Claim: Senator John Kerry made disparaging remarks after viewing President Ronald Reagan's casket.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 2004]
I FOUND THIS QUOTE FROM KERRY. I HOPE NONE OF YOU WERE GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM, BUT IF YOU WERE, THINK ABOUT WHAT HE IS SAYING. ESPECIALLY THE LAST LINE, "RECLAIM OUR COUNTRY FROM THE CHURCH GOERS". WOW!!!!
HE WAS AT THE VIEWING OF REAGAN'S BODY IN CALIFORNIA.
"This moment in Simi Valley is a moment of truth," Kerry said. "Not just for my campaign, but for the future of my party as well. For some of us, this may be our only chance to confirm the demise of the man who is solely responsible for turning the American people away from liberal philosophy. As Democrats, we need to put small differences aside and be certain that this man is truly gone. Next, we must reclaim our country from the church-goers, the middle America folks and the uneducated conservative masses."
Origins: After the passing of President Ronald Reagan
in June 2004, Senator John Kerry cancelled scheduled campaign events and suspended his campaign activities for a week as a display of respect for the former president. Senator Kerry also made a visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, to pay his respects as President Reagan's body lay in repose at the presidential library, and the Senator attended the state funeral held for the former president a few days later at Washington's National Cathedral.
The words quoted above were never spoken by Senator Kerry; they're an e-mailed excerpt taken from a spoof news article ("Kerry Endures Heat and Low-Life Scum to Make Sure Reagan is Really Dead") published on kerrycore.com, a John Kerry parody site.
What the press reported Senator Kerry actually said at the time he visited the Reagan Library was:
"I didn't agree with a lot of the things he was doing, obviously," Kerry said of Reagan, whom he called a "very likable guy." But he added that he got along well with the Republican, was able to work with him and visited the White House a number of times during his two terms.