Kerry: Americans Don't Want Jokes From Their President

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

( - President Bush's joke about John F. Kerry drew a sharp retort from the Democrat on Monday.

Campaigning in Ohio, President Bush said of Kerry, "'He voted for the use of force, but against funding the troops. He said that we're not spending enough money to reconstruct Iraq, yet now says we're spending too much. He said it was the right decision to go into Iraq, yet now he calls it the wrong war.

"I think he can spend 90 minutes debating himself," the president said to laughter.

Responding to the jibe, Kerry said, "When U.S. soldiers are in harm's way, the American people don't want jokes and fantasy spin from their president, they want to hear the truth."

Kerry said President Bush "refused to confront reality and admit that he recklessly rushed to war, that his wrong choices have left Iraq in chaos and that he has no plan to win the peace.

"It's time for George Bush to deal with reality and confront the hard truths that our soldiers face every day in Iraq," Kerry said.

President Bush told his supporters on Monday, "It's been a little tough to prepare for the debates" because his opponent "keeps changing his positions -- especially on the war." Press reports said Bush is expected to take that line in Thursday night's debate.

Meanwhile, the latest polls continue to give President Bush higher marks than Kerry for "personality" and "likeability."

According to ABC News, "More voters continue to dislike [Kerry] than to like him personally, and most prefer Bush across a range of issues and attributes, from terrorism and Iraq to honesty and leadership.""

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