John Kerry Trades Quips with Jon Stewart

John Kerry Trades Quips with Jon Stewart
Conrad Mulcahy/AP

08/25/2004 AT 08:30 AM EDT

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry got the Jon Stewart treatment in person Tuesday night, appearing on Comedy Central's The Daily Show for a sit-down with the fake news anchor.

"I watch a lot of the cable news shows, so I understand that you were never in Vietnam," Stewart informed the senator from Massachusetts.

"That's what I understand, too, but I'm trying to find out what happened," Kerry joked, in reference to some claims that he has exaggerated his actions during the war, where he served on a Navy swift boat and earned five medals.

On The Daily Show, Kerry, 60, stuck to the issues, delivering a lengthy monologue about President Bush's evasion of discussions on such issues as the economy, jobs and the environment.

This prompted Stewart, 41, to interrupt and ask: "I'm sorry. Were you or were you not in Cambodia?"

Then the two faced off and really got into it. About the rumor that Kerry is "more liberal than Karl Marx," the candidate told Stewart, "No."

"Are you or have you ever flip-flopped?" Stewart asked, in reference to a favorite GOP claim about Kerry. "I've flip-flopped, flap-flipped," replied Kerry.

Then the questioning turned even tougher. Stewart demanded to know: "Is it true that every time I use ketchup, your wife gets a nickel?" (Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is heir to the Heinz food fortune.) "Would that it were," said Kerry said.

As for what it's like to be running for the highest office in the land, Kerry told Stewart: "You'd be amazed at the number of people who want to introduce themselves to you in the men's room. It's the most bizarre part of this entire thing."

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