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Thursday, November 15, 2007


A Quick Guide On "What 2 Watch 4" As Democrat Candidates Gather To Debate By Dodging Issues And Their Records

Will Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Continue Dodging Questions During The Debate?

During The Last Democrat Debate, Hillary Continued A Strategy Of "Avoiding Direct Answers To Questions."
"[S]he continued her strategy of avoiding direct answers to questions: She wouldn't say how she would address Social Security; she declined to pledge whether she would stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon..." (Nedra Pickler, "Clinton Gets No Love In Democrats Debate," The Associated Press, 10/31/07)

When Asked About The Clinton Library Lockdown, Hillary Responded That It Was Not Her "Decision." NBC's Tim Russert: "But there was a letter written by President Clinton specifically asking that any communication between you and the president not be made available to the public until 2012. Would you lift that ban?" Hillary: "Well, that's not my decision to make ..." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, MSNBC Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 10/30/07)

"In An Exchange Sure To Inflame Clinton Critics, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton Side-Stepped A Question Over Whether She Would Approve The Release Of Presidential Papers Related To Her Role In The White House During Her Husband's Presidency." (Susan Davis, "Clinton Papers At Issue," The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" Blog,, 10/30/07)

Click Here To Ask Hillary To Unlock The Library

Hillary Dodged A Question On Social Security, Claiming She Didn't Have Two Positions And Dismissed Her Suggestion To An Iowa Voter Of Lifting The Income Cap For Social Security Taxes. Hillary: "Well, Tim, I don't. I have said consistently that my plan for Social Security is fiscal responsibility first ... Russert: "But you did raise it [lifting the tax cap] as a possibility with Tod Bowman?" Hillary: "Well, but everybody knows what the possibilities are, Tim. Everybody knows that. But I do not advocate it. I do not support it. I have laid out what I do believe, and I am going to continue to emphasize that." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, MSNBC Democrat Presidential Candida te Debate, Philadelphia, PA, 10/30/07)

Hillary Would Not Commit To A Specific Plan Dealing With The Alternative Minimum Tax. "Rangel has suggested repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, which has proved a burden to some middle-class Americans, and imposing a 4% surtax on individuals earning more than $150,000 a year or families making more than $200,000. Clinton said she agreed with Rangel's goal but did not like 'all the details' and declined to commit to a specific approach." (Mark Z. Barabak and Peter Nicholas, "In Debate, Rivals Say Clinton Is Too Divisive," Los Angeles Times, 10/31/07)

"Clinton Also Wavered When Asked If She Backs A Plan Put Forward By One Of Her Chief Supporters, Rep. Charles Rangel Of New York." (Mark Z. Barabak and Peter Nicholas, "In Debate, Rivals Say Clinton Is Too Divisive," Los Angeles Times, 10/31/07)

Will Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) Dodge The Issues Like He Did In The Illinois State Senate?

On An Abortion Bill In The Illinois State Senate, Obama Voted "Present" So As Not To "Look Insensitive And Endanger [His] Re-Election." "Obama said he sought compromise with abortion opponents, but they balked. As a fallback, he said he worked out an arrangement with abortion-rights advocates to encourage Democrats to vote 'present' on some bills if they feared a 'no' would look insensitive and endanger their re-election." (Rick Pearson and Ray Long, "Careful Steps, Looking Ahead," Chicago Tribune, 5/3/07)

In 1997, Obama Voted "Present" On Legislation Banning Partial Birth Abortions That Contained An Exception For The Life Of The Mother And A Provision Prohibiting Prosecution Of The Mother. (David A. Joens and Paul Kleppner, Almanac Of Illinois Politics - 1998, p. 81)

"We Aren't Talking About A 'Present' Vote On Whether To Name A State Office Building After A Deceased State Official, But Rather About Votes That Reflect An Officeholder's Core Values." (Nathan Gonzales, Op-Ed, "The Ever-'Present' Obama," The Rothenberg Political Report, 2/13/07)

In 1999, Obama Voted "Present" On A Bill Requiring Mandatory Adult Prosecution For Aggravated Discharge Of Firearms On Or Near School Property. (S.B. 759: Senate Floor Third Reading, Passed 52-1-5, 3/25/99, Obama Voted Present)

In 1999, Obama Was The Only Senator Who Voted "Present" On Legislation To Protect The Privacy Of Sex-Abuse Victims By Allowing Petitions To Have The Trial Records Sealed. (H.B. 854: Senate Floor Third Reading, Passed 58-0-1, 5/11/99, Obama Voted Present)

In 2001, Obama Voted "Present" On A Bill Restricting "Adult" Establishments Near Schools, Churches, And Homes. In 2001, Obama refused to support a bill restricting "adult use" establishments by prohibiting locations of such establishments within 1000 feet of schools, parks, places of worship, preschools, day cares and other residential areas. (S.B. 609: Senate Floor Third Reading, Failed 33-15-5, 3/29/01, Obama Voted Present)

Will Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) Dodge His Record Of Sticking It To The "Average Joe"?

Edwards Promises To Raise Taxes By $120 Billion For Health Care. NBC's Tim Russert: "Would you be willing to raise taxes in order to help pay for this?" Former Sen. Edwards: "Yes. We'll have to raise taxes. The only way you can pay for a health care plan ... that costs anywhere from $90 billion to $120 billion is there has to be revenue source." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 2/4/07)

Edwards Sees Clinton-Era Tax Levels As A "Floor, Not A Ceiling" For His Tax Hikes. "[J]ohn Edwards said ... raising taxes for higher-income families back to their levels under the Clinton administration is a floor, not a ceiling, and he would consider even higher tax increases. 'What I believe is the starting place is to go back to the Clinton levels,' Mr. Edwards told reporters ..." (Stephen Dinan, "Edwards Pitches Clinton-Era Taxes," The Washington Times, 4/30/07)

Even Former President Clinton Admitted His Tax Increase Was "Too Much." Clinton: "Probably there are people in this room still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know I think I raised them too much too." (Nancy Gibbs, et al., "Stomping On Principle," Time, 10/30/95)

Edwards Made Nearly Half A Million At Fortress Investment Group, Which Was Involved In The Subprime Lending Business. "[D]espite the fact he denounces 'predatory lending' and sub-prime mortgages for the poor, Edwards made nearly $500,000 as a consultant to a hedge fund involved in that business. The former senator defended his gig on the grounds that he took the job to learn how financial markets relate to poverty. This is a bit like saying you frequent brothels so you can learn where babies come from." (Jonah Goldberg, Op-Ed, "John Edwards' Poor Scam," Los Angeles Times, 5/29/07)

Fortress Also Owns Subprime-Lending Units That Have Brought At Least 34 Foreclosure Suits On New Orleans Home Owners. "The Wall Street Journal has identified 34 New Orleans homes whose owners have faced foreclosure suits from subprime-lending units of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Mr. Edwards has about $16 million invested in Fortress funds, according to a campaign aide who confirmed a more general Federal Election Commission report. Mr. Edwards worked for Fortress, a publicly held private-equity fund, from late 2005 through 2006." (Christopher Cooper, "Edwards, Foreclosure Critic, Has Investing Tie To Subprime Lenders," The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/07)

A Product Of The RNC Research Department