Sunday, August 28, 2005

Santorum Claimed He Questioned Bush's Iraq Policy. Too Bad There's No Evidence To Back That Up

In an interview for an Aug. 20 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said he has raised various questions about the Bush Administration's handling of the Iraq War.

"I still have concerns about our level of activity with respect to fighting the insurgency, and the number of former Baathists who are put in positions of power in the country and their relationships with Iran. I have expressed those concerns publicly and privately," he said.

But now it appears Santorum has been caught in a lie. According to an Aug. 25 story in the Inquirer, Santorum's staffers "cannot locate public statements of the senator questioning the Iraq war." That followed the Inquirer noting in print that "his public statements on those issues could not be found."

Uh-oh.

Robert L. Traynham, Santorum's spokesman, told the Inquirer that a search of LexisNexis, a news database, and the office's press clippings had not turned up any comments matching Santorum's claim.

Santorum, full of excuses as to the discrepancy between what he claimed he said and the lack of supportive evidence, offered: "I do a lot of interviews on TV, on radio, with print reporters who don't happen to write everything I say."

But uh-oh. As most journalists know, LexisNexis, in fact, includes transcripts from major television and radio networks.

And certainly, as conservatives like Santorum are quick to point out, the "liberal media" frequently reports even small policy difference among Republican leaders. It's hard to believe that the entire media would fail to jump on a story as big as the third-highest-ranking Senate Republican publicly criticizing the war policies of a Republican president.

But that's the spin that Santorum is trying. Facts be damned, he'll probably keep saying it until the issue goes away.

***

Santorum, in the midst of a tough bid for re-election next year, made his apparently false claims about questioning the administration in response to a charge by Democratic challenger Robert P. Casey Jr. that Santorum has failed to "ask the tough questions" about Iraq.

In truth, Santorum has been a major supporter of the administration's Iraq policy.

Just last week, the Inquirer reports, Santorum said of the war: "(T)his is something we have to do to protect our country. I feel strongly about that."

His reluctance to publicly question Bush has more to do with Santorum's style than his priorities, Santorum aides say. He prefers taking a longer view, and if the war looks grim for several weeks, Santorum won't suddenly protest, Traynham said.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Democratic Underground:

Santorum, making misleading statements for political brownie points? Who ever would have thought such a thing could happen?

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Democratic Underground:

This sounds like another effort by Ricky
to suddenly appear more mainstream - he's running scared in this election and he hasn't been crowned king of the new theocracy yet. His plans will be spoiled if he doesn't win re-election.

It sounds like he's trying to position himself to seem more in tune with Pennsylvanians through the election, then he'll resort once again to his commitment to people like the 700 Club.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Democratic Underground:

I (Clinton converted Dem) talked with one of a few family members that is a politically active Dem. and asked "How did Santorum get elected?". She said, "It was during the Clinton problems and our attention was diverted."

She promised me a couple of years ago, that they would get him out, and I am holding her to that promise. He is the scum of the Earth, and I can not see (sans Clinton issues) more than 20% voting for him. It is funny how the Pentagon base closing hit in states that are somewhat Repub representative. Let's see, if TR wins, it is Diebold rigged.

I also, want to state, that the states who won in their challenges to the original closing list, know they can no longer trust the Repub's either and many of them have a good Repub. representation.

This admin. doesn't get it, the Devil Is In The Details. They have screwed a lot of Blue area Repub's and the Piper always gets Paid!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Apparently Santorum's "long view" means "until the next election". So now the rats are scrambling for a place to jump off of this sinking ship, eh? This should be entertaining!

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans: line up to take responsibility for every single American who dies in Louisiana, due to your stupidity of sending 3,000 of the LA National Guard to the wrong country, for your illegal war.

America will hold ALL of you accountable. You should be in prison.

6:07 AM  

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