During the question-and-answer period, Sen. Jim DeMint, a first-term Republican from South Carolina, who's up for re-election this year, said he found it "frightening" that the Russians believe there's a relationship between offensive and defensive nuclear forces.
The committee's chairman, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., patiently noted, "There is a relationship." If offensive forces are cut and defensive forces go up, "you can obliterate one party's sense of deterrence." This, he said, is "common sense."
DeMint said, "But you're agreeing with me." Don't we want to expand our defenses so that we can obliterate Russia's offensive capability?
Kerry, a bit nonplussed, replied, "No."
19 May 2010
Senator John Kerry, in a Senate hearing on the new START: