Tuesday :: Apr 6, 2004

Another Bush Hypocrisy: He Attacks Kerry's Credibility On Taxes And Spending


by Steve

CNN ran an interesting piece this morning where the White House and RNC are bragging about their ability to “pre-ttack” Kerry on issues he plans to propose. With loads of money and a well-oiled Rovian attack machinery, the GOP delights in hitting the media with negative stories and quickly-produced commercials about issues Kerry plans to roll out, attacking his record on that issues even before Kerry rolls it out. In other words, the GOP is doing a “Truth Squad” on Kerry. This week, for example, the White House and RNC are using surrogates to call the media and go negative on Kerry’s lack of specificity on how he would pay for his new program initiatives. They are making the case that Kerry should be discounted because he hasn’t yet specifically said what taxes he would raise or programs he would cut to pay for his initiatives.

Aside from the fact that this demonstrates a “Truth Squad” concept in use by the GOP, and their effective use of surrogates preemptively (things I have been browbeating the Kerry camp about for six weeks), the following questions are germane. It is a typical Rovian strategy to take Bush’s own weaknesses and hammer his opponent on them first, as if Bush wasn’t vulnerable himself on the issue. This attack on Kerry for not being credible on taxes and spending is another perfect example of that strategy that an effective Tier Two effort by the Kerry camp could have exploited by now.

Specifically:

Has Bush ever put forward a specific plan for how he would balance the budget himself after making his tax cuts permanent? No.

Has Bush ever told us how he plans to pay for his deceit-ridden, drug company giveaway Medicare drug bill? No. Did he deceive Congress on its true cost? Yes.

Has Bush included the costs of Afghanistan and Iraq, plus Pentagon supplemental spending requests in his budget this year or in the out-years? No.

Has any one of Bush’s job growth forecasts he used in selling his tax cuts ever been true? No.

Has Bush advertised what programs he would cut to pay for his deficits? No.

Has Bush put forward a credible plan for halving the deficits as he has claimed? No.

Has the Bush Administration or the GOP leadership in Congress put forward a strategy to deal with the deficits and the real causes of those deficits? No.

Has Bush ever fulfilled his 2000 campaign promise by putting forward a plan to cover the uninsured that isn’t based on a flawed tax credit approach for people who can’t even afford the premiums in the first place, that doesn’t make the problem worse? No.

And did CNN bring up these hypocrisies to the RNC and White House when they were being spun? No.

It goes without saying that if Kerry had a Tier Two campaign already in place, using surrogates of his own highlighting Bush’s own sorry record, lies, and broken promises days in advance of when Kerry plans to roll out his proposals, it would put Bush on the defensive and undercut what Rove and the RNC are doing here. But he doesn’t, even though they have had weeks to do so. At least the CNN story mentions that Kerry is just now getting a surrogate coordinator in place at the DNC. But it comes after Rove has set the negatives on Kerry already.

If Kerry had an effective offensive campaign in place, these efforts by the RNC and Rove would falter because the GOP attacks would look like they are defensive and responding to Kerry. If Kerry had an effective response team in place to deal with today’s spin from the RNC, they at least would pick up the phone to CNN or hold a press conference to point out what I listed above.

We can only hope that they do, and will finally put such an effort in place immediately.

Steve :: 10:25 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!