December 6, 2003 --
Struggling 2004 Democratic wannabe John Kerry fires an X-rated attack at President Bush over Iraq and uses the f-word - highly unusual language for a presidential contender - in a stunning new interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
Sen. Kerry (Mass.) used the undeleted expletive to express his frustration and anger over how the Iraq issue has hurt him because he voted for the war resolution while Democratic front-runner Howard Dean has soared by opposing it.
"I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything'? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to f - - - it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did," Kerry told the youth-oriented magazine.
Brookings Institution presidential scholar Stephen Hess said he can't recall another candidate attacking a president with X-rated language in a public interview.
"It's so unnecessary," Hess said. "In a way it's a kind of pandering [by Kerry] to a group he sees as hip . . . I think John Kerry is going to regret saying this."
Kerry was accurately quoted in Rolling Stone, said spokesman David Wade, adding the X-rated language reflects the fact that Bush's Iraq policy "makes John Kerry's blood boil."
Kerry yesterday angrily cited his war record in Vietnam when asked by a New Hampshire student about charges that it's unpatriotic to attack the commander-in-chief, fuming: "I left some blood on a battlefield that President Bush never left anywhere."
Two polls this week showed Dean leads Kerry by a landslide 3-1 in key New Hampshire.