Skip to comments.Kerry Calls for Suspending Work of Base - FLIP-FLOP
Posted on 03/12/2004 3:43:05 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
BOSTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday that the work of the military base closing commission should be suspended as he warned of a ``terrible disconnect'' between President Bush's approach to shuttering installations and the demands on U.S. forces. The next round of closures are set for 2005, but Kerry said in a statement that a complete assessment of the military's needs is warranted before any steps are taken to reduce the number of bases. The comments were at odds with Kerry's vote on Sept. 25, 2001, for base closings. The Massachusetts senator then backed the efforts of the Bush administration for another round of closures. ``We shouldn't be wasting resources with excess bases, but we also have to know what our future needs will be at home and around the world,'' Kerry said. ``Base closures must be driven by logic, not ideology.'' Base closings remain a politically volatile issue, especially in communities faced with the loss of their facilities. In New Hampshire, which narrowly went for Bush in 2000, the fate of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, is a major concern. The shipyard, located on an island in the Piscataqua River that separates New Hampshire and Maine, employs about 4,000 people from the two states and Massachusetts. Military officials have said there is no target number of bases to be closed. There are approximately 425 major military installations nationwide. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he believes the military has about 20 percent to 25 percent excess capacity at its bases. ``There's a terrible disconnect between the stated goals of the base closure process and the realities we face today in managing our force structure and providing for our troops,'' Kerry said. In dealing with the base closure issue, Kerry argued that the long-range review ``honest about the challenges we face. And in the meantime, we should suspend the work of the base closure commission.'' In four earlier rounds of base closures, from 1988 to 1995, 387 major and minor bases were closed or realigned, saving about $17 billion through 2001 and $7 billion per year after that, a Pentagon official told Congress last month. Bush campagn spokesman Steve Schmidt rejected Kerry's proposal. ``This is another example of John Kerry playing politics with national security issues,'' Schmidt said, citing Kerry's shifting positions on several issues, including his vote to authorize force in Iraq, On Friday, Kerry spent the day running errands and shopping in Boston, where he bought more than $150 in books from a local book store and had a chance encounter with Martin McGuinness, a leader of the Irish group Sinn Fein. McGuinness gave Kerry an upbeat report on the status of the stalled Irish peace talks. ``We're tremendously far along in the peace process,'' McGuinness said. ``Where we are is a far better place than where we were 10 years ago.''
The next round of closures are set for 2005, but Kerry said in a statement that a complete assessment of the military's needs is warranted before any steps are taken to reduce the number of bases.
The comments were at odds with Kerry's vote on Sept. 25, 2001, for base closings. The Massachusetts senator then backed the efforts of the Bush administration for another round of closures.
``We shouldn't be wasting resources with excess bases, but we also have to know what our future needs will be at home and around the world,'' Kerry said. ``Base closures must be driven by logic, not ideology.''
Base closings remain a politically volatile issue, especially in communities faced with the loss of their facilities. In New Hampshire, which narrowly went for Bush in 2000, the fate of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, is a major concern.
The shipyard, located on an island in the Piscataqua River that separates New Hampshire and Maine, employs about 4,000 people from the two states and Massachusetts.
Military officials have said there is no target number of bases to be closed. There are approximately 425 major military installations nationwide. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he believes the military has about 20 percent to 25 percent excess capacity at its bases.
``There's a terrible disconnect between the stated goals of the base closure process and the realities we face today in managing our force structure and providing for our troops,'' Kerry said.
In dealing with the base closure issue, Kerry argued that the long-range review ``honest about the challenges we face. And in the meantime, we should suspend the work of the base closure commission.''
In four earlier rounds of base closures, from 1988 to 1995, 387 major and minor bases were closed or realigned, saving about $17 billion through 2001 and $7 billion per year after that, a Pentagon official told Congress last month.
Bush campagn spokesman Steve Schmidt rejected Kerry's proposal. ``This is another example of John Kerry playing politics with national security issues,'' Schmidt said, citing Kerry's shifting positions on several issues, including his vote to authorize force in Iraq,
On Friday, Kerry spent the day running errands and shopping in Boston, where he bought more than $150 in books from a local book store and had a chance encounter with Martin McGuinness, a leader of the Irish group Sinn Fein.
McGuinness gave Kerry an upbeat report on the status of the stalled Irish peace talks.
``We're tremendously far along in the peace process,'' McGuinness said. ``Where we are is a far better place than where we were 10 years ago.''
It would not surprise me in the least if the Kerry's served fried chicken and watermelon at their next black-focused campaing stop...
