Bush ads still wrong


Geraldine Sealey
April 27, 2004 6:50PM (UTC)

The folks at FactCheck.org try for a third time to spread the word that the Bush-Cheney '04 attack ads against John Kerry's defense spending vote record are distorted and hypocritical. But the ads persist.

From FactCheck: "The claims are misleading, as we've pointed out before in articles we posted on Feb. 26 and March 16. The Bush campaign bases its claim mainly on Kerry's votes against overall Pentagon money bills in 1990, 1995 and 1996, but these were not votes against specific weapons. And in fact, Kerry voted for Pentagon authorization bills in 16 of the 19 years he's been in the Senate. So even by the Bush campaign's twisted logic, Kerry should -- on balance -- be called a supporter of the 'vital' weapons, more so than an opponent ..."

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"It is true that when Kerry first ran for the Senate in 1984 he did call specifically for canceling the AH-64 Apache helicopter. What the ad lacks is the historic context: the Cold War was ending and the Apache was designed principally as a weapon to be used against Soviet tanks. And in fact, even Richard Cheney himself, who is now Vice President but who then was Secretary of Defense, also proposed canceling the Apache helicopter program five years after Kerry did ..."

"Two years later Cheney's Pentagon budget also proposed elimination of further production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as well. It was among 81 Pentagon programs targeted for termination, including the F-14 and F-16 aircraft."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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