Election 2016: Biden fuels ’16 talk with New Hampshire visit
From tonight’s “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” file:
Earl Pomeroy is not the first Democrat to distance himself from President Obama as the midterms near. But Mr. Pomeroy, the only congressman from North Dakota, just may be the first Democrat to actually embrace George W. Bush in a campaign ad, as he did on Monday.
The 30-second spot opens with an image of Mr. Bush at a bill signing, as a narrator explains: “When George Bush proposed a Medicare prescription drug plan, Earl Pomeroy voted yes, putting seniors before party.” (He was one of just 16 Democrats who voted for the bill when it passed in 2003; most in his party thought it did not go far enough.)
Here’s the ad:
ABC News’ The Note blog points out that this isn’t the first time Pomeroy has referenced Bush in a campaign ad, but I suspect it’s his first one this campaign season:
To be sure, Pomeroy sits in one of the most Republican states in the country. McCain carried North Dakota with 53 percent of the vote. And, his campaign notes that this ad was in response to an earlier ad by the GOP that attacked him for voting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time. Moreover, this isn’t the first time Pomeroy has boasted about his Republican bonafides or his support of President Bush in advertising. However, given that Pomeroy took 62 percent here in 2006 and 2008, it’s amazing just how quickly his fortunes have turned.
—– Continuing, the Associated Press reports that our Gaffetastic Vice President told the Democrat base something most of us have been trying to tell them for years:
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Campaigning for Democratic candidates in New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden said Monday the party’s base should “stop whining.”
Biden attended a fundraiser for Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for the Senate; Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who is seeking re-election to a third term; and the state Democratic Party. He said Democrats can win both races if they draw clear distinctions between themselves and their Republican opponents, and he urged Democrats to “remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.”
The event was hosted by yogurt manufacturer Stonyfield Farm, whose president, Gary Hirshberg, is a longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser.
Speaking to voters at a Manchester home earlier in the day, Biden said the “Pledge to America” House Republicans are promoting would do nothing but increase the national debt and eliminate government services critical to the nation’s health and prosperity.
Republicans last week unveiled their plan to cut taxes and spending, repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and end his stimulus program if the GOP retakes the House in November. Biden criticized its lack of specifics and offered his opinion on what would happen if the plan was implemented.
“If they did everything the pledge calls for, it will add a trillion dollars to the debt and that would require them under their program to eliminate every program in the government from the FBI to highways and a whole bunch of other things to meet the goals they state,” he said.
Hmm. Sounds to me like Joe Biden needs to stop his “whining,” too.
Famously outspoken Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson over the weekend released an attack ad against his Republican opponent Daniel Webster, comparing Webster’s votes on women’s issues to the Taliban. The ad ends with a narrator calling him “Taliban Dan Webster.”
“Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom, in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida,” a female narrator says in the ad.
The ad features a short clip of Webster saying, “Wives, submit yourself to your own husband.” It also repeatedly shows Webster saying, “She should submit to me.” The clips were reportedly taken from a speech Webster gave at a conference of the nonprofit Christian group the Institute for Basic Life Principles.
The Orlando Sentinel fleshes out the specific accusations the ad makes against Webster. For instance, the charge that Webster “voted to deny abused women health care” reportedly refers to his vote against legislation that would have stopped insurance companies from calling domestic violence a pre-existing condition.
Webster this morning told local television station WOFL that he has not seen the ad — and he managed to ridicule the ad’s premise in his response.
“My wife asked me not to watch the ad, and I submitted to her,” he said.
While he has not watched the ad, Webster said his remarks shown in the ad are surely taken out of context. “I certainly don’t talk in three or four-word statements,” he said.
As Reason’s Michael C. Moynihan points out, Grayson has also tried to label Webster “unpatriotic” by falsely accusing him of being a “draft dodger.” Not only that, but Moynihan also notes that comparing Republicans to the Taliban is becoming quite the fashionable, “edgy” thing to do amongst Democrats who just a couple of years ago would scream bloody murder if they thought their patriotism in any way was being questioned.
TPM also calls the quote “damning,” which may be true only if one has never actually read the Bible and this particular passage in context. In both Ephesians and Colossians, the text does call for women to submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord — and also for husbands to “love their wives” (Colossians), and to do so “as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy” (Ephesians). In other words, wives submit to their husbands, and husbands sacrifice themselves for their wives and children. It’s a passage intended on underscoring the necessity of both spouses to act in sacrificial ways to each other for marriages to become a sacrament, as well as to succeed in the normal, prosaic manner.
Far from showing Webster as some sort of Wahhabist, this ad exposes Grayson as completely ignorant of this particular, well-debated section of the New Testament and a bit of a bigot regarding Christianity, as well as an empty suit completely unable to offer anything other than ad hominem namecalling as an argument for his re-election.
Update: Oh, and let’s not forget the faux-Arabic font on the graphic, too, which adds to the overall offensiveness of the spot.
Not that the left seems to care. In fact, if a popular liberal site like TPM is embracing the ad, that’s a pretty sure bet that most others will follow suit – if they haven’t already.
BTW, this isn’t the first time the left has tried to morally equate Republicans with the Taliban. In July 2001, former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said of Bush: “He has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection.” In January of this year, Bond again compared Republicans to the Taliban by saying that Obama had “energized” the “Taliban wing” of the GOP.
Yet we’re the outrageous ones …