August 12th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Kerry, facing primary challenge, releases ad

John Kerry's new ad, 'Fenway,' shows him giving Sean Bannon a purprle heart.

John Kerry's new ad, 'Fenway,' shows him giving Sean Bannon a purprle heart.

(CNN)— Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, facing his first Democratic primary challenger in 24 years, released his first campaign ad Tuesday spotlighting his record on veterans issues.

The 60-second spot, “Fenway,” tells the story of Iraq war veteran Sean Bannon, and how Kerry personally touched his life.

“I know how much he’s done for vets like me,” Bannon says of Kerry, praising Kerry’s record pushing for more funding for veterans’ mental health and education benefits, and his efforts on behalf of the move to boost the minimum death benefits for the families of military members from $12,000 to $250,000.

Kerry awarded Bannon his purple heart at Fenway Park on Patriots Day, and surprised him by being able to throw the first pitch of the game.

“John Kerry, he goes to bat for all us vets,” Bannon says.

The four-term senator and Vietnam veteran is being challenged in the September 16 primary by Massachusetts lawyer Ed O’Reilly.

Most recently, O’Reilly has challenged Kerry to a debate before their fall face-off.

Some critics say Kerry could face a more challenging re-election because of the decision to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president over Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won his state’s Super Tuesday primary with 56 percent of the vote.

Watch: Kerry endorses Obama for president

“I don’t think you have to be a mathematician to divine that Senator Kerry's early endorsement of Senator Obama put our opponent on the ballot,” said Kerry’s press secretary Brigid O’Rourke.

update from O'Reilly after the jump

Because of the long and “passionate” primary season, “many of Sen. Clinton’s supporters have made it clear that they wanted to register their displeasure with Sen. Kerry’s endorsement,” said O’Rourke adding that the senator has been able to put the past behind him.

The initial ad buy of $300,000 began airing Tuesday in Boston and Springfield, and on cable television throughout the state and in Providence, Rhode Island, whose media market includes parts of Massachusetts, according to Kerry’s campaign.

The winner of the September primary will face Republican Jeff Beatty, a former Army Delta Force Officer, in the general election this November.

Update: Ed O’Reilly tells CNN he has a couple hundred thousand dollars to spend, but it has yet to be decided how much money will be allocated for campaign ads.

“There is no way I can compete with John Kerry’s money,” said O’Reilly. “When I first started this campaign I realized to take him on I had to do it on the ground and I couldn’t do it on the airwaves."

soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Scott L

    Who cares, Obama will get crushed just like Kerry and the Democratic party will have no clue where to go from here. Democratic candidates are so weak and have no experience. Obama is going to get decimated in November. Mark my words people! 🙂

    August 12, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Megan

    Andrew– how are you a Democrat and voting for McCain? Are you completely brainless? If McCain gets in office for 08, there will BE NO CLINTON in 12!! The Republicans would not let it happen. If you McCain is going to be bad enough where she could become president in 2012, then you are an even bigger moron for voting for him this time around. Does anyone on here complaining about Hillary have a mind of their own?

    August 12, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. MasterZ

    Kerry needs to go away. Period.

    August 12, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Griff

    Kerry's biggest mistake was siding with Barack Obama... He keeps getting it wrong... Poor Sucker...

    August 12, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Peter of Oregon

    Kerry's a good American.

    August 12, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Lee/Vet

    Sounds like we have three major parties, Republicans, Democrats and Haters against the Democratic Nominee. Senator Kerry has done a lot for us veterans and if that means he should lose his job because he supported a candidate for President, then maybe the we active duty veterans should consider why we are fighting for democracy when the very people we are fighting for feels we should not have our own voice when it comes to electing "OUR" Commander and Chief.

    Go get'em John.

    August 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. OK in CA.

    Why does the press tout the blogs as an intelligent arena for information. For one tid-bit of valuable information I have to sort through rabid comments from hateful and misinformed fans of politicians.

    August 12, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    As a Veteran, I know that Sen. Kerry does not help out the vets. Talk to any vets and they understand that Sen. McCain is the one who has helped out the most. They understand the new G.I. Bill was full of different stuff that did not help the G.I.
    Wasn't it Kerry who said if you don't graduate from college and get an education you will be sent to Iraq??? Ya, he loves us combat vets. Real winner.

    August 12, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. Please and Thank You

    Thought the World of John Kerry as the Democratic Candidate for President in 2004. A true hero of voice and action he was drowned out by the similar CNN/Pundit 'stuff' that chased Hillary. John Kerry you were 'right' in 2004 but 'wrong' in 2008. I won't discredit you with the 'flip-flop' slap which has caught Senator NO EXPERIENCE Obama in it's sights, you have the experience the country still needs.

    What is wonderful about America is the ability to voice our opinions. What's wrong with America is playing the gender or any other 'card'. In the 21st Century, we should not only be 'color' but 'gender' blind and finally, as Martin Luther, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Regan all noted 'look and listen as all of us are Americans.

    Unfortunately Kerry didn't even allow the primary process or the Voters in his state guide his selection. That's wrong but I still don't fault him for his selection and for the last 4 long 'NIGHTMARE' years of GW Bush which followed the 1st 4 long 'NIGHTMARE years of GW Bush where 537 people and 1 supreme court justice (Scalia) userped America's choice for President.

