Here is what I want you to know. I understand the strength, commitment, and passion that are at the core of what we built together -- and I am determined to make our collective energy and organization a force to be reckoned with in the weeks and months ahead.

Let's roll up our sleeves and get back to work for our country.

Thank you,

John Kerry

Watch the video


King: Senator Kerry, congratulations on a well fought campaign. Polls showed you were tied in the final weeks - showed that you won 2 if not 3 of the debatesÖall threeÖplenty of money to fight the republicans. Why did you lose?

Kerry: Well thatís for punditry and others to decide, obviously I didnít get enough votes in the end. We were 50,000 votes, approximately, moving the other way, short, in one state. That's a very close race. No oneís ever beaten an incumbent president in a time of war. And Ďterror terror terrorí was being thrown at people in a huge, in a huge, negative campaign. Iím very proud of what we did. I donít look backwards and say well, we did a lot of things that were rather remarkable. Brought out more people at any time in history, I won 57 million votes, plus, still counting Ė more than any person whoís ever run for president and lost in history. We turned out more people, more states than any time. If you look at the battleground states we actually had a more cumulative vote than George Bush did. We just didnít get it all in the right state. And so, Iím not gonna worry about that. What Iím concerned about now is continuing the battle for the things I fought for in the campaign. Healthcare for Americans thatís affordable, jobs that pay more than the jobs going overseas, fiscal responsibility, energy policy that makes us independent and safer, and restoring Americaís strength and reputation in the world. Thatís why Iím here, and Iím very grateful to the people of Massachusetts for the privilege of being here and for the support that they gave me through this race.

King: Are you the last Democrat from Massachusetts, the last Ďliberalí from the Northeast who will ever be able to run for president in our lifetime?

Kerry: Absolutely not. Why? I became within 50,000 votes of winning, against a president in a time of war, no oneís ever beaten a president in a time of war. Massachusetts was not an issue in this campaign. People need to dispel themselves of that immediately. What was difficult in this campaign was breaking through in terms of the negative, unbelievable onslaught and distortions and smears and other things. And we tried to run a very positive campaign about Americaís future. Iím very proud of it.

King: And for a crucial sector of people, the election came down not to the war, not to the economy but to moral values. How surprised were you by that Ė and do the Democrats need to find a new strategy to better deal with, work with the Christian right Ė to better deal with issues like abortion and gay marriage?

Kerry: I have the same position as George Bush on gay marriage. Same position. What they did was exploit it in ways that we didnít or donít do. Now, do we need to do a better job of communicating what our position may or not be, well then the answer is yes, probably. But I refuse to believe - you know thatís not what this race was decided on. And I beg to differ with those people.

King: You donít buy into the idea that moral valuesÖ.

Kerry: Oh it was part of some peopleís votes, but the predominant issue was the war and terror. That was the predominant one. And if you look at the impact of the Osama bin Laden tape in the last days Ė and you look at the impact of the Chechnyan rebels in the school in Russia Ė youíll find a very real impact on people in the war on terror. And this will come out as the days go on. Thatís not what this race is about, I mean thatís not what is important right now. Whatís important right now is we got some real fights here in Washington that make a difference to the lives of the people in Massachusetts and the country. And the question is, what direction is George Bush gonna go in? I want healthcare thatís affordable for all Americans and I want children to be covered by healthcare. If George Bush wants to work at that we can find some common ground and make progress. But if theyíre unwilling to do that, weíre gonna you know, have some fights.

King: Your brother says itís conceivable that you would run for president in 4 years. Have you ruled that out?

Kerry: I havenít ruled anything out, I havenít ruled anything in. Look, they havenít finished counting the votes yet Ė weíd be talking about the race 4 years from now and itís WAY to premature. But Iím not gonna rule anything out cuz Iíve said previously. What Iím here to do is fight for the things that I fought for in the course of this campaign. And the people of Massachusetts have been just wonderful. And the support theyíve given me, the privilege theyíve given me of running for president, being in the senateÖ.and I intend to live up to the high standards of our state. And no one in our state should think that the state or what we stand for had anything to do with the outcome of this race.

Watch the interview