Kerry: Ted Kennedy ‘Owned’ Where He Stepped Over the Line, He’s Not Up for Lifetime Appointment Like Kavanaugh

On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead,” former Secretary of State John Kerry argued that Democrats didn’t give up the moral high ground on issues of sexual misconduct by defending former President Bill Clinton and former Senator Ted Kennedy because people were “critical” of Clinton and Kennedy, what Clinton did in the White House wasn’t impeachable, and Kennedy “stood up and owned moments where he knew he’d stepped over the line. … [A]nd he wasn’t about to be nominated to a lifetime position.”

While discussing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, anchor Jake Tapper said, “You write glowingly about Ted Kennedy. But I want to ask you, because, I’ve heard Ted Kennedy’s name invoked in the last week or two and Bill Clinton’s name invoked in the last week or two, by conservatives saying, Democrats ceded the moral high ground on a lot of these sexual assault and sexual harassment issues by standing by people like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy because of the good things, in their view, that they did.”

Kerry responded, “I don’t think that’s an accurate way to say it. Many of us were very critical of President Clinton on the choice he made with respect to what happened in the White House. We just didn’t believe — I didn’t believe, and I speak for myself, that it was an impeachable offense. That’s the issue.”

Tapper then asked about Kennedy, and Kerry answered, “Similarly, people have been critical through the years, where — and he was critical of himself. He stood up and owned moments where he knew he’d stepped over the line. So, I think that — and he wasn’t about to be nominated to a lifetime position. In fact, he said to the people of Massachusetts, if you think I shouldn’t stay here, then, you know — and he took those returns and then he was elected another six times. That’s a very different thing from a lifetime confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States, where you may have to rule on some of these issues that come up.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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