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March 18, 2004

How Kerry Supports Troops

In an attempt to erode the President's strong support among the military, Senator Kerry charged George Bush with failing to supply the troops with equipment and body armor. He accused the Bush administration of cutting Veterans benefits - a charge repeatedly denied by VA Secretary Anthony Principi. Kerry portrays himself as strong supporter of the military and promises to do better, which is interesting considering his weak voting record on defense issues.

In light of his promises to support the military, Senatory Kerry might want to explain his recent vote on the $87 billion Iraq reconstruction bill:

The Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental Funding bill provided approximately $65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance and $1.3 billion for veterans' medical care. The bill provided $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq, including $5.1 billion for security and $5.2 billion for reconstruction costs. The bill also provided extra money for body armor for soldiers. Even the Washington Post editorialized in favor of the bill.

The bill passed by almost a 9-to-1 margin in the Senate - only 12 Senators (11 Democrats - Ted Kennedy and John Kerry among them) voting against. Barbara Comstock sums it up in this NRO article:

So, what did Senator Kerry do? He did what he has done for two decades in his Senate career: He stuck his finger in the wind. Then he voted in the way he thought would best help his chance for the Democratic nomination. Senator Lieberman didn't buy Kerry's explanation that he really "voted for" the troops. He scolded Kerry for his primary-voter-poll-driven vote: "If everyone had voted the way [Massachusetts Sen.] John Kerry did, the money would not have been there to support our troops..." On October 15, 2003, a Washington Post editorial called Senator Kerry's position an "irresponsible course" and said it was "imperative that this spending should be approved." Dick Gephardt called the vote for the $87 billion "the only responsible course of action," and added, "We've got to send the right signal to our troops in the field, and we've got to send the right signal to people in Iraq."
John Kerry was more interested in sending the "right signal" to the extremists in his party, whom he was trying to peel away from the soon-to-be unhinged Howard Dean. Or perhaps he was trying to send the "right signal" to all of those "foreign leaders" (or "more leaders") around the world who, he claims, want to see him as president. But what John Kerry really did with that vote was to send the "right signal" to the American people that he is not prepared for the tough and principled decisions that a commander-in-chief must make when a nation is at war.

- Cassandra

March 18, 2004 at 08:17 AM | Permalink

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Comments

There is a sound bite of Kerry saying "I supported the bill as I voted no on the bill."

This guy would be laughable, except for this little tidbit, he could be your next president.

Posted by: purple raider at Mar 18, 2004 8:06:39 PM

Hey - it couldn't have come up for a vote (so he could vote "no" on it) unless he had voted "yes" to let it come up for a vote :) What a putz.

I hope that comes back to haunt him - it may be a Howard Dean moment for him. Let's hope the RNC capitalizes on it.

Posted by: Cassandra at Mar 18, 2004 8:10:33 PM