Teresa Heinz Kerry, years before becoming a Democrat, railed against the party's ``putrid'' politics, said she didn't trust Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and angrily called the liberal lion a ``perfect bastard.''
In comments published in a little-known 1975 book about political wives called ``The Power Lovers: An Intimate Look at Politicians and Their Marriages,'' Heinz Kerry lashed out at the senator she'll share the primetime convention stage with tonight.
``I know some couples who stay together only for politics,'' Heinz Kerry said at the time. ``If Ted Kennedy holds on to that marriage (to ex-wife Joan) just for the Catholic vote, as some people say he does, then I think he's a perfect bastard.''
Heinz Kerry, then married to Republican Sen. H. John Heinz III of Pennsylvania, said she ``didn't trust'' President Richard M. Nixon but added, ``Ted Kennedy I don't trust either.''
The combustible and ever-quotable Heinz Kerry said of Democrats, ``The Democratic machine in this country is putrid.'' Excerpts of the comments appeared in The Boston Herald American in January 1976.
Coming a day after Heinz Kerry was caught on camera telling a reporter to ``shove it'' when the reporter questioned her on statements made in a Boston speech, the remarks could undercut Democrats' ability to showcase a positive message at the convention.
Kennedy's office dismissed the comments as water under the bridge and said the two get along famously now _ regardless of what Heinz Kerry has said in the past.
``Over the years, Sen. and Mrs. Kennedy and John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry have developed a deep friendship and strong mutual respect,'' Kennedy spokesman David Smith said in a statement to the Herald.
``A 30-year-old quote dug up by the Republican attack machine made long before they became friends is irrelevant.''
Heinz Kerry's spokeswoman also said the quotes' age makes them irrelevant.
``You are talking about statements that are more than 30 years old. A lot has changed since then,'' said Marla Romash, a senior adviser to Heinz Kerry.
But it isn't the first time quotes have emerged in which Heinz Kerry targets the legendary Bay State senator.
In an interview with The Washington Post in 1971, Heinz Kerry declared, ``Ted Kennedy I don't trust, like I don't trust Nixon, although I think Nixon's done a helluva lot better than I thought he would.''
Just last year, Heinz Kerry said she regretted the comments she had made to the Post regarding Kennedy.
Romash noted the number of times Heinz Kerry has campaigned with Kennedy and said Victoria Reggie Kennedy will host a luncheon for Heinz Kerry this afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts.
``There's a very good relationship now,'' Romash said.
She said Heinz Kerry stood by her comments about the Democratic machine, saying state Democratic parties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania at the time were ``a big problem,'' Romash said.
``I think there are a lot of people who would say there were problems in state parties in Pennslyvania and New Jersey,'' Romash said. ``Those problems don't exist anymore.''