Round 1: Flip-Flopped On Iraq War
Kerry Voted For Authorization To Use Force In Iraq. (H.J. Res. 114, CQ Vote #237: Passed 77-23: R 48-1; D 29-21; I 0-1, 10/11/02, Kerry Voted Yea.)
In First Dem Debate, Kerry Strongly Supported Presidents Action In Iraq. KERRY: George, I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him. (ABC News, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/4/03)
Kerry Later Claimed He Voted To Threaten Use Of Force In Iraq. I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations. (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Announcement Of Presidential Candidacy, Mount Pleasant, SC, 9/2/03)
Now, Kerry Says He Is Anti-War Candidate. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think you belong to that category of candidates who more or less are unhappy with this war, the way its been fought, along with General Clark, along with Howard Dean and not necessarily in companionship politically on the issue of the war with people like Lieberman, Edwards and Gephardt? Are you one of the anti-war candidates? KERRY: I am -- Yes, in the sense that I dont believe the president took us to war as he should have, yes, absolutely. (MSNBCs Hardball, 1/6/04)
Round 2: Kerry Flip-Flopped On Eliminating Marriage Penalty For Middle Class
Kerry Said He Will Fight To Keep Tax Relief For Married Couples. Howard Dean and Gephardt are going to put the marriage penalty back in place. So if you get married in America, were going to charge you more taxes. I do not want to do that. (Fox News Special Report, 10/23/03)
Said Democrats Fought To End Marriage Penalty Tax. We fought hard to get rid of the marriage penalty. (MSNBCs News Live, 7/31/03)
But, In 1998, Kerry Voted Against Eliminating Marriage Penalty Relief For Married Taxpayers With Combined Incomes Less Than $50,000 Per Year, Saving Taxpayers $46 Billion Over 10 Years. (S. 1415, CQ Vote #154: Rejected 48-50: R 5-49; D 43-1, 6/10/98, Kerry Voted Yea)
Round 3: Flip-Flopped On Patriot Act
Kerry Voted For Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was passed nearly unanimously by the Senate 98-1, and 357-66 in the House. (H.R. 3162, CQ Vote #313: Passed 98-1: R 49-0; D 48-1; I 1-0, 10/25/01, Kerry Voted Yea)
Kerry Used To Defend His Vote. Most of [The Patriot Act] has to do with improving the transfer of information between CIA and FBI, and it has to do with things that really were quite necessary in the wake of what happened on September 11th. (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Town Hall Meeting, Manchester, NH, 8/6/03)
Now, Kerry Attacks Patriot Act. We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night. So it is time to end the era of John Ashcroft. That starts with replacing the Patriot Act with a new law that protects our people and our liberties at the same time. Ive been a District Attorney and I know that what law enforcement needs are real tools not restrictions on Americans basic rights. (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Iowa State University, Iowa City, IA, 12/1/03)
Round 4: Kerry Took BOTH Sides On First Gulf War
Kerry Took BOTH Sides In First Gulf War In Separate Letters To Same Constituent. Rather than take a side--albeit the one he thought was most expedient--Kerry actually stood on both sides of the first Gulf war, much like he did this time around. Consider this Notebook item from TNRs March 25, 1991 issue, which ran under the headline Same Senator, Same Constituent: Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition ... to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war. --letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22  Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bushs response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf. --Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter, January 31  (Noam Scheiber, Noam Scheibers Daily Journal of Politics, The New Republic Online, 1/28/04)
Round 5: Flip-Flopped On Gay Marriage Amendment
In 2002, Kerry Signed Letter Urging MA Legislature To Reject Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage. We rarely comment on issues that are wholly within the jurisdiction of the General Court, but there are occasions when matters pending before you are of such significance to all residents of the Commonwealth that we think it appropriate for us to express our opinion. One such matter is the proposed Constitutional amendment that would prohibit or seriously inhibit any legal recognition whatsoever of same-sex relationships. We believe it would be a grave error for Massachusetts to enshrine in our Constitution a provision which would have such a negative effect on so many of our fellow residents. We are therefore united in urging you to reject this Constitutional amendment and avoid stigmatizing so many of our fellow citizens who do not deserve to be treated in such a manner. (Sen. John Kerry, et al, Letter To Members Of The Massachusetts Legislature, 7/12/02)
