Jon on John: Candidate Kerry on The Daily Show (Spoiler Alert)

We were gonna do a drinking game, but now that we have the transcript to tonight's Daily Show interview with John Kerry, that'd be sort of like cheating. On the plus side, we're already so drunk we can't remember much of the transcript anyway. Somewhat hazily, we recall that it suggests that Kerry loosened up a bit for the appearance, but it's not like Jon was gonna hit him hard. It was more of a Barbara Walters-meets-Leno thing, but without the tree question and with some references to Social Security:


JON STEWART: Is it-- do you-- do you-- is it hard not to take [the Swift Boat Vets for Truth accusations] personally? . . . Is it a difficult thing not to take personally when-- when they come out and-- and your word, it's-- it's in the public files. So--

JOHN KERRY: You know what it is, Jon? It-- it-- it's disappointing because I think most Americans would like to have a much more intelligent conversation about where the country's going. And-- (APPLAUSE) yeah, I think that-- you know, and-- and, yeah, it's a little bit disappointing. But believe it or not, I've been through worse. (LAUGHTER)

Whoa. Go easy on the guy, there, Jon -- you upset him and he'll have to administer a self-inflicted wound or something.

The interview does contain some gems: For instance, who among us has not wanted to take a peek at John Kerry's schlong?

JOHN KERRY: Well, you should hear some of-- I'm telling you. The-- the-- no, I-- I shouldn't go into that out here. But I've been in some-- some-- you'd be amazed the number of people who wanna introduce themselves to you in the men's room. (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART: Really?

JOHN KERRY: God. It-- it's the most bizarre part of this entire campaign.

Full transcript after the jump.

COMEDY CENTRAL's

"THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART"

INTERVIEW WITH: JOHN KERRY

HOST: JON STEWART

SIDE A

(OPENING THEME AND CROWD NOISE)

JON STEWART:

Hi, everybody, welcome to the program. My guest tonight, a junior Democratic senator from Massachusetts. He is also the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. Please welcome Senator John Kerry. (APPLAUSE) Senator--

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JON STEWART:

Senator Kerry (UNINTEL). (APPLAUSE) Hello.

JOHN KERRY:

How are you?

JON STEWART:

Thank you so much for coming to the program.

JOHN KERRY:

I'm glad to be here.

JON STEWART:

Ser-- seriously?

JOHN KERRY:

Terrific. (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART:

Mom, you'd better be recording this. (LAUGHTER) It-- I didn't--

JOHN KERRY:

I didn't understand it. Turf, trees and boxes.

JON STEWART:

He's not having any of it. (LAUGHTER) He's redoing the CIA.

JOHN KERRY:

That's why I'm running for President. We're stamping them out. Turf, trees and boxes.

JON STEWART:

All gonna get done.

JOHN KERRY:

And agencies I--

JON STEWART:

Now how-- how are you holding up? This has been a-- it's been a rough couple weeks. I've been following-- I watch a lot of the cable news shows. So I understand that apparently you were never in Vietnam. (LAUGHTER)

JOHN KERRY:

(LAUGHTER) That's what I understand, too. But I-- I'm trying to find out what happened.

JON STEWART:

Now is it--

JOHN KERRY:

That part of my life. I don't know.

JON STEWART:

Exactly. It's nice, though. I know-- 35 years ago I have friends that have come forward and say-- you did have cooties. You know, that sort of thing. (LAUGHTER) Is it-- do you-- do you-- is it hard not to take it personally?

(OVERTALK)

JOHN KERRY:

--too. It's about--

JON STEWART:

Oh, with you, as well?

JOHN KERRY:

Yeah.

JON STEWART:

Is it a difficult thing not to take personally when-- when they come out and-- and your word, it's-- it's in the public files. So--

JOHN KERRY:

You know what it is, Jon? It-- it-- it's disappointing because I think most Americans would like to have a much more intelligent conversation about where the country's going. And-- (APPLAUSE) yeah, I think that-- you know, and-- and, yeah, it's a little bit disappointing. But believe it or not, I've been through worse. (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART:

Right. I-- I can imagine. When-- when-- these guys-- were you surprised at all that--

JOHN KERRY:

No.

