"Just Like John Kerry, He Speaks French"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 13 2012 9:40 AM

"Just Like John Kerry, He Speaks French"

You can probably find the moment when this veers from an attack ad to a parody of an attack ad.

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Could Newt 2012 have no better Kerry quote in the can than "laissez les bons temps rouler"? That's one of the Americanized French expressions that most people know. The attack on Kerry was not exactly that he spoke French, but that 1) his wife was foreign-born and 2) in the words of a Bush advisor kindly given anonymity by the New York Times, Kerry "look[ed] French." The connectivity between Kerry and Romney actually falls apart here -- one guy's using a expression, the other is recording a bilingual message for the Olympics.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.