More Waffles

Kerry gets caught in another “I voted for x before I voted against it” waffle, this time involving his stance against Castro:

John Kerry had just pumped up a huge crowd in downtown West Palm Beach, promising to make the state a battleground for his quest to oust President Bush, when a local television journalist posed the question that any candidate with Florida ambitions should expect:

What will you do about Cuba?

As the presumptive Democratic nominee, Kerry was ready with the bravado appropriate for a challenger who knows that every answer carries magnified importance in the state that put President Bush into office by just 537 votes.

”I’m pretty tough on Castro, because I think he’s running one of the last vestiges of a Stalinist secret police government in the world,” Kerry told WPLG-ABC 10 reporter Michael Putney in an interview to be aired at 11:30 this morning.

Then, reaching back eight years to one of the more significant efforts to toughen sanctions on the communist island, Kerry volunteered: “And I voted for the Helms-Burton legislation to be tough on companies that deal with him.”

It seemed the correct answer in a year in which Democratic strategists think they can make a play for at least a portion of the important Cuban-American vote — as they did in 1996 when more than three in 10 backed President Clinton’s reelection after he signed the sanctions measure written by Sen. Jesse Helms and Rep. Dan Burton.

There is only one problem: Kerry voted against it.

Asked Friday to explain the discrepancy, Kerry aides said the senator cast one of the 22 nays that day in 1996 because he disagreed with some of the final technical aspects. But, said spokesman David Wade, Kerry supported the legislation in its purer form — and voted for it months earlier.

The confusion illustrates a persistent problem for Kerry as Republicans exploit his 19-year voting history to paint the Massachusetts senator as a waffler on major foreign-affairs questions such as the Iraq war, Israel’s security barrier and intelligence funding.

You just can’t make stuff like this up. No wonder Kerry keeps wanting everyone to forget about those years between getting back from Vietnam and running for President – I’m sure he’s got plenty of waffles to go around…

2 thoughts on “More Waffles

  1. Asked Friday to explain the discrepancy, Kerry aides said the senator cast one of the 22 nays that day in 1996 because he disagreed with some of the final technical aspects. But, said spokesman David Wade, Kerry supported the legislation in its purer form—and voted for it months earlier.

    So, Kerry votes for a bill, and then they change the bill and Kerry votes against it, and you think that counts as a flip-flop?

    Here’s a flip-flop for you – Bush’s stance on the Social Security surplus:

    BUSH PLEDGES NOT TO TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS… “We’re going to keep the promise of Social Security and keep the government from raiding the Social Security surplus.” [President Bush, 3/3/01]

    …BUSH SPENDS SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS The New York Times reported that “the president’s new budget uses Social Security surpluses to pay for other programs every year through 2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in Social Security funds to other purposes.” [The New York Times, 2/6/02]

    Or Bush’s stance on patients being allowed to sue their HMO’s (this one’s a double flip):

    GOVERNOR BUSH VETOES PATIENTS’ RIGHT TO SUE… “Despite his campaign rhetoric in favor of a patients’ bill of rights, Bush fought such a bill tooth and nail as Texas governor, vetoing a bill coauthored by Republican state Rep. John Smithee in 1995. He… constantly opposed a patient’s right to sue an HMO over coverage denied that resulted in adverse health effects.” [Salon, 2/7/01]

    …CANDIDATE BUSH PRAISES TEXAS PATIENTS’ RIGHT TO SUE… “We’re one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage… It’s time for our nation to come together and do what’s right for the people. And I think this is right for the people. You know, I support a national patients’ bill of rights, Mr. Vice President. And I want all people covered. I don’t want the law to supersede good law like we’ve got in Texas.” [Governor Bush, 10/17/00]

    …PRESIDENT BUSH’S ADMINISTRATION ARGUES AGAINST RIGHT TO SUE “To let two Texas consumers, Juan Davila and Ruby R. Calad, sue their managed-care companies for wrongful denials of medical benefits ‘would be to completely undermine’ federal law regulating employee benefits, Assistant Solicitor General James A. Feldman said at oral argument March 23. Moreover, the administration’s brief attacked the policy rationale for Texas’s law, which is similar to statutes on the books in nine other states.” [Washington Post, 4/5/04]

    Or Bush’s stance on campaign finance reform; particularly relevant as he tries to distance himself from the Swift Boat liars by voicing opposition to the 527’s authorized under legislation he himself signed:

    BUSH OPPOSES MCCAIN-FEINGOLD… “George W. Bush opposes McCain-Feingold…as an infringement on free expression.” [Washington Post, 3/28/2000]

    …BUSH SIGNS MCCAIN-FEINGOLD INTO LAW “[T]his bill improves the current system of financing for Federal campaigns, and therefore I have signed it into law.” [President Bush, at the McCain-Feingold signing ceremony, 03/27/02]

    To hell with Kerry’s so-called waffles (especially if this non-waffle was the best you can do); Bush has enough of his own to open an IHOP out back of the White House.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.