Kerry Failed To Support Troops

The Associated Press reports that President Bush has a new ad that accuses Kerry of voting against American troops:

“Few votes in Congress are as important as funding our troops at war. Though John Kerry voted in October 2002 for military action in Iraq, he later voted against funding our soldiers,” the ad says.

The 30-second ad labels Kerry "wrong on defense" and claims that the Massachusetts senator did not support bills that would have ensured troops had body armor and earned higher combat pay, and would have given reservists and their families better health care.

[. . .]

The new ad will initially run in West Virginia to highlight Kerry's "wrong choices when it comes to giving our troops the resources they need to be successful in Iraq," said Ken Mehlman, Bush's campaign manager.

You can see the entire ad here.

Kerry should be held to account for his outrageous failure to support troops in the field engaged in the war against terror. Kerry's no vote was all the more shameful because Kerry voted in favor the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002." We should be very clear on this; Kerry voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq, then voted against the funds to support those troops in Iraq as well as other troops engaged in the war against terror.

Kerry prefers to have every thing nuanced, so lets put his vote not to support the troops into context.

Congress voted overwhelmingly last October to approve President Bush's request for $87 billion for the war on terror and reconstruction in Iraq. $66 billion was to fund ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The remaining $20 odd billion was for Iraq reconstruction.

I was shocked that most of the Democratic members of the House voted against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. David Brooks tried to figure it out in this NY Times op/ed piece:

Their hatred for Bush is so dense, it's hard for them to see through it to the consequences of their vote. But if Pelosi's arguments had carried the day, our troops in Iraq would be reading this morning about the death of the Bremer plan and the ruination of our efforts to rebuild Iraq.

The vote in the House was 303 to 125, with only 83 Democrats voting for the funding and 113 Democrats voting against the bill. Only six Republicans voted against bill.

In the Senate, the vote was 87 to 12. The following 12 Democrats and Independent voted no.

Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Edwards (D-NC)
Graham (D-FL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hollings (D-SC)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Sarbanes (D-MD)

I am still annoyed at all twelve of the senators that voted no. It is unbelievable that these senators voted against providing our troops in the field the materials they require. The no votes of the four senators that voted in favor of the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002," Edwards, Harkin, Hollings and Kerry was especially offensive. It is irresponsible at best, to vote to send our forces into war and then vote against the funds to support those troops.

Posted by Dan Spencer at March 17, 2004 12:59 PM | TrackBack (1)