First he said this, after being taken to task for calling our troops in Iraq a bunch of undereducated boobs (see my “From the Man Who Wanted to Be Commander in Chief,” Oct. 31):

“I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.”

Now, according to the Associated Press, he’s saying this (hat tip: Drudge):

“Kerry told a hastily arranged news conference in Seattle: ‘I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy.’

“But he also said the comment was ‘a botched joke about the president and the president’s people, not about the troops … and they know that’s what I was talking about.’

“What Kerry said Monday at a campaign rally was this: ‘You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.’

“A Kerry spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, said later that the senator’s prepared text had called for him to say: ‘Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.'”

Another place you might end up (since Kerry’s grades at Yale were far lower than Bush’s) is muffing your lines while stumping for a Democratic candidate who now probably now regards you as the kiss of death. Indeed, Kerry has canceled all his Election 2006 campaign appearances for today–I wonder why.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin is all over this story. Best links:

To Hot Air’s Allah:

“Kerry should have taken the advice of his one-time friend, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who yesterday said Kerry “owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country’s call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education.”

And to Daily Kos, who’s taking the “My Kerry Right or Wrong” line:

“In this case, Kerry responded the right way. Not by bowing to the full blast of the right wing noise machine, but by standing up to it on behalf of our troops, our nation, and the truth.”

Uh-huh. I think it was Michelle who wondered how exactly you can be “standing up…on behalf of our troops” by characterizing them as lazy, illiterate idiots.

Update: LOL at this photo!

Update #2: He finally apologized. About time, but the right thing to do. Also the prudent thing to do, six days away from an election in which the Dems don’t need a replay of 2004.