Kerry tabbed as Romney for debate practice

June 19, 2012 at 1:06 AM
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BOSTON, June 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., will stand in for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in President Barack Obama's practice debates, a campaign adviser says.

"There is no one that has more experience or understanding of the presidential debate process than John Kerry," David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign strategist, told The Boston Globe. "He's an expert debater who has a fundamental mastery of a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney's Massachusetts. He's the obvious choice."

Kerry, who lost to President George W. Bush in a close race in 2004, and Romney may differ in political party and views, but they also have a lot in common, the Globe said Monday: They are tall, good looking, uncomfortable with small talk and very rich.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Kerry in a 1996 Senate race and debated him eight times, paid tribute to his skill in 2004.

"He is totally comfortable and at home in a debate format, because he has been doing it all his adult life -- and most of his teenage years as well," Weld said.

Kerry is believed to be a likely choice for secretary of state if Obama wins a second term and Hillary Clinton decides to leave the job, the newspaper said.

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