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March 8, 2004
Bush Goes On Offense, Hits Kerry on Proposed Intelligence Cuts

As expected, President Bush went to offense now that John Kerry has cleared the field in the Democratic primaries, and points out Kerry's record of antagonism towards intelligence services:

Bush, during a fund-raiser in Dallas, called attention to a 1995 bill that Kerry sponsored to trim intelligence spending by $1.5 billion over five years. The cut was part of what Kerry called a "budget-buster bill" to strip $90 billion from the budget and end 40 programs that he said were "pointless, wasteful, antiquated or just plain silly."

Kerry's proposal, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and calls for a peace dividend after decades of spending to thwart the Cold War opponent, never came up for a vote.

"This bill was so deeply irresponsible that it didn't have a single co-sponsor in the United States Senate," Bush said. "Once again, Senator Kerry is trying to have it both ways," Bush said, one of the few times recently he has mentioned his rival by name. "He's for good intelligence, and yet he was willing to gut the intelligence services, and that is no way to lead in a time of war."

Bear in mind that John Kerry has written very few bills during his tenure, compiling one of the least distinguished records in the modern Senate, so when he chose to write this bill, it speaks volumes about his intent. Kerry's record provides many such examples of his disingenuousness on the campaign trail, where Kerry says whatever is politically expedient regardless of his record. Fortunately for President Bush, Kerry's Senate record of 19 years will speak for itself, especially in the many silences where Kerry never bothered to vote at all. He missed 64% of the votes in 2003, and only made one so far this year -- to extend the assault-weapons ban. In response, Kerry's campaign spokesman said the following:

"In the age of telecommunications, Sen. Kerry is in daily contact with his chief of staff,'' Meehan said. "Voting is just one small part of being a U.S. senator.'' [emph. mine --Ed]

Does the American electorate really think that showing up for work is "only one small part" of Senator Kerry's current job? How can he represent his consituents if he misses two-thirds of the votes in the Senate? Massachussetts voters should be asking for a refund. Someone who takes such a casual approach to his current job likely doesn't take much else seriously, either, which explains Kerry's double-talk on the campaign trail. He doesn't stand for anything except what benefits him politically. This contortionism flew below the radar as a no-show Senator who rarely wrote legislation, but comes through loud and clear now that he's on his own.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 8, 2004 2:12 PM

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