Clark Endorses Kerry; 'Permission to Come Aboard'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - Friday the 13th gremlins leaped into the audio feed of Gen. Wesley Clark's endorsement of Democratic frontrunner John Kerry on Friday.

Although the sound on the live television feed went in and out, Clark's message was clear: John Kerry is the right man "to bring this country forward, effectively, into the 21st Century."

"I ask you now to join me in standing up for an American who's given truly outstanding service to his country in peace and in war," Clark said in a joint appearance in Madison, Wisc.

"Senator Kerry, I want to tell you how much I admire your service with the United States Navy in Vietnam." Then Clark, invoking a phrase familiar to him during his own years of service, addressed Kerry thus: "Sir, request permission to come aboard; the Army's here."

"John, I'll work with you to do everything I can to help you take the White House back for its rightful owners - the American people," Clark said. And I'll do everything I can to help you win back [audio dropped out briefly].

Clark said he'd also "do everything I can to help make sure George W. Bush doesn't get away with playing politics with national security."

Clark dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday, after losing primaries in Virginia and Tennessee. John Edwards and Howard Dean remain in the race, as do Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton - the latter two with negligible support.