    Why can't Kerry and 18 million other americans, including the certified group in Florida's election and those unfortunate souls in Michigan be right and Mr. Howard 'Yeehaw' Dean, Reid and Pelosi be wrong..or even better...everyone be 'right' and Obama and Clinton listen to America and join on the same that's a WINNER!

    August 12, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. California Gold

    His constituents can't go wrong re-electing Kerry. Unlike McCain, Kerry votes to support our veterans. McCain just says he supports the veterans, like some esoteric abstract concept. Then McCain votes against legislation to improve benefits for our military servicemen and servicewomen. Kerry walks the walk and it worthy of another term. I hope Arizona permanently retires McCain his run for the White House flops.

    August 12, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. Liliana, FL

    John Kerry who??

    August 12, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. Liz

    I hope John Kerry loses his senator's seat. He is a real loser and a hyprocrite. His supporters should not trust him and should vote for the other candidate. Time for him to be taught a lesson as he went against his voters who voted for Clinton.

    Goodbye Mr. Kerry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Ron Nebraska

    You know, I spend a lot of time reading these various blogs and I have come to the conclusion that an extremely high percaentage of Americans are just as stupid as the day is long!!!!!

    August 12, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. rachel

    People on this board are funny. Umm yeah the elected officals dont take the oath to endorse presidential canidates, but they do take an oath to support their constituents, and Kerry chose not to do that, wonder if Obama will do an ad for him.

    August 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. jennyM

    Senator Kerry - I hope he wins. Like him or not he is out front with what he thinks and he supports the vets unlike McCain who counts bodies and brags about it. I am sick of hearing how he was in a POW camp 40 years ago. If he wasn't so stupid to get shot down he could have come home and divorced his injured wife sooner. WHAT A PIG !

    August 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Roy - River Falls, WI

    All members of congress ought to be banned from ever running again. Fresh faces, new names, new government.

    August 12, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. NH Mom

    Kerry should pay a price for not supporting his constituents and for actively and aggressively attacking and being so set against the first female presidential candidiate. He was relentless in his attacks against Clinton.
    I'm glad to see that another democrat is standing up against Kerry.

    August 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Independant Thinker

    You know, it is one thing for Kerry to bash Bush, but I lost whatever respect that I had for the man once he BASHED OUR TROOPS.

    ALL politicians that BASH OUR TROOPS like Kerry, Pelosi, Murtha, Reid, and Dean NEED TO BE GONE !!

    August 12, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. Kerry please stop sending me stupis emails

    I am sick and tired of emails from John Kerry. I unsubscribed from your email list but for some reason you still send emails. I HATE YOU NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I WISH YOU LOSE. I AM VOTING FOR MR. O'REILLY

    August 12, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. OH

    It seem most angry voters thought Senator Clinton had to be given the nomination before the process began.

    It is called a campaign for several reasons but mainly that the nominees must work and win the nomination.

    You folks seem not to realize that Senator Clinton lost because her management was in shambles.

    I strongly believe if someone other than Senator Obama won, you all would be peeved too.

    There can be only one winner and that person ran a better campaign AND more people choose that person.

    It is not about having a Dem in office for many so called Dems; they simply have more fun splitting the party with their hate filled ways.

    August 12, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. BV

    I love how PUMA Hillary supporters cite the 'nastiness' 'cruely' and 'hate' of the Obama supporters like myself, yet they have no problem calling for the jobs of people like Senator Kerry (whom most of them most likely voted for in 2004), Howard Dean (who has done the BEST JOB of any DNC Chair in years), and of all people, the FIRST Madam Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
    So lets get this straight–Obama supporters are nasty cruel and hateful, but Clinton supporters aren't, even though they want to personally and professionally destroy anyone who didn't support their candidate. Hypocrisy much?

    August 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. jimmy

    This election in which Kerry would be facing a tough opponent is cause for alarm for him. He it is who switched allegiance form his own State's vote for Hillary Clinton to Obama . Now Kerry wants to have the support of Veterans who do not change allegiance no matter what. Kerry knows about swift boating and still reels from the beating he took in his presidential bid where he was leading in the
    polls. Now , he is in a real contest to keep his seat in the senate.
    A defeat in his re-election bid is the finishing blow to his political career.

    August 12, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. dennis from chicago

    NOW YOU SEE WHY EDWARDS COULDN'T EVEN PULL NORTH CAROLINA FOR KERRY.....good vice president pick for o bama.....worked on clinton..... that a boy you really kow how to do it THE CELEB WAY//./

    August 12, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. jimmy

    Do Americans want a Candidate who goes against the wishes and votes of his own constituents? NOW it appears why he was defeated in his bid to be president. He cannot be trusted to lead
    the American people if he cannot be trusted to do what his own constituents wanted and voted for. They voted for Hillary Clinton.
    Better ask Kerry what Barak Obama 's credentials are even be a candidate for president. Obama's rhetoric and media darling covergae has Kerry wanting the same thing off Obama's coat tails.

    August 12, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. dennis from chicago


    August 12, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
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