JON STEWART:

--they-- that they-- that they--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN KERRY:

Sure I'm surprised. But surprised in a sense. But now that I begin to see the web and the network, I'm not surprised. I think-- you know, it's politics. And for whatever reasons, the-- the-- and I think Americans will discover it as we go forward in the next four or five weeks, George Bush doesn't wanna talk about the real issues. I mean, what's he gonna do? Come out and say we lost 1.8 million jobs?

Four million Americans lost their healthcare. We're going backwards on the environment. We-- angered everybody in the world.

JON STEWART:

Sir, I'm sorry. Were you or were you not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve? (LAUGHTER) They said-- you said five miles. They said three. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) No, I-- (UNINTEL PHRASE). I think that's a very interesting--

JOHN KERRY:

(UNINTEL) look at that profile.

JON STEWART:

No, believe me, I know.

JOHN KERRY:

I'm all Jew. You may be 1/4. I got everything. (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART:

The-- you know, again, it-- it-- it's the type of thing--

JOHN KERRY:

Yeah.

JON STEWART:

--in-- in the 2000 election it was an election I think the country didn't realize how important it was going to be. And yet it was a relatively substantive discussion. I can recall in the-- in the debates there was a lot of talk about funding Social Security and-- education and all these things. This election is clearly the most important one of our lifetime.

JOHN KERRY:

Yeah.

JON STEWART:

And yet it's very difficult to have that discussion.

JOHN KERRY:

Well, I don't think it will be. I think-- I-- I'm gonna stay laser beam focused. Today I gave a speech here in New York talking about the real choices. You know, if you talk to-- I mean, John Edwards and I have been all over the country. Incidentally, I watched-- his announcement on your show. And--

JON STEWART:

I know. I think that's why he lost. (LAUGHTER)

JOHN KERRY:

Can we be-- no, he won. He's about to win big time. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)

JON STEWART:

He-- he's about to take it to the next step.

JOHN KERRY:

And-- you know, maybe we can do the inauguration here, too.

JON STEWART:

I have no problem with that. (APPLAUSE)

(OFF-MIKE CONVERSATION)

JON STEWART:

That's all right. You-- you people won't be here. (LAUGHTER) All right, so I gotta-- I gotta run through this list--

(OVERTALK)

JON STEWART:

--because-- you know, I am-- as any good fake journalist should do, I watch only the 24-hour cable news. This is what I learned about you--

JOHN KERRY:

All right.

JON STEWART:

--through the cable news. Please refute if you will. Are you the number one most liberal senator in the Senate?

JOHN KERRY:

No.

JON STEWART:

Okay.

JOHN KERRY:

You happy with that? (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART:

Yeah, I'm pretty happy with that. 'Cause that-- I-- I'm gonna say-- there-- there's-- I'm just gonna go on the talking points that I've been given.

JOHN KERRY:

Yeah, yeah. Go ahead.

JON STEWART:

You're the number one most liberal senator. More liberal than Karl Marx apparently. (LAUGHTER) Are you or have you ever flip-flopped?

JOHN KERRY:

I've flip-flopped, flop-flipped.

JON STEWART:

Done a little of that. Where-- where does that-- you know, when-- when they come up with these sorts of-- of talking points and-- and that's what gets--

JOHN KERRY:

Well--

JON STEWART:

--sort of carpet bombed on-- on the networks, how-- how does that-- how do you counter that?

JOHN KERRY:

By talking about things that really matter that people really wanna talk about. I mean, is it a flip-flop-- I don't know what compassionate conservative means. Does it mean cutting kids out of after-school programs? Does it mean drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge? Does it mean sending kids to Iraq without body armor that's state of the art? Does it mean-- turning your-- I mean, you can run through a list. Is that compassionate conserve--

JON STEWART:

Now this is-- when I watch the--

(OVERTALK)

JOHN KERRY:

Labels don't mean anything.

