Still in damage control mode, Kerry sat down for a whiney interview with the Boston Globe and couldn’t help being his usual pompous, out of touch self.
WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry yesterday acknowledged for the first time that he mishandled the political fallout from questions about taxes on his new $7 million yacht berthed in Rhode Island, but insisted that he always intended to make the $500,000 payment once he had registered the boat in Massachusetts.
“Our fault,’’ the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview. “I don’t think I dealt with it fast enough, effectively enough. There’s nobody to blame but myself for that.’’
Last Friday, Kerry issued a less-than-definitive statement about the matter, saying, “If I owe taxes, I will pay promptly.’’ That was followed over the next few days by a series of similar comments, fueling a stream of media reports about whether the senator was trying to dodge Massachusetts taxes.
Then, on Tuesday, Kerry said he would deliver a check for roughly $500,000 — “whether owed or not’’ — to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to quell the controversy.
Kerry, during a 45-minute session with Globe reporters, repeatedly insisted that he never had any intention of permanently docking the yacht in Rhode Island to avoid paying taxes in Massachusetts.Asked why he had not paid taxes earlier, he said he has not taken final ownership of the yacht because there were several changes still being made by a designer, whose team is based in Rhode Island. Thus, he said, he was not in a position to pay taxes in Massachusetts.
He said, however, that he could now take possession within days — possibly soon enough to go sailing this weekend. He insisted he always intended on paying taxes after taking possession, notwithstanding the conditionality of his earlier statements.
He goes on to be very defensive about his wife’s inherited money.
“Look, we don’t feel like we have anything, either of us, to apologize for, to people,’’ Kerry said. “Because you know, the happenstance of death and accident and tragedy leaves my wife with a certain amount of money. . . . She doesn’t have to apologize for wanting to have good moments on a sailboat with her family.’’
Self-inflicted swift boating.