YASSER ARAFAT [07/14 09:52 AM]
FIRST HE SAID: "Terrorist organizations with specific political agendas may be encouraged and emboldened by Yasser Arafat's transformation from outlaw to statesman.... [Terrorists] whose only object is to disrupt society require no such 'role models' as Arafat."
— The New War, by John Kerry, published June 1997
THEN HE SAID: "Obviously, Yasser Arafat has been an impediment to the peace process... As far as I'm concerned, he's an outlaw to the peace process."
— John Kerry, interview with the Associated Press, March 10, 2004
PRESIDENTIAL EXPERIENCE [07/09 05:45 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: “I think the American people want an experienced hand at the helm of state,” said Kerry, who has spent 19 years in the Senate compared with Edwards’ five. “This is not the time for on-the-job training in the White House on national security issues.” John Kerry, Feb. 3, 2004
THEN HE SAID: “I’ve seen John Edwards think, argue, advocate, legislate and lead for six years now.” John Kerry, July 6, 2004
ISRAEL'S SECURITY WALL [07/09 05:43 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: “I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government's decision to build a barrier off the green line, cutting deeply into Palestinian areas. We do not need another barrier to peace.” John Kerry, Oct. 17 2003
THEN HE SAID: “Israel's security fence is a legitimate act of self defense.”John Kerry, Feb. 25, 2004
SUVS [06/02 02:01 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: "I don't own an SUV,'' Kerry declared when asked by reporters on Earth Day 2004.
THEN HE SAID: Asked whether or not his wife, Teresa, owned an SUV — on same conference call during which he denied owning an SUV — he fessed up, sorta: "The family has it. I don't have it." Back in February, however, he rattled off a list of Kerry household cars: "We have some SUVs. We have a Jeep. We have a couple of Chrysler minivans. We have a PT Cruiser up in Boston. I have an old Dodge 600 that I keep in the Senate. ... We also have a Chevy, a big Suburban."
CRITICIZING THE PRESIDENT DURING WAR [06/02 02:00 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: March 2003, Kerry said he would stop criticizing the president once war in Iraq began: "It's what you owe the troops....I remember being one of those guys and reading news reports from home. If America is at war, I won't speak a word without measuring how it will sound to the guys doing the fighting when they're listening to their radios in the desert."
THEN HE SAID: In early April 2003, while our troops were approaching Baghdad, Kerry said in a speech: "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."
HIS VIETNAM MEDALS [06/02 01:59 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: From 1971 until about a decade later, Kerry wanted people to think he threw his medals away in protest of Vietnam. In a 1971 interview, Kerry insisted that he "gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine" of his medals.
THEN HE SAID: Around 1984, when Kerry ran for the Senate, the times changed and he wanted people to believe he kept the medals and "only" threw away the ribbons. Why? Because his union supporters in particular and voters in general were no longer enamored with the excesses of the antiwar movement.
"It's such a personal thing," he told the Washington Post in 1985. "They're my medals. I'll do what I want with them. And there shouldn't be any expectations about them. It shouldn't be a measurement of anything. People say, 'You didn't throw your medals away.' Who said I had to? And why should I? It's my business. I did not want to throw my medals away."
A decade later, he told the Boston Globe that the only reason he didn't chuck the medals was that he didn't have time to go home and get them. In April 2004, Kerry told the Los Angeles Times, "I never ever implied that I threw away the medals.
From Jonah Goldberg, "Senator Contradiction"
CUBAN EMBARGO [06/02 01:58 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: Kerry takes a tough line on the Cuban embargo. Sometimes. He was a big advocate of tough Helms-Burton legislation in 1996, which he still mentions, but he didn't actually vote for it. Last year he still didn't know what he thought about Cuba: ''I haven't resolved what to do. I'm going to talk to a lot of people in Florida.'' In August 2003 he told Tim Russert that he was against lifting sanctions: "Not Now. No."
THEN HE SAID:A few days later, he wanted to allow "humanitarian" travel and interactions with Cuba that would end "the isolation that in my judgment helps Castro." (For more, see Peter Kirsanow, "Cuban Waffles")
ABORTION LITMUS TEST FOR JUDGES [06/02 01:57 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: Kerry promised during the primaries to appoint to the Supreme Court only justices who favor Roe v. Wade because "people who go to the Supreme Court ought to interpret the Constitution as it is interpreted, and if they have another point of view, then they're not supporting the Constitution, which is what a judge does."
