Flip Flop Friday

Mitt Romney has come under a lot of criticism for his flip flopping (as seen in this video). When a Republican comes under criticism for anything, the standard response is to claim that Bill Clinton did it too, but that might not help Romney in his primary campaign. Therefore Romney had to break Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment and attack his fellow Republicans for flip flopping. Fortunately for Romeny, the criticism of the other Republicans is also valid.

In an AP interview, Romney said he was not the only candidate to have changed their position. He said, “I’d also note that everybody in this race that I know has changed their mind on certain positions and they’ve done so as they gained more experience.” From there he noted flip flops by Rudy Giuliani and John McCain:

“Senator McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts. Now he’s for them. He was opposed to ethanol. Now he’s for it. He said he was opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade. Now he’s for overturning Roe v. Wade,” Romney said, adding: “that suggests that he has learned from experience.”

AP reports he also criticized Giuliani:

As a big-city mayor, Giuliani once advocated strong federal gun controls, including a nationwide mandate to register handgun owners. He now emphasizes the Second Amendment and state-by-state solutions to gun violence. Giuliani is a solid proponent of abortion rights. In the 1990s, he opposed a late-term abortion procedure but last week issued a statement praising the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortion.

Romney’s accusations weren’t the only reports of Republican flip flopping today. Rudy Giuliani is dong more to appease the far right. The New York Sun reports that Giuliani is flilp flopping on his support for civil unions:

In a startling departure from his previously stated position on civil unions, Mayor Giuliani came out to The New York Sun yesterday evening in opposition to the civil union law just passed by the New Hampshire state Senate.

“Mayor Giuliani believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly,” the Giuliani campaign said in a written response to a question from the Sun. “In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it.”

The Democratic governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch, has said publicly that he will sign the civil union law.

On a February 2004 edition of Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Mr. Giuliani told Bill O’Reilly, when asked if he supported gay marriage, “I’m in favor of … civil unions.”

He also said, “Marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman.”

Asked by Mr. O’Reilly in the interview how he would respond to gay Americans who said being denied access to the institution of marriage violated their rights, Mr. Giuliani said: “That’s why you have civil partnerships. So now you have a civil partnership, domestic partnership, civil union, whatever you want to call it, and that takes care of the imbalance, the discrimination, which we shouldn’t have.”

In 1998, as mayor of New York City, Mr. Giuliani signed into law a domestic partnership bill that a gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda, hailed as setting “a new national benchmark for domestic partner recognition.”

These videos on You Tube of John McCain might also be considered flip flopping. In the past, McCain spoke about rapidly getting troops out of Haiti and Somalia. To be fair, these might not be considered true flip flops because he was talking about different situations, but then the Republicans were never very fair to John Kerry when they went much further in twisting his positions to claim he was flip flopping. We report, you decide. Regardless of whether these are true flip flops, many of the statements McCain made with regards to getting American troops out of Haiti and Somalia would make excellent arguments against his current position on Iraq.



Transcripts of McCain’s statements on Haiti and Somalia are under the fold thanks to AmericaBlog.

McCain 1994
One of the reasons why people are convinced, why many of these experts are convinced, that this situation is one which is increasingly difficult to solve, is because of the fact that we were there once before. The right course of action is to make preparations as quickly as possible to bring our people home. It does not mean as soon as order is restored to Haiti, it doesn’t mean as soon as Democracy is flourishing in Haiti, it doesn’t mean as soon as we’ve established a viable nation in Haiti, as soon as possible means as soon as we can get out of Haiti without losing any American lives. Now there may be different interpretations of this Resolution on the other side but it is my view and I want to make it clear and I think the majority of the American people’s view that as soon as possible means as soon as possible. Exactly what those words state. The Haitians were to police themselves but the cooperation that was to prevent mission creep has not materialized and U.S. troops have assumed a greater and greater responsibility for policing Haiti. We all see on CNN what they are doing. Day by day their mission expands. American military personnel have been tasked with preventing looting, stopping Haitian on Haitian violence, protecting private property and arresting attaches.

McCain 1993
Mr. President, there is no reason for the United States of America to remain in Somalia. The American people want them home, I believe that the majority of Congress wants them home, and to set an artificial date of March 31 or even February 1st, in my view, is not acceptable. The criteria should be to bring them home as rapidly and safely as possible. An evolution, which I think could be completed in a matter of weeks. Mr. President, our continued military presence in Somalia allows another situation to arise which could then lead to the wounding, killing, or capture of the of American fighting men and women. We should do all in our power to avoid that. Date certain, Mr. President, are not the criteria here. What’s the criteria and what should be the criteria is our immediate, orderly withdrawal from Somalia. And if we don’t do that, and other Americans die, other Americans are wounded, other Americans are captured, because we stayed too long, longer than necessary, then I would say that the responsibilities for that lie with the Congress of the United States who did not excercise their authority under the Constitution of the United States and mandate that they be brought home as quickly and safely as possible. But the mission which the American people supported and this Congress supported, in an overwhelming resolution, has been accomplished. The American people did not support the goals of nation-building, peacemaking, law and order and certainly not warlord funding. For us to get into nation-building, law and order, etc, I think is a tragic and terrible mistake. But the argument that somehow the United States would suffer a loss to our prestige and our viability, as far as the No. 1 superpower in the world, I think, is baloney. The fact is, what can hurt our prestige, Mr. President, I’ll tell you what can hurt our viability, as the world’s superpower, and that is, if we inmesh ourselves in a drawn-out situation, which entails the loss of American lives, more debaucles like the one we saw with the failed mission to capture Aidid’s lieutenants, using American forces, and that then will be what hurts our prestige. Look at the tragedy in Beirut, Mr. President, 240 young Marines lost their lives, but we got out. Now is the time for us to get out of Somalia, as rapidly and as promptly and as safely as possible.

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