Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama's Honesty Problem

Senator Obama and his campaign have made numerous misleading or inaccurate statements that call into question the Senator's honesty. First up, NAFTA. Slate reports,
"For the Canadians, a key point of concern was Obama's sharp criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement. DeMora wrote Wilson that in the Chicago meeting, Goolsbee "candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign" but reassured Rioux that Obama's NAFTA-bashing "should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."
Now there is an oddly similar report of Senator Obama telling the Iraqi foreign minister not to listen to his campaign rhetoric.
The Union Leader Reported...
"Here is Sen. Obama speaking in Michigan yesterday, explaining what he told Iraq's foreign minister: ". . . an Obama administration will make sure that we continue with the progress that's been made in Iraq ... that we won't act precipitously, but that we will move to end U.S. combat forces in Iraq."

What progress in Iraq? That would be the progress made under Gen. David Petraeus' "surge" strategy, which Sen. Obama opposed. Back when Obama was criticizing the surge and calling for rapid withdrawal from Iraq (aka, surrender), Sen. John McCain was pushing for more troops and a plan for victory. Now that the policy Obama opposed has turned the tables, decimated al-Qaida in Iraq and made victory possible, Obama says he wants to "continue the progress."
Next, are the completely false remarks of Susan Rice a top Obama foreign policy advisor. First, are her remarks that Senator Obama did not say he would meet with foreign leaders without preconditions,

"She has been trying over the last few months to walk back Senator Obama's statement that he would meet with dictators of rouge nations in the first year of his presidency without preconditions. The tactic being to confuse people with a debate between 'precondition' and 'preparations'. Yet, Dr. Rice expressly stated, “Nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.” That is false, Senator Obama in a YouTube debate expressly stated he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela without preconditions, which drew criticism from people on both sides of the isle."
Second, are historically inaccurate remarks she made while on CNN,
"'Thank God he did [Kennedy meet with Krushchev] because if he hadn't we would have not been able to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis' [comment made by Susan Rice] is completely false. In fact historians agree that this meeting fueled the Cuban Missile Crisis."
Then there are the claims that Senator Obama was unaware of Reverend Wright's radical teachings after attending his church for twenty years. However, the New York Times reports Senator Obama disinvited Reverend Wright from the his presidential annoucement for this reason,
"Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”

According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”
Finally, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Senator Obama will reject public financing and break a previous promise to accept public financing,

"Barack Obama announced today that he will not accept roughly $85 million in public funds for the general election, breaking his earlier pledge to do so if his Republican rival John McCain opted in to the system.

He is the first candidate since the 1970s to forego public financing. McCain has already taken steps to suggest he will opt in to the system in the fall."

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