Bob Kerrey on War & Peace

Former Democratic Senator (NE)

We all get worked up about Iran, but there's a price

KERREY: We can't allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. But remember the veterans' numbers that I gave you earlier: $26 billion worth of pension and disability payments in 2001, $76 billion today, going to $130 billion. Don't you think that there's not any price.

I was actually concerned when I saw that 2/3 of Nebraskans want to get out of Afghanistan and 2/3 want to go to war in Iran. We all get worked up and wave the flag and get patriotic. I was in a war where that was the case. And after three or four years we ran out of gas. You've got to answer the question: What happens afterwards?

I think we have to be very, very careful. Simultaneously, we're making clear to Iran that we have a tremendous amount of military capability and we'll use that military capability if necessary to prevent you from acquiring nuclear weapons.

FISCHER: Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

Source: 2012 Nebraska Senate debate excerpts , Sep 28, 2012

Be conscious of what it means to draw a line for Iran

FISCHER: We need to have a strong administration who's going to make it clear [to Iran] that a line needs to be drawn. We have an administration that has sent mixed signals.

KERREY: It's not as simple as saying we're just going to go in there. I believe we've got to draw a line, but I think we've got to be very conscious of what it means when we do.

FISCHER: I would just reiterate that we need to have leadership here in this country when it comes to foreign policy. We haven't seen that in the last four years. And we're witnessing now the turmoil which I believe is due in part to that. This world is not a safe place. It's become less safe. And if we don't have strong messages sent from Washington, it makes it even less safe.

Source: 2012 Nebraska Senate debate excerpts , Sep 28, 2012

Won Congressional Medal of Honor but later opposed the war

Kerrey had in some ways been Clinton's main generational rival in the early phase of the Democratic primaries. Kerrey momentarily attracted media attention as another new JFK. Kerrey seemed to have broad appeal on the post-Vietnam crosscurrents, fearless, restless, youthful. He had served in Vietnam, lost his right leg below the knee from a grenade, won the Congressional Medal of Honor, and later opposed the war. As a one-term bachelor governor of Nebraska, he had carried on a public relationship with Hollywood actress Debra Winger. Then in 1988 he was elected to the Senate, the first Medal of Honor winner to serve there since the Civil War. But Kerrey faltered in the New Hampshire primary.
Source: The Agenda, by Bob Woodward, p.285 , Jun 6, 1994

Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo.

Majority Leader Trent Lott motioned to kill the resolution that would have authorized the president to "use all necessary forces and other means," in cooperation with U.S. allies to accomplish objectives in Yugoslavia.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: Motion to table S. J. Res. 20; Bill S. J. Res. 20 ; vote number 1999-98 on May 4, 1999

Voted YES on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo.

Vote to adopt a resolution to authorize the President to conduct military air operations and missile strikes in cooperation with NATO against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).
Reference: Bill S.Con.Res 21 ; vote number 1999-57 on Mar 23, 1999

Voted NO on ending the Bosnian arms embargo.

Ending the Bosnian arms embargo.
Status: Bill Passed Y)69; N)29; NV)2
Reference: Bosnia Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of '95; Bill S. 21 ; vote number 1995-331 on Jul 26, 1995

Other candidates on War & Peace: Bob Kerrey on other issues:
NE Gubernatorial:
Dave Heineman
NE Senatorial:
Ben Nelson
Deb Fischer
Mike Johanns

NE politicians

Retiring as of Jan. 2013:

Senate elections Nov. 2012:
AZ:Flake(R) vs.Carmona(D)
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L) vs.Taitz(R)
CT:McMahon(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Bysiewicz(D) vs.Shays(R)
DE:Carper(D) vs.Wade(R)
FL:Nelson(D) vs.Mack(R) vs.LeMieux(R)
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Case(D) vs.Lingle(R) vs.Pirkowski(R)
IN:Lugar(R) vs.Mourdock(R) vs.Donnelly(D)
MA:Brown(R) vs.Warren(D)
MD:Cardin(D) vs.Bongino(R)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R)
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
MN:Klobuchar(D) vs.Bills(R)
MO:McCaskill(D) vs.Akin(R)
MS:Wicker(R) vs.Gore(D)
MT:Tester(D) vs.Rehberg(R)

ND:Heitkamp(D) vs.Berg(R)
NE:Kerrey(D) vs.Fischer(R)
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I)
NM:Heinrich(D) vs.Wilson(R)
NV:Heller(R) vs.Berkley(D)
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Noren(I) vs.Clark(G)
OH:Brown(D) vs.Mandel(R)
PA:Casey(D) vs.Smith(R)
RI:Whitehouse(D) vs.Hinckley(R)
TN:Corker(R) vs.Clayton(D)
TX:Cruz(R) vs.Sadler(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.Dewhurst(R)
UT:Hatch(R) vs.Howell(D)
VA:Kaine(D) vs.Allen(R)
VT:Sanders(I) vs.MacGovern(R)
WA:Cantwell(D) vs.Baumgartner(R)
WI:Thompson(R) vs.Baldwin(D)
WV:Manchin(D) vs.Raese(R)
WY:Barrasso(R) vs.Chesnut(D)
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Page last updated: Oct 10, 2012