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Sen Kerry still considering 2008 White House bid

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, Nov 20: Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry today said he was still considering a second run for the White House in 2008, despite public criticism of what he has called a ''botched joke'' about the Iraq war.

In an interview on ''Fox News Sunday,'' Kerry was asked if he had given up on a presidential run after the flap over his comment to students that they could ''get stuck in Iraq'' if they did not study hard enough.

''Not in the least. I am looking at it in the same way. The people that I have talked to across the country, my team's confident and strong. I don't know what I'll do.

''I've apologized and we have to move on to the real issues that face this country.'' Kerry apologized to US troops for his remarks, and said he misspoke in comments that were intended to be a joke aimed at President George W Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

Still, Kerry, who lost to Bush in the 2004 presidential race, drew a firestorm of Republican criticism and riled fellow Democrats in the last days of the congressional campaigns. He was forced to cancel campaign appearances on behalf of Democratic candidates.

Democrats reclaimed control in the November. 7 elections of both the House of Representatives and Senate for the first time in 12 years, prompting speculation by political analysts Kerry's own presidential bid was the biggest casualty of his remarks.

Unlike some potential contenders who recently took the initial formal steps to start raising money for their 2008 presidential race, Kerry said he would defer his decision.

''I've said this all along, my decision would be somewhere around the turn of the year, the beginning of the year.'' If Kerry enters the race, he will be joining about a dozen others of both parties who are expected to start vying for the White House over the next several months. For Democrats, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, said to be considering a run, has been the early leader in the polls.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led Republicans after the 1994 elections gave them control of the House for the first time in a generation, said he would not make his decision on a presidential bid until September.

''I think an awful lot of this early energy is wasted,'' he told Fox.

REUTERS

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