THEN HE SAID: In April 2004, he said that he would be willing to appoint anti-Roe justices so long as the Court had a pro-Roe majority. ("Supporting the Constitution" was apparently no longer a requirement for his nominees.)
THEN HE SAID: The abortion lobby expressed its displeasure, and reasonably so given its principles — if Clinton had followed that policy, the Court might have upheld bans on partial-birth abortion and pro-lifers would need to switch only one more vote to overturn Roe. So now Kerry is saying that he will nominate only pro-Roe justices.
The flop-flip was accompanied by some unconvincing spin. Here's what Kerry said yesterday: "I will not appoint somebody with a 5-4 court who's about to undo Roe v. Wade. I've said that before. But that doesn't mean that if that's not the balance of the court I wouldn't be prepared ultimately to appoint somebody to some court who has a different point of view. I've already voted for people like that. I voted for Judge Scalia." Nedra Pickler's AP story has Kerry aides saying that "some court" was a reference to lower federal courts, not the Supreme Court.
Aides said later that "some court" was not a reference to the Supreme Court, only lower federal benches. That is hard to reconcile with his prefatory reference to a 5-4 Supreme Court or with the Scalia example — in other words, with anything he said.
Still unclear is whether he would appoint appeals-court judges who are anti-Roe. But he has been supporting filibusters of Bush judicial nominees for less than that: A major complaint against Priscilla Owen has been that she read a parental-notification law in a way the abortion lobby found disagreeable.
— by Ramesh Ponnuru, originally posted in The Corner
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND [06/02 01:56 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: Kerry voted for the "No Child Left Behind" legislation in 2001.
THEN HE SAID: In the summer of 2003, he announced, "I'm running for President to make our public schools a focus for excellence, not a photo-op for tomorrow's front pages — and I am going to criss-cross this country and hold George Bush accountable for making a mockery of the words 'Leave No Child Behind.'" (For more on Kerry and education funding, see here.)
"GAY MARRIAGE" [06/02 01:55 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: In 1996, Kerry opposed federal legislation that would define marriage as between a man and a woman: "This is an unconstitutional, unprecedented, unnecessary and mean-spirited bill." In 2002 he joined Barney Frank and other members of his state's congressional delegation in signing a letter asking the Massachusetts legislature to reject a constitutional amendment that would outlaw homosexual marriage: "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." (USA Today, 4/2/11)
THEN HE SAID: In February 2004, Kerry told reporters: "I support equal rights, the right of people to have civil unions, to have partner rights. I do not support marriage" for gays and lesbians. Asked if he would support a state constitutional amendment barring gay and lesbian marriages, Kerry didn't rule out the possibility. "I'll have to see what language there is," he said.
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR TERRORISTS [06/02 01:54 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: Between 1989 and 1993, John Kerry voted three times against giving terrorists the death penalty. He went so far as to tell former Gov. William Weld, his 1996 GOP Senate opponent, that "'Your policy would amount to a terrorist protection policy."
THEN HE SAID: In the wake of September 11, Kerry changed his mind. In Dec 2002 he said: "I am for the death penalty for terrorists because terrorists have declared war on your country. I support killing people who declare war on our country."
THE PATRIOT ACT [06/02 01:53 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: John Kerry voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 and even wrote parts of it himself.
THEN HE SAID: "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." -John Kerry, December 2003
THE IRAQ WAR: FUNDING [06/02 01:52 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: On Face the Nation on 9/14/04, Kerry discussed an amendment he was pushing as part of the $87 billion funding bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Asked if he would support the bill even without the amendment, he replied, "I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That's irresponsible."
He added "I don't think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. We're not going to cut and run and not do the job."
THEN HE SAID: Kerry voted against the bill in October 2003. He later infamously replied to a Republican ad highlighting the vote by saying, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." (For more see Barbara Comstock, "Where the Dem Was".)
THE IRAQ WAR: AUTHORIZATION [06/02 01:51 PM]
FIRST HE SAID: John Kerry sounded like President Bush before the war. In a September 2002 New York Times op-ed he wrote: "If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement...even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act."
Kerry voted for authorization to use force in Iraq on October 11 that same fall.
THEN HE SAID: By January 6, 2004, Kerry is a self-identified antiwar candidate: On Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Kerry, "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 antiwar candidates?"
Kerry replied: "I am — Yes, in the sense that I don't believe the president took us to war as he should have, yes, absolutely."
Bump for the night time folks