Now, In 2004, Kerry Wont Rule Out Supporting Similar Amendment. Asked if he would support a state constitutional amendment barring gay and lesbian marriages, Kerry didnt rule out the possibility. Ill have to see what language there is, he said. (Susan Milligan, Kerry Says GOP May Target Him On Wedge Issue, The Boston Globe, 2/6/04)
Round 6: Flip-Flopped On Attacking President During Time Of War
In March 2003, Kerry Promised Not To Attack President When War Began. Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts said he will cease his complaints once the shooting starts. Its what you owe the troops, said a statement from Kerry, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. I remember being one of those guys and reading news reports from home. If America is at war, I wont speak a word without measuring how itll sound to the guys doing the fighting when theyre listening to their radios in the desert. (Glen Johnson, Democrats On The Stump Plot Their War Rhetoric, The Boston Globe, 3/11/03)
But Weeks Later, With Troops Just Miles From Baghdad, Kerry Broke His Pledge. What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States, Kerry said in a speech at the Peterborough Town Library. Despite pledging two weeks ago to cool his criticism of the administration once war began, Kerry unleashed a barrage of criticism as US troops fought within 25 miles of Baghdad. (Glen Johnson, Kerry Says Us Needs Its Own Regime Change, The Boston Globe, 4/3/03)
Round 7: Flip-Flopped On Death Penalty For Terrorists
In 1996, Kerry Attacked Governor Bill Weld For Supporting Death Penalty For Terrorists. KERRY: Your policy would amount to a terrorist protection policy. Mine would put them in jail. (1996 Massachusetts Senate Debate, 9/16/96)
In 1996, Kerry Said, You Can Change Your Mind On Things, But Not On Life-And-Death Issues. (Timothy J. Connolly, The Snoozer Had Some Life, [Worcester, MA] Telegram & Gazette, 7/3/96)
But, In 2002, Kerry Said He Supported Death Penalty For Terrorists. KERRY: The law of the land is the law of the land, but I have also said that I am for the death penalty for terrorists because terrorists have declared war on your country. (NBCs Meet The Press, 12/1/02)
Round 8: Flip-Flopped On No Child Left Behind
Kerry Voted For No Child Left Behind Act. (H.R. 1, CQ Vote #371: Adopted 87-10: R 44-3; D 43-6; I 0-1, 12/18/01, Kerry Voted Yea)
But Now Kerry Is Attacking No Child Left Behind As Mockery. Between now and the time Im sworn in January 2005, Im going to use every day to make this president accountable for making a mockery of the words No Child Left Behind. (Holly Ramer, Kerry Wants To Make Environmental Justice A Priority, The Associated Press, 4/22/03)
Kerry Trashed NCLB As Unfunded Mandate With Laudable Goals. Kerry referred to [No Child Left Behind] as an unfunded mandate with laudable goals. Without the resources, education reform is a sham, Kerry said. I cant wait to crisscross this country and hold this president accountable for making a mockery of the words no child left behind. (Matt Leon, Sen. Kerry In Tune With Educators, The [Quincy, MA] Patriot Ledger, 7/11/03)
Round 9: Flip-Flopped On Affirmative Action
.In 1992, Kerry Called Affirmative Action Inherently Limited And Divisive. [W]hile praising affirmative action as one kind of progress that grew out of civil rights court battles, Kerry said the focus on a rights-based agenda has inadvertently driven most of our focus in this country not to the issue of what is happening to the kids who do not get touched by affirmative action, but toward an inherently limited and divisive program which is called affirmative action. That agenda is limited, he said, because it benefits segments of black and minority populations, but not all. And it is divisive because it creates a perception and a reality of reverse discrimination that has actually engendered racism. (Lynne Duke, Senators Seek Serious Dialogue On Race, The Washington Post, 4/8/92)
In 2004, Kerry Denied Ever Having Called Affirmative Action Divisive. CNNs KELLY WALLACE: We caught up with the Senator, who said he never called affirmative action divisive, and accused Clark of playing politics. SEN. KERRY: Thats not what I said. I said there are people who believe that. And I said mend it, dont end it. Hes trying to change what I said, but you can go read the quote. I said very clearly I have always voted for it. Ive always supported it. Ive never, ever condemned it. I did what Jim Clyburn did and what Bill Clinton did, which is mend it. And Jim Clyburn wouldnt be supporting it if it were otherwise. So lets not have any politics here. Lets keep the truth. (CNNs Inside Politics, 1/30/04)
Round 10: Flip-Flopped On Ethanol
Kerry Twice Voted Against Tax Breaks For Ethanol. (S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #44: Rejected 48-52: R 11-32; D 37-20, 3/23/93, Kerry Voted Nay; S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #68: Motion Agreed To 55-43: R 2-40; D 53-3, 3/24/93, Kerry Voted Yea)
