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By thisistwitchy  •  January 30, 2005 11:14 AM

Good for Tim Russert, who just grilled John Kerry on Meet the Press about lingering questions raised by the Swift Boat Vets for Truth.

First, Russert asked Kerry about the impact the Swift Vets had on the campaign. Kerry said he “should have responded faster and more forcefully” and blamed his inability to combat “the new communication structure in America.”

Next, Russert showed a clip from the Swift Vets ad featuring Steve Gardner that exposed Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia tall tale.

(Flashback: “I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me.”)

Russert then read from an August 2004 N.Y. Daily News editorial slamming Kerry’s penchant for exaggeration.

“Were you in Cambodia in Christmas in 1968?” Russert asked Kerry directly.

Answer: “We were right on the border…ambushed there as a matter of fact, it’s a matter of record…”

Kerry explained that he “jumbled” two different days together and asserted that he was in Cambodia on another day with CIA agents–“er, I believe they were CIA agents, special ops” he quickly amended his assertion. He said there are “photographs” that he would be willing to release.

Russert also asked if he would sign Form 180.

“Yes I will,” Kerry said–if his critics would sign theirs.

Update: A reader comments, “Good for Tim Russert but about 3 months late! The MSM is willing to address tough questions to Democrats as long as there is no election in the balance.”

Good point. But to be fair, Russert did raise the Christmas in Cambodia issue with Tad Devine in August.

Update II: Newsmax covers Kerry kvetching about the Iraq elections.

And more on the Kerry/Swift Vets at Powerline.

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