Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The truth about Heinz Kerry's party switch
Teresa Heinz Kerry says anger, not ideology, prompted her to become a Democrat. The wife of Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, says her emotion stemmed from the way the Republican Party, to which she had pledged allegiance, treated Democratic Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia in 2002.
We all understand Teresa. I was a republican until this year myself.
Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm as an Army captain during the Vietnam War, lost his re-election bid in a bitter campaign against then-Rep. Saxby Chambliss. The GOP had raised questions about Cleland's patriotism because of his position on legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security. Cleland supported the concept behind the department, but insisted that a workers' rights provision be part of the bill.
Now what was so wrong with helping the workers that put the attack dog's on Cleland?
"Three limbs and all I could think was, 'What does the Republican party need, a fourth limb to make a person a hero?' And this coming from people who have not served. I was really offended by that. Unscrupulous and disgusting," Heinz-Kerry said.
Heinz Kerry had been a registered Republican until Kerry, her second husband, announced his bid for the White House. Her first husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania and the Heinz prepared foods heir, was killed in a plane crash in 1991. She inherited a fortune estimated at more than $500 million.