Kerry Voted Against Ethanol Mandates. (H.R. 4624, CQ Vote #255: Motion Agreed To 51-50: R 19-25; D 31-25, 8/3/94, Kerry Voted Nay)
Kerry Voted Twice To Increase Liability On Ethanol, Making It Equal To Regular Gasoline. (S. 517, CQ Vote #87: Motion Agreed To 57-42: R 38-10; D 18-32; I 1-0, 4/25/02 Kerry Voted Nay; S. 14, CQ Vote #208: Rejected 38-57: R 9-40; D 28-17; I 1-0, 6/5/03, Kerry Voted Yea)
On The Campaign Trail, Though, Kerry Is For Ethanol. KERRY: Im for ethanol, and I think its a very important partial ingredient of the overall mix of alternative and renewable fuels we ought to commit to. (MSNBC/DNC, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Des Moines, IA, 11/24/03)
Round 11: Flip-Flopped On Cuba Sanctions
Senator Kerry Has Long Voted Against Stronger Cuba Sanctions. (H.R. 927, CQ Vote #489, Motion Rejected 59-36: R 50-2; D 9-34, 10/17/95, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 955, CQ Vote #183: Rejected 38-61: R 5-49; D 33-12, 7/17/97, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1234, CQ Vote #189, Motion Agreed To 55-43: R 43-10; D 12-33, 6/30/99, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2549, CQ Vote #137: Motion Agreed To 59-41: R 52-3; D 7-38, 6/20/00, Kerry Voted Nay)
In 2000, Kerry Said Florida Politics Is Only Reason Cuba Sanctions Still In Place. Senator John F. Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview that a reevaluation of relations with Cuba was way overdue. We have a frozen, stalemated, counterproductive policy that is not in humanitarian interests nor in our larger credibility interest in the region, Kerry said. It speaks volumes about the problems in the current American electoral process. The only reason we dont reevaluate the policy is the politics of Florida. (John Donnelly, Policy Review Likely On Cuba, The Boston Globe, 4/9/00)
Now Kerry Panders To Cuban Vote, Saying He Would Not Lift Embargo Against Cuba. TIM RUSSERT: Would you consider lifting sanctions, lifting the embargo against Cuba? SEN. KERRY: Not unilaterally, not now, no. (NBCs Meet The Press, 8/31/03)
Kerry Does Not Support Opening Up The Embargo Wily Nilly. Kerry said he believes in engagement with the communist island nation but that does not mean, Open up the dialogue. He believes it means travel and perhaps even remittances or cultural exchanges but he does not support opening up the embargo wily nilly. (Daniel A. Ricker, Kerry Says Bush Did Not Build A Legitimate Coalition In Iraq, The Miami Herald, 11/25/03)
Round 12: Flip-Flopped On NAFTA
Kerry Voted For NAFTA. (H.R. 3450, CQ Vote #395: Passed 61-38: R 34-10; D 27-28, 11/20/93, Kerry Voted Yea)
Kerry Recognized NAFTA Is Our Future. NAFTA recognizes the reality of todays economy - globalization and technology, Kerry said. Our future is not in competing at the low-level wage job; it is in creating high-wage, new technology jobs based on our skills and our productivity. (John Aloysius Farrell, Senates OK Finalizes NAFTA Pact, The Boston Globe, 11/21/93)
Now, Kerry Expresses Doubt About NAFTA. Kerry, who voted for NAFTA in 1993, expressed some doubt about the strength of free-trade agreements. If it were before me today, I would vote against it because it doesnt have environmental or labor standards in it, he said. (David Lightman, Democrats Battle For Labors Backing, Hartford Courant, 8/6/03)
Round 13: Flip-Flopped On Double Taxation Of Dividends
December 2002: Kerry Favored Ending Double Taxation Of Dividends. [T]o encourage investments in the jobs of the future - I think we should eliminate the tax on capital gains for investments in critical technology companies - zero capital gains on $100 million issuance of stock if its held for 5 years and has created real jobs. And we should attempt to end the double taxation of dividends. (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At The City Club Of Cleveland, 12/3/02)
May 2003: Kerry Said He Opposed Ending Double Taxation Of Dividends. Kerry also reiterated his opposition to the Republican plan to cut taxes on stock dividends. This is not the time for a dividends tax cut that goes to individuals, he said. (Kerry Says Time Is On Dems Side, The Associated Press, 5/8/03)
Round 14: Flip-Flopped On Raising Taxes During Economic Downturn
September 2001: Said Should Not Raise Taxes In Economic Downturn. The first priority is the economy of our nation. And when you have a downturn in the economy, the last thing you do is raise taxes or cut spending. We shouldnt do either. We need to maintain a course that hopefully will stimulate the economy. . . . No, we should not raise taxes, but we have to put everything on the table to take a look at why we have this structural problem today. . . .[Y]ou dont want to raise taxes. (NBCs Meet The Press, 9/2/01)
