Dobbs claimed there "isn't much difference" among the three candidates, except on Iraq

››› ››› MEREDITH ADAMS

CNN's Lou Dobbs claimed that, "with the exception of Iraq, there isn't much difference among" Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. In fact, on health care, Obama and Clinton have both proposed plans to expand coverage, which McCain has denounced. Obama and Clinton also both support comprehensive immigration reform; McCain abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation during his campaign for the Republican nomination.

On the March 26 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, while discussing the Democratic presidential race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, CNN contributor and New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin claimed, "[T]here's no real advantage to be had -- no real advantage. Even on Iraq, there's not much of a difference between them. Health care, not much of a difference." Host Lou Dobbs interjected, "[Y]ou're talking about ... Obama and Clinton." He added: "But the reality is, with the exception of Iraq, there isn't much difference among these three candidates." In fact, on health care, Obama and Clinton have both proposed plans to expand coverage, which McCain has denounced.

As Media Matters for America has documented, McCain has denounced Clinton's and Obama's proposals on taxes and health care, making a comparison between "the Democrats who want to raise your taxes, or me, I want to lower your taxes. Whether it will be a health care system run by the federal government, or whether families in America will make their choices about health care." In fact, Clinton and Obama have proposed tax cuts for the poor and middle class. Additionally, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed "a health care system run by the federal government"; rather, they have proposed plans to expand health care coverage to those who do not already have it, and both have called for "choice[]" in health care.

McCain also differs from Obama and Clinton on immigration. As Media Matters has documented, Obama and Clinton both support comprehensive immigration reform. By contrast, McCain abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation during his campaign for the Republican nomination. McCain said on January 30 that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate, and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.

During Dobbs' March 26 show, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman later pointed out that McCain also differs from the other candidates on the issue of the economy, asserting: "Well, I think John McCain's speech on the foreclosure issue and the economy, that ultimately was a tremendous difference. John McCain had what could have been his Theodore Roosevelt movement, and he ended up speaking like Herbert Hoover -- speaking against government playing a sort of oversight role" -- even though, as Media Matters has noted, he expressed approval of the Federal Reserve's decision to extend a $30 billion line of credit to facilitate the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase.

From the March 26 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

ZIMMERMAN: Bottom line is: She misspoke. It was an exaggeration, and the sun came up the next day, and the campaign continued.

DOBBS: And it will continue, despite the fact that Carol Swain, we have a new Rasmussen poll that shows, by my calculation, 22 percent suggesting that Senator Clinton should leave the race, and 22 percent saying Obama should leave the race. That seems pretty close to a tie. I'm only a television journalist, but it does seem like a tie. What do you make of this race for the Democratic nomination?

CAROL SWAIN (Vanderbilt University law and political science professor): I think it's so unfortunate that the voters are being cheated by this contest -- that the candidates are not able to focus on the issues, because of the divisiveness. And it's unfortunate, too, that the Democrats that try to talk so much about multiculturalism and identity politics and they're the party of minorities, they're the ones that have been playing the race card, and also the gender card, the sex card, every card that can be played. And it --

DOBBS: There's a full deck at work in this deal.

SWAIN: And it just totally distracts and cheats the public.

DOBBS: Yeah, absolutely. And we're used to being so well-rewarded in our presidential contests --

GOODWIN: Yes, right.

DOBBS: -- aren't we?

GOODWIN: Well, one of the things that's happened in this one, is that if you remember oh so long ago, perhaps two weeks, there were serious debates on NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], for example, and things like that. But what's happened is that there's no advantage to be had -- no real advantage. Even on Iraq, there's not much of a difference between them. Health care, not much of a difference. So, in the end --

DOBBS: When you say "them," you're talking about --

GOODWIN: The Democrats.

DOBBS: Obama and Clinton.

GOODWIN: Yes, yes.

DOBBS: But the reality is, with the exception of Iraq, there isn't much difference among these three candidates.

SWAIN: It's true.

DOBBS: It is really --

GOODWIN: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I think John McCain's speech on the foreclosure issue and the economy, that ultimately was a tremendous difference. John McCain had what could have been his Theodore Roosevelt movement, and he ended up speaking like Herbert Hoover -- speaking against government playing a sort of oversight role.

DOBBS: You're kidding. You don't really support Senator Clinton, do you? That sounded so objective and --

ZIMMERMAN: I support Senator Barack -- I supported Senator Obama's position on this issue, as I do Senator Clinton's.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Lou Dobbs
Show/Publication
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.