Kennedy: Vote Against Iraq War My Best

The Associated Press
Friday, June 2, 2006; 11:27 PM

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Sen. Edward Kennedy on Friday declared his vote against the Iraq war the best he has cast since being elected in 1962.

The Massachusetts Democrat also predicted that his party would regain control of both chambers of Congress this fall.

"Americans aren't looking for big government or small government, liberal government or conservative government. They're looking most of all for competent government," Kennedy told delegates gathered for the start of the state Democratic convention.

Kennedy reflected on his opposition in October 2002 to a congressional resolution authorizing military action in Iraq.

"My vote against this misbegotten war is the best vote I have cast in the United States Senate since I was elected in 1962," Kennedy said. "And my call more than a year ago _ more than a year ago _ to bring our troops home is one of my proudest moments."

Kennedy said the U.S. presence in Iraq "inflames the insurgency. We are a crutch for an Iraqi government that needs to stand on its own."

Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, scoffed at the criticism, saying "Kennedy's pessimism does nothing to keep America safe."

© 2006 The Associated Press