ü We Should Absolutely Not Raise Taxes. Well, I think its very clear what I favor because we voted for it early in the spring, which was the Democratic budget alternative that had triggers in it where you didnt wind up spending money you dont have. It had a smaller tax cut but more tax cut for a stimulus, which is what we need. So you ask me, what do we need now? Yes, we need additional stimulus. We should absolutely not raise taxes. We should not cut spending. What we need to do is drive the economy of this country. The economy is the number one issue. It is the most important thing we should focus on. (CNNs Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields, 9/8/01)
April 2002: Said He Wanted Larger Tax Cut And Was Not In Favor Of Repeal. CNNs TUCKER CARLSON: Senator Kerry . . . [many Democrats] [g]et a lot of political mileage out of criticizing [President Bushs tax cut], but nobody has the courage to say repeal it. Are you for repealing it? KERRY: Its not a question of courage. . . . And its not an issue right now. We passed appropriately a tax cut as a stimulus, some $40 billion. Many of us thought it should have even maybe been a little bit larger this last year [T]he next tax cut doesnt take effect until 2004. If we can grow the economy enough between now and then, if we have sensible policies in place and make good choices, who knows what our choices will be. So its simply not a ripe issue right now. And Im not in favor of turning around today and repealing it. (CNNs Crossfire, 4/16/02)
December 2002: Flip-Flopped, Would Keep Tax Cuts From Taking Effect. NBCs TIM RUSSERT: Senator . . . should we freeze or roll back the Bush tax cut? KERRY: Well, I wouldnt take away from people whove already been given their tax cut What I would not do is give any new Bush tax cuts. RUSSERT: So the tax cut thats scheduled to be implemented in the coming years KERRY: No new tax cut under the Bush plan. . . . It doesnt make economic sense. RUSSERT: Now, this is a change (NBCs Meet The Press, 12/1/02)
ü Called For Freeze Of Bush Tax Cuts In Favor Of Year-Long Suspension Of Payroll Taxes On First $10,000 Of Personal Income. Kerry said Bushs tax cuts have mainly benefited the rich while doing little for the economy. Kerry is proposing to halt Bushs additional tax cuts and instead impose a yearlong suspension of payroll taxes on the first $10,000 of income to help the poor and middle class. (Tyler Bridges, Kerry Visits Miami To Start Raising Funds, The Miami Herald, 12/7/02)
Round 15: Flip-Flopped On Small Business Income Taxes
Kerry Voted Against Exempting Small Businesses And Family Farms From Clinton Income Tax Increase. (S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #79: Motion Agreed To 54-45: R 0-43; D 54-2, 3/25/93, Kerry Voted Yea)
Three Months Later, Kerry Voted In Favor Of Proposal To Exclude Small Businesses From The Increased Income Tax. (S. 1134, CQ Vote #171: Motion Rejected 56-42: R 43-0; D 13-42, 6/24/93, Kerry Voted Yea)
Kerry Claimed He Fought To Exempt Small Businesses From Income Tax Increases. I worked to amend the reconciliation bill so that it would exempt small businesses who are classified as subchapter S corporations from the increased individual income tax. (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 6/29/93, p. S 8268)
Round 16: Kerry Flip-Flopped On 50-Cent Gas Tax Increase
In 1994, Kerry Backed Half-Dollar Increase In Gas Tax. Kerry said [the Concord Coalitions scorecard] did not accurately reflect individual lawmakers efforts to cut the deficit. It doesnt reflect my $43 billion package of cuts or my support for a 50-cent increase in the gas tax, Kerry said. (Jill Zuckman, Deficit-Watch Group Gives High Marks To 7 N.E. Lawmakers, The Boston Globe, 3/1/94)
Two Years Later, Kerry Flip-Flopped. Kerry no longer supports the 50-cent [gas tax] hike, nor the 25-cent hike proposed by the [Concord] coalition. (Michael Grunwald, Kerry Gets Low Mark On Budgeting, The Boston Globe, 4/30/96)
Round 17: Flip-Flopped On Leaving Abortion Up To States
Kerry Used To Say Abortion Should Be Left Up To States. I think the question of abortion is one that should be left for the states to decide, Kerry said during his failed 1972 Congressional bid. (John Kerry On The Issues, The [Lowell, MA] Sun, 10/11/72)
Now Kerry Says Abortion Is Law Of Entire Nation. The right to choose is the law of the United States. No person has the right to infringe on that freedom. Those of us who are in government have a special responsibility to see to it that the United States continues to protect this right, as it must protect all rights secured by the constitution. (Sen. John Kerry [D-MA], Congressional Record, 1/22/85)
Round 18: Flip-Flopped On Litmus Tests For Judicial Nominees
Kerry Used To Oppose Litmus Tests For Judicial Nominees. Throughout two centuries, our federal judiciary has been a model institution, one which has insisted on the highest standards of conduct by our public servants and officials, and which has survived with undiminished respect. Today, I fear that this institution is threatened in a way that we have not seen before. This threat is that of the appointment of a judiciary which is not independent, but narrowly ideological, through the systematic targeting of any judicial nominee who does not meet the rigid requirements of litmus tests imposed (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 2/3/86, p. S864)
