Kerry Says GOP Lied About Foley, Iraq

The Associated Press
Friday, October 13, 2006; 11:03 PM

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Sen. John Kerry, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, likened the congressional page scandal to the war in Iraq and the handling of North Korea, saying that Republicans have lied repeatedly.

"A lie, a lie, a lie, a lie. What we have in Washington is a house of lies, and in November, we need to clean house," Kerry, D-Mass., said Friday night during the New Hampshire Democratic Party's annual fall fundraising dinner.

"They tell us we're making progress in Iraq and that there is no civil war. That is a lie," he said. "It's immoral to lie about progress in that war in order to get through a news cycle or an election cycle."

Kerry criticized the Bush administration for blaming the North Korean nuclear test on former President Clinton.

"That is a lie. North Korea's nuclear program was frozen under Bill Clinton. When George W. Bush turned his back on diplomacy, Kim Jong Il turned back to making bombs, and the world is less safe because a madman has the Bush bomb," he said.

Republicans also are lying when they claim the page scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley is a Democratic plot to win the midterm elections, Kerry said.

"This issue is here because of a Republican cover-up," he said. "And those from the party that preaches moral values that covered this up have no right to preach moral values anymore."

Responding to the speech, Wayne Semprini, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, said Americans didn't buy what Kerry and the Democrats said in 2004.

"The fact that they have failed to come up with any new ideas in the past four years assures that they are once again headed for defeat," Semprini said.

Foley, R-Fla., resigned Sept. 29 after being confronted with sexually explicit computer messages he sent to a teenage male page. For several days afterward, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., blamed Democrats for the scandal but later changed course and took responsibility for the matter.

On Thursday, the House ethics committee questioned a former Foley aide who has said he took complaints about Foley's conduct to Hastert's chief of staff three years ago. Hastert's chief of staff has denied that exchange took place.

Kerry, the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 2004, has packed his schedule with appearances for Democratic candidates for Congress and state offices.

© 2006 The Associated Press