SAN JOSE, Calif. - Pitching his plans for the new economy, Sen. John Kerry was embraced yesterday by an icon of the old, Lee A. Iacocca, the former chairman of the Chrysler Corp.
Iacocca, 79, was an outspoken supporter of President Bush in the 2000 election. He said he was endorsing Kerry this year because "We need a new CEO and a new president."
"All of my best friends are Republicans," Iacocca said as he introduced Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, for a speech on technology at San Jose State University here, "and they ask me, `Are you crazy or something? Why are you doing this?'
"I tell them the world is changing, our country is changing, and we need a leader who will understand that change taking place."
Iacocca campaigned for Bush in 2000 in Michigan, a state the Democrats won by 5 percent. ("We forgive you!" someone called from the crowd yesterday.)
Noting that his first ballot was cast for Harry S. Truman and that he had been "friendly with every president since Lyndon Johnson," Iacocca said he plans to campaign actively this fall in Michigan, Ohio and his native Pennsylvania.