But Now Kerry Says He Would Only Support Supreme Court Nominees Who Pledge To Uphold Roe v. Wade. The potential retirement of Supreme Court justices makes the 2004 presidential election especially important for women, Senator John F. Kerry told a group of female Democrats yesterday, and he pledged that if elected president he would nominate to the high court only supporters of abortion rights under its Roe v. Wade decision. Any president ought to appoint people to the Supreme Court who understand the Constitution and its interpretation by the Supreme Court. In my judgment, it is and has been settled law that women, Americans, have a defined right of privacy and that the government does not make the decision with respect to choice. Individuals do. (Glen Johnson, Kerry Vows Court Picks To Be Abortion-Rights Supporters, The Boston Globe, 4/9/03)
Round 19: Flip-Flopped On Federal Health Benefits
In 1993, Kerry Expressed Doubts That Federal Employees Health Benefits System Worked Well. Hillary Rodham Clinton today offered a fresh description of one of the most confusing elements of the Administration health care plan, the health insurance purchasing alliances, saying they would let all Americans choose coverage in the way members of Congress do. Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said he was not sure that the Federal program worked all that well. (Adam Clymer, Hillary Clinton Says Health Plan Will Be Familiar, The New York Times, 12/8/93)
Kerry Expressed Personal Dissatisfaction With His Coverage Through Federal Program. Earlier this month, when Hillary Rodham Clinton came to Boston and vowed that average Americans would get as good coverage as that enjoyed by their senators and representatives, Sen. John F. Kerry told Clinton that he thought the country could do better. The Massachusetts Democrat said he was thinking, among other recent disasters, of his $500 dental bill for treatment of an abscessed tooth. Because it was done in the dentists office, rather than the hospital, they didnt cover it. So they were urging me to go spend twice as much in a hospital, said Kerry, who is covered by BACE, the Beneficial Association of Capitol Employees. (Ana Puga, Lawmakers Talk Health Care, The Boston Globe, 12/19/93)
Now, On Campaign Trail, Kerry Is Enthusiastic About Health Care He Receives As Senator. As a U.S. Senator, I could get the best health care in the world. Most people arent so lucky, and we need to change that. Thats why my plan gives every American access to the same kind of health care that members of Congress give themselves. Because your familys health care is just as important as any politicians in Washington. (Sen. John Kerry, Affordable Health Care For All Americans, Remarks At Mercy Medical, Cedar Rapids, IA, 12/14/03)
Kerry: Im Going To Make Available To Every American The Same Health Care Plan That Senators And Congressmen Give Themselves (Sen. John Kerry, AARP Democrat Candidate Debate, Bedford, NH, 11/18/03)
Round 20: Flip-Flopped On Tax Credits For Small Business Health
In 2001, Kerry Voted Against Amendment Providing $70 Billion For Tax Credits For Small Business To Purchase Health Insurance. (H. Con. Res. 83, CQ Vote #83: Rejected 49-51: R 48-2; D 1-49, 4/5/01, Kerry Voted Nay)
Now, Kerry Promises Refundable Tax Credits To Small Businesses For Health Coverage. Refundable tax credits for up to 50 percent of the cost of coverage will be offered to small businesses and their employees to make health care more affordable. (John Kerrys Plan To Make Health Care Affordable To Every American, John Kerry For President Website, www.johnkerry.com, Accessed 1/21/04)
Round 21: Flip-Flopped On Health Coverage
In 1994, Kerry Said Democrats Push Health Care Too Much. [Kerry] said Kennedy and Clintons insistence on pushing health care reform was a major cause of the Democratic Partys problems at the polls. (Joe Battenfeld, Jenny Craig Hit With Sex Harassment Complaint - By Men, Boston Herald, 11/30/94)
But Now Kerry Calls Health Care His Passion. Sen. John Kerry says expanding coverage is my passion. (Susan Page, Health Specifics Could Backfire On Candidates, USA Today, 6/2/03)
Round 22: Flip-Flopped On Welfare Reform
In 1993, Kerry Voted To Kill Bipartisan Welfare Work Requirement. In 1993, Kerry and Kennedy voted against a welfare-to-work requirement that was supported by many Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV):
ü Fiscal 1993 Supplemental Appropriations - Welfare Work Requirement. Moynihan, D-N.Y., motion to table (kill) the DAmato, R-N.Y., amendment to sharply cut federal welfare administration aid to states that do not, within a year, require at least 10 percent of their able-bodied welfare recipients without dependents to work. The required workfare participation rate would be increased by 2 percent a year until 50 percent were working. (H.R. 2118, CQ Vote #163: Rejected 34-64: R 1-42; D 33-22, 6/22/93, Kerry Voted Yea)