JON STEWART:

I'll watch the TV and they'll say-- and this is in advertisements. John Kerry wants our troops to go to war wearing only gabardine. (LAUGHTER) You know? They'll say that you voted against the body armor. And-- and yet they won't talk about what the vote was about and what the battle was.

JOHN KERRY:

Hey, wearing gabardine beats going to war the way this President sent our troops to war. (APPLAUSE)

JON STEWART:

And that's the--

(OFF-MIKE CONVERSATION)

JOHN KERRY:

I think this was an abuse of-- of authority that the President was given this kind of trust. The President promised that he would build this international coalition. He clearly hasn't got a real coalition. Ninety percent of the casualties, 90 percent of the costs are our people. Our-- our money, our troops.

He didn't exhaust the process of the UN inspections. Made an end run around it. And finally, he didn't give meaning to the words that mean a lot to a lot of us: going to war as a last resort. I think the United States of America should never go to war the way this President took us to war. You don't go to war because you want to. You go to war because you have to. (APPLAUSE) And that's not what this President did.

JON STEWART:

You shouldn't flip-flop like that, sir. (LAUGHTER) It is-- it is-- it's an-- it's an amazing thing--

(OVERTALK)

JON STEWART:

--to watch when-- when-- this President will come out sometimes and say-- you know, "I've been a strong leader," only because he's been decisive. And I guess what you're saying is anybody can make a decision. It's the right-- it's making the right decision.

JOHN KERRY:

Yeah. I mean, it doesn't help you to be stubborn in the wrong decision. I think the President's stubborn. He stubbornly has made the wrong economic decisions. And the result is you got four million people who have lost their healthcare. The middle class is actually paying a higher tax burden today than they were when George Bush began. And the wealthiest Americans are paying less.

Now he's stubbornly moving America in a direction where we're outsourcing jobs. The jobs we're creating pay $9,000 less on average than the jobs we're losing. He stubbornly sticks to his policy in Iraq even though everybody can see that we need other troops on the ground. We need to take the American stamp of occupation off of this effort, bring the world to our side. I mean, there's so many choices the President has sort of stubbornly gone down that I think is the wrong path.

JON STEWART:

Do you think you'll-- when-- when you get into the debates with him is this going to be-- will you be able to do that? Or-- or will he-- I've seen he's very shrewd in debates of saying, "Look, this is a choice. It's a-- it's a very easy choice between-- a man who loves-- Fidel Castro and-- (LAUGHTER) and someone who-- loves America." You know? How-- how do you-- do you think you will ever be able to have an honest discussion?

JOHN KERRY:

Well, that's the test of debates. I mean, look, the President has won every debate he's ever had. People need to understand that. He beat Ann Richards. He beat Al Gore. So he's a good debater. And debates are sort of formulaic. But I believe that-- the truth is what people are looking for.

I have a better plan. I have a plan to put America back to work. I have a plan to provide healthcare to all Americans rather than see Americans lose it and pay more for it. We can go down a different road. You like--

(OVERTALK)

JON STEWART:

I was gonna say this. Can-- can you get me on a network? (LAUGHTER) We're gonna be right back with more of Senator Kerry just after this. (APPLAUSE)

(THEME PLAYING)

JON STEWART:

(UNINTEL) the program. We're talking with Senator John Kerry. Let's talk energy. Oil. Is-- is oil gonna turn out to be America's kryptonite? What-- (LAUGHTER) you know, we-- we have this substance. It's clearly finite. It's clearly in someone else's country. What-- what are we gonna-- (LAUGHTER) are we gonna have to take over the whole damn region?

JOHN KERRY:

I wish-- I wish all the oil executives were like the stand-in that you had there. She was superb. (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART:

Right. Nicely done.

