Monday, September 27, 2004



In Wisconsin on Sunday, Mr. Kerry seized on reports of an interview the president gave to Bill O'Reilly on Fox News in which he said he had no regrets about donning a flight suit to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech on Iraq in May 2003 and that he would do it all over again if given the chance, according to a partial transcript of the interview released to the Reuters news service. (Fox News and the White House declined to provide the excerpts to The New York Times).

"It is unbelievable that just this morning we learned that the president has said he would do it all over again and dress up in a flight suit, and land on an aircraft carrier, and say 'mission accomplished' again," Mr. Kerry said. "Well, my friends, when the president landed on that aircraft carrier, 150 of our young sons and daughters had given their lives. Since then, tragically, since he said mission accomplished, tragically over 900 have now died.''

Mr. Bush never actually said "mission accomplished," but stood in front of a banner that contained those words.

Yes, a banner which the White House had printed up. And, while he didn't say quote "mission accomplished" unquote during the speech he did, a couple weeks later, say the "mission had been accomplished."