Again? Hannity still distorting Kerry's record on defense and intelligence spending

››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

On July 30, FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes co-host Sean Hannity once again distorted Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) record on defense and intelligence spending.

While Hannity has previously asserted that Kerry "voted against every major weapons system" the military now uses, on July 30 he claimed that Kerry voted against "most major weapons systems." Perhaps to make up for his slightly toned-down (but still false) rhetoric on Kerry's defense record, Hannity grossly overstated even his own distorted estimate of cuts in intelligence that Kerry proposed. While Hannity first claimed during the program that Kerry "wanted to cut it [intelligence funding] by $7 billion," later in the show he asserted that Kerry "voted to cut our intelligence by $7 trillion."

The entire U.S. national debt is approximately $7.3 trillion, or more than three-fifths of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As Media Matters for America has previously noted when Hannity made similar false claims about Kerry's voting record on military funding, Hannity's claim that Kerry voted "against most major weapons systems" presently in use by the military echoed Bush-Cheney '04 campaign advertisements and a February Republican National Committee research brief that misrepresented the facts on Kerry's record. As the Annenberg Political Fact Check explained, "Kerry's votes against overall Pentagon money bills in 1990, 1995 and 1996 were not votes against specific weapons. And in fact, Kerry voted for Pentagon authorization bills in 16 of the 19 years he's been in the Senate."

MMFA has also noted that Hannity's claims that Kerry "wanted to cut it [intelligence spending] by $7 billion" and "voted to cut our intelligence by $7 trillion" may have stemmed from a March RNC research brief that pointed to Kerry's 1994 proposal to cut $1 billion per year from the intelligence budgets for 1994-98 as part of a broader deficit reduction package. But as the Annenberg Political Fact Check pointed out, "[A]t that time there was growing concern about how effectively the intelligence agencies were spending the money they had." Congress formed the Aspin Commission later in 1994 to examine the state of the intelligence services, concluding two years later, according to FactCheck.org, "that balancing the federal budget would probably require that cuts be made."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Intelligence
Stories/Interests
2004 Elections
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