Saturday, June 28, 2008

McCain Campaign Conference Call On Barack Obama And The Second Amendment

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and senior policy adviser Randy Scheunemann held a conference call on Barack Obama's position on the D.C. Gun Ban and record of partisanship:
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS):

Senator Brownback: "I am very pleased to see the Supreme Court ruling on the D.C. gun ban case, finding that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and this has been a long time coming. It's an important one. It recognizes the Second Amendment as the other amendments in the Constitution are an individual right.

"I am amazed at the flipping on this position by Barack Obama. Initially, he comes out and says that he believes in banning hand guns. He is for the D.C. gun ban, and now seems to be sidestepping the issue and acknowledging support -- at least saying that this seems to be a right. Of course, it's an individual right. This is either an incredible flip-flop or incredible inexperience. On this issue, anyone who's been around politics in Washington, D.C., for a period of time knows the centerpiece of this gun ban debate is whether or not the Second Amendment is an individual or a collective right. And, I'm really surprised about this move by Barack Obama.

"It does seem to reflect a willingness that as the campaign changes from a primary to a general, willingness to change on positions, to be more liberal in the primary, to moving more conservative in the general election. I guess I should welcome that, but it looks like, to me, either inexperience or incredible flip-flopping. We're seeing this take place on campaign finance, recently, now on the FISA bill that's on the floor of the United States Senate. He has said previously that he would filibuster it and now he says he's open to the compromise.

"I want to put a marker out there that I think the next thing to move, that you may watch and see Senator Obama move on has got to be on Iraq, with the news coming out about the surge and its success. I think you're probably going to see that start to take place. I really would just hope that Senator Obama would look at this the way I do. I didn't initially support the Surge and said, 'Look, I was wrong. Senator McCain was right. This is working and God bless him for maintaining that position. That, at this point in time, we're looking now at securing Iraq rather than toward exiting with a failed terrorist state.' There was a lot at stake in this, and John fought to put his name, his reputation, his campaign on the line and did the right thing. John McCain's a maverick. He's fought for a bipartisan fashion. I think that the biggest thing I've seen from Barack Obama is a willingness, aggressiveness, to talk bipartisan and yet to vote the hard left-- most liberal member of the United States Senate."

McCain Foreign Policy Advisor Randy Scheunemann:

Randy Scheunemann: "Let me just add a little bit of detail about Sen. Obama's positions -- plural -- on firearms issues. He has expressed support for the D.C. gun ban saying that he thought it was constitutional. He sidestepped questions for months on how he thought this case, Heller and District of Columbia, should be decided. He refused to sign an amicus brief that a large bipartisan majority of the Senate signed that Senator McCain was pleased to sign, arguing that the Supreme Court should decide the decision the way they in fact did decide the decision today. Despite being a professor of constitutional law, he said he had no position on this because he hadn't reviewed all the briefs at one point.

"In his votes, you can see Senator Obama's position clearly on Second Amendments. He has voted to ban guns. He has voted to allow politically motivated lawsuits. He has voted in the Illinois State Legislature against self-defense rights. He has a clear and consistent record of opposing Second Amendment rights and our expectation is he'll try to have it both ways and say that he supports the decision today even though he was unable to express support for it at any time over the previous period of months when he was asked about it.

"Second, I think what's becoming clear in this campaign that for Senator Obama the most important issue in the election is the political fortunes of Senator Obama. He has demonstrated that there really is no position he holds that isn't negotiable or isn't subject to change depending on how he calculates it will affect his political fortunes. You can see that in his changing positions on public financing for campaigns, on the immunity provisions in FISA legislation, on his position on NAFTA where he called for a unilateral renegotiation, on his positions on unconditional meetings with dictators like Ahmadinejad in Iran, on his position of Jerusalem being an undivided capital and twenty-four hours later saying it's a subject for negotiations.

"And frankly, I think we are going to see, as Senator Brownback pointed out, yet another position from Senator Obama in coming days and weeks on Iraq. You literally need a kaleidoscope to follow Senator Obama's positions on Iraq. In 2005, he was against cutting off funds and putting a timetable in place. In 2007, he voted to cut off funds and he said the surge would not reduce sectarian violence. In 2008, he said he would disregard the advice of military commanders and proceed with a timetable for withdrawal, and then he told Iraqi Foreign Minister Zabari that he would listen to the advice of military commanders. I think what we see is that he will say and do anything if it furthers his political purposes. That's what we're seeing today on the Second Amendment and what we expect to see in the future on Iraq."
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Listen To The Full Conference Call

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