A Flip or a Flop
Well, the debate's done but the question still remains just exactly what does John Kerry believe. Think you know now? Think again.
Ken Cuccinelli emailed me this great timeline of Kerry's flips. I only wish I had checked yesterday's email earlier in the day.
Kerry believed Iraq was such “A grave threat to the well-being of our nation” that we must use force, unilaterally if necessary.
“[W]hile we should always seek to take significant international actions on a multilateral rather than a unilateral basis whenever that is possible, if in the final analysis we face what we truly believe to be a grave threat to the well-being of our Nation or the entire world and it cannot be removed peacefully, we must have the courage to do what we believe is right and wise. I believe this is such a situation, Mr. President. It is a time for resolve.”
-Congressional Record, 11/9/97, p. S12256.
November 1998 [SAME as previous position]
Kerry backs regime change in Iraq.
Fox’s Tony Snow: “Sen. Kerry, should it be official U.S. policy that we want to see Saddam Hussein removed from power, not necessarily assassinated, but removed from power?”
Sen. John Kerry: “I believe yes. I believe I’ve been arguing for that for some time within the Intelligence Committee and elsewhere.”
-On Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” 11/15/98
September 2001 [SAME as previous position]
Kerry cited evidence of Hussein’s “efforts to try to secure” and test WMD.
Sen. Kerry: “… Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and there is some evidence of their efforts to try to secure these kinds of weapons and even test them. That’s why it’s so vital that we get the global community to be part of this effort to begin to make their lives miserable…”
-On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” 9/23/01
December 2001 [SAME as previous position]
Kerry ready to include Hussein in war on terror.
Sen. Kerry: “Oh, I think we clearly have to keep the pressure on terrorism golbally. This doesn’t end with Afghanistan by any imagination. And I think the president has made that clear. I think we have made that clear. Terrorism is a global menace. It’s a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein.”
-On CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 12/14/01
October 2002 [SAME as previous position]
Kerry cited WMD as reason for his vote to authorize force against Iraq, calling them an “unacceptable threat.”
Sen. Kerry: “The Iraqi regime’s record over the decade leaves little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and to expand it to include nuclear weapons. We cannot allow him to prevail in that quest. The weapons are an unacceptable threat.”
-Remarks in the U.S. Senate, 10/9/02
January 2003 [FLIP]
Kerry decried “rush to war.”
“[W]hile American security must never be ceded to any institution or to another institution’s decision, I say to the President, show respect for the process of international diplomacy because it is not only right, it can make America stronger – and show the world some appropriate patience in buildling a genuine coalition. Mr. President, do not rush to war.”
-Remarks at Georgetown University, 1/23/03
April 2003 [Consistent with previous flip]
As troops approached Baghdad, Kerry called for “regime change” in the United States.
-Glen Johnson, “Kerry Says U.S. Needs Its Own ‘Regime Change,’” The Boston Globe, 4/3/03
May 2003 [FLOP]
In the first Democrat debate, Kerry strongly supported President’s action In Iraq.
Sen. Kerry: “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.”
-On ABC News, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/3/03
June 2003 [Consistent with previous flop]
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “I know you said you’re agnostic about whether or not he misled the public on weapons of mass destruction. But do you have a hunch on whether you think they hyped the intelligence?”
Sen. Kerry: “George, again, I think it would be irresponsible of me at this point to draw conclusions prior to all the evidence being on the table.”
-On ABC’s “This Week,” 6/15/03
June 2003 [FLIP]
Three Days Later, Kerry (irresponsibly?) said President Bush misled on WMD.
“Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and then waged a war based on questionable intelligence. ‘He misled every one of us,’ Kerry said.”
-Ron Fournier, “Kerry Says Bush Misled Americans On War,” The Associated Press, 6/18/03
September 2003 [FLIP? SAME? FLOP???]
Kerry claimed vote was to “threaten the use of force,” not to actually use force.
“I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations. I believe that was right, but it was wrong to rush to war without building a true international coalition and with no plan to win the peace.”
-Remarks at announcement of candidacy, Patriot’s Point, South Carolina, 9/2/03
September 2003 [FLOP]
Kerry said that voting against the $87 billion supplemental funding for the war would be “irresponsible.”
Doyle McManus (L.A. Times): “If that amendment does not pass, will you then vote against the $87 billion?”
Sen. Kerry: “I don’t think any U.S. Senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to – to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That’s irresponsible.”
-On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” 9/14/03
October 2003 [FLIP]
Kerry (irresponsibly?) voted against passage of the Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental funding.
-The bill provided approximately $65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance, $1.3 billion for veterans’ medical care, and $20 billion for infrastructure rebuilding.
January 2004 [Consistent with previous flip]
After voting for the war, and trailing candidate Howard Dean in the Democrat primaries, Kerry says he is an 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 it’s 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?”
Sen. Kerry: “I am – Yes.”
-On MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 1/6/04
March 2004 [FLOP & FLIP!]
Kerry says “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”
-R. W. Stevenson and A. Nagourney, “Bush’s Campaign Emphasizes Role of Leader In War,” The New York Times, 3/17/04
August 2004 [FLOP]
Once again, Kerry is a war supporter. “Knowing what we know now,” he would’ve voted for the war today.
Kerry stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and said, "Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it's the right authority for a president to have."
September 2004 [fuzzy FLIP]
Once again, Kerry is the anti-war candidate. Says America would be more secure with Hussein still in power.
“[W]e have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.”
-Sen. Kerry’s speech at NYU against the Iraq War, 9/20/04
September 2004 [finishing the FLIP]
Kerry completes the anti-war flip from his August 2004 flop…
"We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.… Knowing there was no imminent threat to America, knowing there were no weapons of mass destruction, knowing there was no connection of Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda, I would not have gone to war. That's plain and simple."
-On ABC’s “Good Morning America” on 9/29/04
Not to pat ourselves on the back, but... you've got to admit there's no way you could've kept track of all of these positions without our help!