Kerry: Bush Fighting 'Wrong War at Wrong Time'

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

( - Democrats wanted Sen. John F. Kerry to "hit back," and that is what he's doing. Campaigning on Monday, Kerry blamed President Bush for waging "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."

He also floated a new slogan, repeating that the "W" in George W. Bush's name stands for "wrong."

President Bush and his supporters accused Kerry of flip-flopping on the war: "No matter how many times Senator Kerry changes his mind, it [the war] was right for America then and it's right for America now if Saddam Hussein is no longer in power," the president said during a campaign stop in Missouri.

President Bush also joked that along with some new advisers, Kerry has adopted a new position.

Sen. John Cornyn, the co-chairman of the Bush's campaign's Texas leadership team, issued a statement Monday accused Kerry of changing positions yet again - and setting an "artificial deadline" of four years in which to bring U.S. troops home.

"While I'm not surprised that he's taken yet another position on Iraq. America and our friends around the world don't need shifting positions. We need steady leadership in the war on terror," Cornyn said.

The Kerry campaign released a statement Monday, repeating something Kerry first said last week -- that Kerry would have done "almost everything differently," when it comes to Iraq.

"George Bush's wrongheaded, go-it-alone Iraq policy has created a quagmire, costing us $200 billion and counting," Kerry said in the statement. "As a result, George Bush is shortchanging America on everything from education to health care to job creation -- making it more difficult to meet our needs here at home."

President Bush made fighting the war on terror the centerpiece of his campaign, thus prompting Kerry's attempts to undermine Bush's strategy.

Kerry says it was wrong for America to "go it alone" in Iraq, and he said the $200 billion price tag for the war would be better spent investing in health care, education, and jobs, and improving homeland security -- "to protect our airports, our subways, our bridges and tunnels."

Kerry has previously backed President Bush's efforts in Iraq.

In a May 2003 Democratic debate, Kerry said he would have preferred giving diplomacy more of a chance -- "but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him."

In his Labor Day remarks, Kerry repeated that health care is a right for all Americans, and he said he would not privatize Social Security, cut benefits or raise the retirement age.

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