Completely and totally nauseating. I tried Pepto but that didn’t help.
From the Washington Post:
Obama voted “to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield.”
–Joe Lieberman on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 in St. Paul, Minn.
If Senator Barack Obama voted against funding the troops, so did Senator Joe Lieberman
Lieberman, the independent senator from Connecticut, alleged in his speech at the Republican National Convention that Obama voted to cut off funding for men and women in uniform.
Rating: Barely True
Lieberman issued the attack almost as an aside as he praised Senator John McCain’s approach to the war in Iraq:
“When others were silent about the war in Iraq, John McCain had the guts and the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. When others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, which would’ve been a disaster for the U.S.A. – when colleagues like Barack Obama were voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield – John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion, advocate the surge, support the surge and because of that, today, America’s troops are coming home – thousands of them – and they’re coming home in honor!”
Republicans have made similar charges in the past, such as when McCain said on Aug. 11, 2008, that Obama “tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge.” To support the charge, the McCain campaign cited Obama’s vote of May 24, 2007, against an appropriations bill that included funding for the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. (The bill passed, 80-14.)
So was that a vote “to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield” as asserted by Lieberman? Not primarily.
Obama was fighting at the time for a requirement that President Bush begin to bring the troops home from Iraq. The bill in question did not include such a requirement, and that is why Obama voted against it. Obama said at the time that he wanted to fund the troops, he just didn’t want to fund the particular military strategy that the bill would enable.
“We must fund our troops,” Obama said at the time. “But we owe them something more. We owe them a clear, prudent plan to relieve them of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war.”
Clearly Obama wanted to provide funding for the troops — just not the president’s military strategy.
If, by voting against funding for a strategy he opposed, Obama voted to “cut off funding for the troops” then so did almost every Republican in the Senate — and Lieberman himself — when they voted against a $124 billion appropriations bill on April 26, 2007, which would have funded operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but also required Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. (McCain missed the vote on that bill, which passed 51-46 and was subsequently vetoed by Bush.)
In a very narrow sense, yes, those votes were against military funding — a portion of which goes to equip and pay the troops. So there is a grain of truth to Lieberman’s attack. But because it is so misleading in treating a strategic disagreement as a stand against men and women in uniform, we find it barely true.