Kerry responds to Taser incident

"I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted."

By Tim Grieve
September 18, 2007 8:42PM (UTC)
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John Kerry's office has just released a statement on the incident Monday in which University of Florida police tried to arrest a student who asked Kerry an overlong question and then Tasered him when he resisted:

"In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way," Kerry says in the statement. "I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of responding when he was taken into custody. I was not aware that a Taser was used until after I left the building. I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted."


When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was asked about the incident this morning on Fox News, he said: "Gosh, normally you Taser the candidate, you don't Taser the questioner." Amid laughter in the Fox studio, Romney said that candidates are "the ones that go on and on and on. 'Can't we get him off the stage?' You don't Taser the people who've come in to ask questions."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2008 Elections John F. Kerry D-mass. Mitt Romney