Miami Herald uncritically repeated RNC attack on Obama over military spending

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

A Miami Herald article uncritically repeated a claim by the Republican National Committee that Sen. Barack Obama "vot[ed] against $120 billion for the war last year." In fact, Obama has repeatedly voted to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and said he voted against a troop funding bill in May 2007 because it did not include a timeline for withdrawal.

In an August 20 article, Miami Herald reporters Joseph Goodman and Beth Reinhard uncritically repeated the Republican National Committee's charge that Sen. Barack Obama "vot[ed] against $120 billion for the war last year." In fact, Obama said he voted against a troop funding bill in May 2007 because it did not include a timeline for withdrawal. Moreover, Obama has repeatedly voted in the past to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote, "Obama has frequently voted to finance the war but was one of 14 Senate Democrats to oppose a war-funding bill last year -- after Republicans removed troop withdrawal deadlines -- saying he did not want to be 'validating the same failed policy in Iraq.' "

The article also did not point out that McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From the August 20 Miami Herald article:

''I have never suggested or never will that Sen. McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition,'' Obama said. ``I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America's national interest. Now, it's time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.''

The McCain campaign did respond officially to the speech. The Republican National Committee issued a statement that said Obama ''has not led'' on veterans issues. The GOP criticized Obama, a member of the veterans services committee, for voting against $120 billion for the war last year and for exaggerating his role in extending health benefits for wounded veterans.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Defense Funding
Network/Outlet
Miami Herald
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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