(CNN) - Four years after finding himself the target of a scathing campaign-year book from a conservative author during his own campaign, former Democratic presidential contender John Kerry is launching a Web site to discredit the writer’s latest work, which takes aim at 2008 presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
The move comes amid news “Obama Nation,” the latest book by author Jerome Corsi, has secured a berth atop New York Times best-seller list. Corsi previously co-wrote “Unfit for Command,” a book highly critical of Kerry’s military record during the Vietnam War.
Kerry’s new Web site, “Truth Fights Back” – which will be funded by the Massachusetts senator’s political action committee - resembles the “Fight the Smears” site Obama’s campaign launched earlier this year, and uses similar methods: a list of responses to existing rumors about the presumptive Democratic nominee, a form to report new attacks, and a request for supporters to add their names to an e-mail listserv that will direct activists on rapid response to future attacks on Obama and other Democratic candidates.
“We want people to know that truth, and that doesn't just mean the truth about the candidate being smeared, but also the truth about the smear machine,” says a message on the site. “We don't just want to ‘debunk’ rumors and smears; we want to show people what these smears are all about so they can recognize smears in the future. We want to educate people on why these are used and by whom.”
Kerry has expressed regret over his own response to attacks from Corsi and other critics during his own White House bid, telling reporters that he did not think he had responded swiftly or strongly enough.
"You can't just play defense against smears, pointing out how they aren't true,” said Kerry in a message to supporters Wednesday. “You've got to play offense, too, exposing the whole cynical game for what it is: an attempt to keep us from talking about the real issues and ultimately changing our country for the better.”