But In 1996, Kerry Voted For Welfare Reform. (H.R. 3734, CQ Vote #262: Adopted 78-21: R 53-0; D 25-21, 8/1/96, Kerry Voted Yea)
Round 23: Flip-Flops On Stock Options Expensing
Kerry Used To Oppose Expensing Stock Options. Democratic Senator John F. Kerry was among those fighting expensing of stock options. (Sue Kirchhoff, Senate Blocks Options, The Boston Globe, 7/16/02)
Kerry Said Expensing Options Would Not Benefit The Investing Public. KERRY: Mr. President, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has proposed a rule that will require companies to amortize the value of stock options and deduct them off of their earnings statements I simply cannot see how the FASB rule, as proposed, will benefit the investing public. (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 3/10/94, p. S2772)
But Now Kerry Says He Supports Carrying Of Stock Options As Corporate Expense. On an issue related to corporate scandals, Kerry for the first time endorsed the carrying of stock options as a corporate expense. The use of stock options was abused by some companies and contributed to overly optimistic balance sheets. Kerry applauded steps by Microsoft Corp. to eliminate stock options for employees and said all publicly traded companies should be required to expense such options. (Dan Balz, Kerry Raps Bush Policy On Postwar Iraq, The Washington Post, 7/11/03)
Round 24: Flip-Flopped On Medical Marijuana
Kerry Said His Personal Disposition Is Open To The Issue Of Medical Marijuana. Aaron Houston of the Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana said that just a month ago Mr. Kerry seemed to endorse medical marijuana use, and when asked about the content of his mysterious study, said, I am trying to find out. I dont know. Mr. Kerry did say his personal disposition is open to the issue of medical marijuana and that hed stop Drug Enforcement Administration raids on patients using the stuff under Californias medical marijuana law. (Jennifer Harper, Inside Politics, The Washington Times, 8/8/03)
But Now Kerry Says He Wants To Wait For Study Analyzing Issue Before Making Final Decision. The Massachusetts Democrat said Wednesday hed put off any final decision on medical marijuana because theres a study under way analyzing what the science is. (Jennifer Harper, Inside Politics, The Washington Times, 8/8/03)
Round 25: Flip-Flopped On Burma Sanctions
In 1995, Kerry Was Against Burma Sanctions. I question whether isolation is a successful means of promoting political change, Kerry told a constituent in a 1995 letter justifying his opposition to a Burma sanction bill. (Geeta Anand, et al., Menino Gets Ahead Of Himself, Starts Contemplating Third Term, The Boston Globe, 5/18/97)
But Now Kerry Supports Burma Sanctions. In his 1996 reelection campaign, Kerry, after Governor William F. Weld took up the cause, was badgered by advisers into shifting his position. But as he eyes a presidential campaign and the Burma sanction movement gains credibility, Kerry describes the Burma regime as a semi-criminalized dictatorship which should not be treated with respect by other nations, but should be instead subject to limitations on travel, investment, and access to the most developed nations. (Geeta Anand, et al., Menino Gets Ahead Of Himself, Starts Contemplating Third Term, The Boston Globe, 5/18/97)
Round 26: Flip-Flopped On Military Experience As Credential For Public Office
Kerry: Service Should Not Be Litmus Test For Leadership. Mr. President, you and I know that if support or opposition to the war were to become a litmus test for leadership, America would never have leaders or recover from the divisions created by that war. You and I know that if service or nonservice in the war is to become a test of qualification for high office, you would not have a Vice President, nor would you have a Secretary of Defense and our Nation would never recover from the divisions created by that war. (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 10/08/92, p. S17709)
But Now Kerry Constantly Challenges The Stature Of His Democratic Opponents Over Their Lack Of Military Service. And more than ever, Mr. Kerry is invoking his stature as a Vietnam veteran as he challenges the stature of his Democratic opponents -- none of whom, he frequently points out, have worn the uniform of our country -- to withstand a debate with Mr. Bush on national security. (Adam Nagourney, As Campaign Tightens, Kerry Sharpens Message, The New York Times, 8/10/03)
Round 27: Flip-Flopped On PACs
Kerry Used To Decry Special Interests And Their PAC Money. Im frequently told by cynics in Washington that refusing PAC money is naive, Kerry told his supporters in 1985. Do you agree that it is naïve to turn down special interests and their PAC money? (Glen Johnson, In A Switch, Kerry Is Launching A PAC, The Boston Globe, 12/15/01)
