Kerry Won't Apologize For Remarks, Blames 'Republican Attack Squad'

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry Thursday stood behind remarks he made to supporters in Chicago Wednesday while the cameras were still rolling, in which he called the GOP "the most crooked, lying group I've ever seen."

Kerry said Republicans plan to launch negative attack ads against him beginning Thursday night, but that is not the same as the comments he has made against them.

"I haven't said anything that's incorrect about them and they've said lots of things that are incorrect," Kerry said. "You can go through the list."

He even pointed to critics of Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain who questioned McCain's military record during the 2000 Republican presidential race.

"Look this is what they did to John McCain in South Carolina. They challenged John McCain's record as a prisoner of war. There were people out there crawling in the almost unbelievable things," Kerry said.

"They did the same thing to our colleague and friend Max Cleland who left three limbs on the battlefield in Vietnam, and they challenged his patriotism," the Democrat said of the GOP.

"There is a Republican attack squad that specializes in trying to destroy people and be negative. I think the president needs to talk about the real priorities of our country," Kerry added.

He said he has no intention of apologizing for his remarks.

"I have no intention whatsoever of apologizing for my remarks. I think the Republicans need to start talking about the real issues before the country," Kerry said.

He said the GOP plans to launch a series of attack ads against him on three topics that "have nothing to do" with health care, jobs, education, cleaner air or cleaner water, "nothing to do with making America safer in this world."

"They can't talk about those things because George Bush doesn't have a record to run on. He has record to run away from and that's what they're trying to do," Kerry added.

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