March 30th, 2008
11:05 AM ET
10 years ago

Kerry targets McCain and 'Republican disaster'

Sens. Kerry and McCain share an unusual history together in presidential politics.

Sens. Kerry and McCain share an unusual history together in presidential politics.

(CNN) - Stumping for Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John Kerry faces a unique challenge when it comes to taking on the presumptive Republican nominee.

That's because Sen. John McCain has said that Kerry, in 2004, "asked if I would consider being his running mate." McCain told reporters earlier this month that at the time of the conversation, he made clear to Kerry the answer was no.

Kerry has said McCain's representatives contacted him about the possibility, and both men say there was never an actual offer.

McCain went on to campaign aggressively for President Bush in 2004.

Still, the complexity adds an unusual wrinkle for times like Sunday, when Kerry takes on McCain.

"Hillary Clinton has every right in the world to continue to fight, but the important thing is to be fighting against John McCain," Kerry told ABC's "This Week," discussing some calls for Sen. Clinton to drop out of the race.

"It is very important for both people to keep the eye on the real target - John McCain and the Republican disaster of the last seven and a half years," he added.

As the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Kerry is one of Obama's most prominent campaign surrogates.

–CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It is John Kerry is clearly a democrat and supports Obama, so why is this newsworthy. Lieberman was a democrat, now libertarian/independent and now supports republican John McCain, let's talk about that.

    March 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. NickNasc

    CNN I Want to hear more about THIS story!

    "As Clinton Talks Housing Crisis, Campaign Manager Serves on Board of Bankrupt Lender"

    I won't mention your competitor who has this on the front page but you need to catch -up This is HUGE and if it were Obamas Manager it would be on the front page I am sure.

    March 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. yael

    Kerry is so right about the real target. Now can he PLEASE go back to the Obama camp and let them know? Seems they haven't picked up on that message.

    March 30, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. bill in Oklahoma

    I am glad john kerry is on Obama's side. He turns on his friends as quickly as he changes positions. Turns on john edwards, turns on john mccain. Obama your time is coming

    March 30, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Shelley

    This was a prime example of how Washington could have pushed partisan politics aside and brought the country together in the fashion of Abraham Lincoln. Their policies are different, but out of difference comes compromise. McCain rejected that notion, and became just another Bush crony.

    March 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. bestmanO

    The previous 8 years of this White House was disasterous, how would another 4 years of the same thing make us more prosperious?

    March 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. David

    Kerry and Gore should come out and campaign hard for Obama. The Clinton's were a disaster for both candidates but they should be stopped now.

    March 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. 1voice

    McCain is not a republican.

    March 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. jp/michigan

    CNN does not allow negative comments about Obama, only about Clinton, so there you are all you Obama supporter comment on!

    March 30, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. xddy4u

    Rather Obama bowled good or bad, it doesn't really matter. But what it did showed, was that Obama will be a people's President. Even though he knows he'll get trashed, but he'll still try. Even in this hestic champaign, he still takes time out for leisure and enjoy the people around him. Obama '08

    March 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Willy

    That funny kerry we was just thinking of you and your mentor Teddy as the Democratic disastes of the party. You could not even beat W. So you are saying what ?

    March 30, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    Can the damage of the Bush years be fixed? Is it repairable?

    March 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Ted From Edmonton

    This is the same guy that asked McCain to be his VP??? Kerry's a bitter bitter man who should get his phoney capped tooth face out of the media.

    March 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Scared Stiff

    I was hoping that Hillary would win and become the first lady president of US. Why did the senators stab her for a new unknown figure?
    My vote goes to McCain now.

    March 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Terell

    Obama has an interesting slate of supporters. Ted Kennedy – most left wing senator, John Kerry – the perennial flip-flopper, Rev. Wright – the hate-monger, Michelle Obama – not a proud american till husband is famous, and the list goes on. Why should America gamble on an inexperienced, unknown leader in a time of war and a poor economy? It is time to get someone with experience, someone who knows the nuts and bolts of washington and can help America.
    Either Hillary or McCain will be a better President than Obama.

    March 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. North Carolina

    Kerry was an awful nominee. Though his record is substantial, he is lacking in any charisma and unable to come to the point when speaking. One sees why the DNC would back Obama, the polar opposite of their last mistake. Unfortunately Obama is no more electable than personality-challenged Kerry: he has all the personality but none of the substance. In fact, what "substance" one finds is that he expresses a great deal of loyalty and admiration; for persons like Rev. Wright; and has extensive political ties: to people like Rezko, Ayers, Said, Khalidi. Vote Clinton. She can take on McCain.

    March 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. John

    This article would do good to talk about how McCain has changed in the past 4 years – abandoning his criticism of the Bush tax cuts to a position where he wishes to make them favorable; criticizing the War in Iraq to becoming its biggest proponent. John McCain of 2004 was a good candidate. John McCain of 2008 is Bush III.

    March 30, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. barbara

    John Kerry is right. The Dems need to quit all this bickering. Hillary is not going to winn the nomination. She is getting real frosterated and it shows in her face. I think this campaign is taking a toll on her. Obama on the other hand is steady making his way thru all the minefields that he incounters along the way. He is impressive, she is all about being the first woman in the White House.however,the woman should be like a Donna Brazil not a Hillary Clinton

    March 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. FEDUP

    Lets see, he wanted McCain before he didn't.

    March 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Independent in NH

    John Kerry is a loser...he couldn't even beat Bush. Please stop talking Kerry- it isn't helping anyone.

    March 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. William Day

    Kerry is right! We need to keep our eyes, and thoughts, on the main target...McCain and the Republicans. We have to keep in mind that they will DO ANYTHING to remain in office. Any Democrat the party has to offer, whether Obama or Clinton, are better than anyone the Republicans can offer. We don't need someone who thinks we should be in Iraq for the next 100 years!!!

    March 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Daniel from Michigan

    This is the fundamental problem with our political system, and what Edwards called the "two-Americas." When we live under a system that makes us feel discouraged to reach out to those across the aisle, it is not supposed to be a humbling experience. Quite the contrary, something is devastatingly wrong with our system when we feel this way. I like how Barack Obama is able to unite everyone, and transcend these politics of the past. Bring everyone together from the bottom up, and unite our country once more to present an accurate presentation of true American diversity and it's core values.

    March 30, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Portland

    Go home you Loser (John Kerry). One of the major reasons I might not vote for Barack Obama in the General Election is because John Kerry has endorsed him. never liked this guy and never will. How silly does he look when he comes out and criticizes McCain – the same McCain he offered the VP position to. What an .........

    March 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. james

    it's amazing how you cable news networks continue to try and shape public opinion. Obama never said that had the rev. wright not retired he would have left the church. He said that had rev. wright not retired and not apologized, he would have felt"uncomfortable" staying in that church. Those are two distinctly different statements. You media type are not honest at all. It's unfortunate to say the least.

    March 30, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Mr Bigger

    Kerry has been involved in enough disasters to know one when he sees one

    March 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
1 2 3