JOHN KERRY:

The-- it's the most extraordinary thing in the world. United States has three percent of the world's oil reserves. We import 61 percent of our oil. There is no possible way for us to drill our way out this crisis. We have to invent our way out of it.

We have to invent our way out of it by moving to alternatives, to renewables, to fuel efficient vehicles. To biomass, bio--

(OVERTALK)

JON STEWART:

I'm gonna throw something out for you.

JOHN KERRY:

Sure.

JON STEWART:

And you can use this. What if cars ran on--

JOHN KERRY:

I can-- safely?

JON STEWART:

--what America has--

JOHN KERRY:

Can I use this safely?

JON STEWART:

Absolutely. What-- what we have almost a monopoly on: Twinkies, fast food, that sort of thing. (LAUGHTER) We are the fattest people in the world. We could do this.

JOHN KERRY:

We can transform-- I think transforming fast food into fuel--

JON STEWART:

Liposuction right into the car. (LAUGHTER) Zip, zoom. Done!

JOHN KERRY:

That would probably be very efficient.

JON STEWART:

It would be very efficient. When you campaign, you know, the other day your campaign crossed paths with George Bush's campaign.

JOHN KERRY:

I know.

JON STEWART:

Was there--

JOHN KERRY:

That's the second time-- twice we've done it.

JON STEWART:

Was there nod and a wink? Or was there-- how-- how do-- how do they keep that--

JOHN KERRY:

We never saw each other.

JON STEWART:

At all?

JOHN KERRY:

No, no. The Secret Service aren't just guarding us from the other people.

JON STEWART:

Keeping you away from each other. (LAUGHTER)

JOHN KERRY:

They--

JON STEWART:

Very smart. Now if-- if someone wants to come to your rally, what kind of loyalty oath do they have to sign?

JOHN KERRY:

(LAUGHTER) I saw you-- I actually saw you talking about this. None.

JON STEWART:

You know what? I--

JOHN KERRY:

Zero.

JON STEWART:

--I have to say this.

JOHN KERRY:

Zip.

JON STEWART:

As you run for President--

JOHN KERRY:

But you do have to get into their thing.

JON STEWART:

That's what I was gonna suggest is that they try and--

JOHN KERRY:

They-- they-- they have you sign something. And they vet everybody who comes in.

JON STEWART:

Right.

JOHN KERRY:

We're open to the public. We wanna talk to America. We wanna know. (APPLAUSE) Not--

JON STEWART:

I-- I was gonna say--

(OVERTALK)

JON STEWART:

I have talked to some of America. No, you don't wanna (UNINTEL).

JOHN KERRY:

(LAUGHTER) Well, you should hear some of-- I'm telling you. The-- the-- no, I-- I shouldn't go into that out here. But I've been in some-- some-- you'd be amazed the number of people who wanna introduce themselves to you in the men's room. (LAUGHTER)

JON STEWART:

Really?

JOHN KERRY:

God. It-- it's the most bizarre part of this entire campaign.

JON STEWART:

I'm gonna make a suggestion, too. (LAUGHTER) Secret Service--

(OVERTALK)

JON STEWART:

--right at the door. (LAUGHTER) Not getting in. One final question 'cause I really do wanna know this. And, again, you-- you don't have to answer it if-- if you don't want to, if it's too personal. Is it true that every time I use ketchup your wife gets a nickel? (LAUGHTER) Tell me the truth! I want the truth!

JOHN KERRY:

Would that it were. Would that it were. But use the ketchup a lot anyway.

JON STEWART:

I'll do what I can, sir. (LAUGHTER) I wanna thank you so much for taking time out-- to come to the program and to-- and to have just a normal conversation with us. We really do appreciate it.

JOHN KERRY:

You do a great job.

JON STEWART:

Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE)

(OFF-MIKE CONVERSATION)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

* * *END OF AUDIO* * *

* * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *

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