Kerry Created His Own Hard Money PAC Called Citizen Soldier Fund, Which Raised Over $700,000. A week after repeating that he has refused to accept donations from political action committees, Senator John F. Kerry announced yesterday that he was forming a committee that would accept PAC money for him to distribute to other Democratic candidates. Kerrys stance on soft money, unregulated donations funneled through political parties, puts him in the position of raising the type of money that he, McCain, and others in the campaign-finance reform movement are trying to eliminate. (Federal Election Commission Website, www.fec.gov, Accessed 2/10/04; Glen Johnson, In A Switch, Kerry Is Launching A PAC, The Boston Globe, 12/15/01)
Round 28: Flip-Flopped On $10,000 Donation Limit To His PAC
When Kerry Established His PAC In 2001, He Instituted A $10,000 Limit On Donations. A week after repeating that he has refused to accept donations from political action committees, Senator John F. Kerry announced yesterday that he was forming a committee that would accept PAC money for him to distribute to other Democratic candidates The statement also declared that the new PAC would voluntarily limit donations of so-called soft money to $10,000 per donor per year and disclose the source and amount of all such donations. (Glen Johnson, In A Switch, Kerry Is Launching A Pac, The Boston Globe, 12/15/01)
One Year Later, Kerry Started Accepting Unlimited Contributions. Senator John F. Kerry, who broke with personal precedent last year when he established his first political action committee, has changed his fund-raising guidelines again, dropping a $10,000 limit on contributions from individuals, a cap he had touted when establishing the PAC. The Massachusetts Democrat said yesterday he decided to accept unlimited contributions, which has already allowed him to take in soft money donations as large as $25,000, because of the unprecedented fund-raising demands confronting him as a leader in the Senate Democratic caucus. (Glen Johnson, Kerry Shifts Fund-Raising Credo For His Own PAC, The Boston Globe, 10/4/02)
Round 29: Flip-Flopped On Using Personal Funds In 1996 Race
In 1996, Kerry And Weld Established $500,000 Limit Of Personal Wealth To Be Used In Senate Campaign. In 1996, Kerry and Weld gave their already noteworthy Senate race added significance by establishing a spending cap. The candidates agreed to spend no more than $6.9 million from July 1 through the election. Weld ended up spending $6.6 million and Kerry $6.3 million. One key element of the agreement limited the candidates to spending $500,000 in personal wealth, a clause Weld favored because Kerry is married to a millionaire, Teresa Heinz. (Glen Johnson, In Kerrys Plan For A Pac, The Resolution Of Opposites, The Boston Globe, 12/18/01)
Kerry Broke Agreement By Spending $1.2 Million Over Limit. [P]ost-election reports showed a last-minute infusion of $1.7 million from Kerrys wife, heiress Teresa Heinz. [K]erry denied that his campaign violated its agreement. The money had been loaned--not contributed--by his wife, he explained. There was nothing in the agreement that restricted us from taking a loan and we paid it back in $1,000 and $2,000 chunks. (Global Ecology Lobby Rocked By Defection, Political Finance, The Newsletter, 1/02)
Round 30: Flip-Flopped On Israel Security Fence
October 2003: Kerry Calls Fence Barrier To Peace. And I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli governments decision to build a barrier off the green line, cutting deeply into Palestinian areas. We do not need another barrier to peace. Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israels security over the long- term, they increase hardships to the Palestinian people, and they make the process of negotiating an eventual settlement that much harder. (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks Before Arab American Institute National Leadership Conference, Dearborn, MI, 10/17/03)
February 2004: Kerry Calls Fence Legitimate Act Of Self-Defense. US Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, described Israels construction of a security barrier as a legitimate act of self defense after Sundays suicide bombing in Jerusalem, clarifying a position he took in October when he told an Arab American audience, We dont need another barrier to peace. (Janine Zacharia, Kerry Defends Security Fence, The Jerusalem Post, 2/25/04)
With the nomination locked up, Kerry can stop trying to run to the left of the loser Dem candidates and lurch to the center.
Also, the news is full of distubing photos from Madrid. Kerry knows he's vulnerable on defense, this is his attempt to take a hard line. Pay no attention to what he said or did or voted for in the past, he's there to protect you now!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.