Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bush Flip Flopped In Claiming IWR Was a Vote For War

Bush Flip Flopped In Claiming IWR Was a Vote For War

Many of the attacks on Kerry stem from misinterpreting his comments at the Grand Canyon in August 2004. I discussed this here recently. Liberal Oasis also offered an explanation backing Kerry at the time:

A Reminder: Bush Did Not Consider It A War Vote

The purpose of Kerry’s Iraq speech was to get on the offensive, attacking Bush’s record, and not have to spend time on the defensive explaining how Bush has distorted Kerry’s position.

It’s the right tack, and it seems to be working so far.

But Kerry threw in a little aside to remind people how consistent his own position is, and how inconsistent Bush’s is.

Speaking from the same Cincinnati podium as Bush did back in Oct. ‘02, Kerry said:

Here in Cincinnati, [Bush] said that if Congress approved the resolution giving him the authority to use force, it did not mean that military action would be “unavoidable”.

The full quote from Bush that Kerry referred to is:

Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.

The resolution will tell the United Nations, and all nations, that America speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized world mean something.

A few days later, on the floor of the Senate, Kerry took note of Bush’s words as he explained his fundamental position:

As the President made clear earlier this week, “Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.” It means “America speaks with one voice.”…

…In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days–

To work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force.

If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.

Is there anything Kerry has said on Iraq that has contradicted that? No.

That’s why Kerry said what he said last month:

Yes, I would have voted for that authority, but I would have used that authority to do things very differently.

Because that is completely in line with his basic position from the beginning.

It is Bush that has flip-flopped, now deeming that the force authorization vote was a war vote, when before he said it was nothing of the sort.

The full text of Bush's speech referred to above is in the extended entry of this post at The Democratic Daily.


Anonymous Norman J Pinkowski said...

The problem with Kerry is he can not differentiate his views from that of Bush's. On immigration, Iraq, etc his position is so marginally different from the Republicans as to be viewed as the same. When the Democratic party failed to support the Murtha view, it again confirmed the view that we have no opposition party.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

If you thik that Kerry's view on Iraq is only marginally different you just aren't paying attention to Kerry's actual views.

Before the war, Bush wanted to invade and Kerry opposed going in. During the war, Kerry differend from Bush every step of the way. Kerry's proposal is to get out of Iraq while it appears Bush might remain there forever if not for opposition.

9:03 AM  

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