Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some Questions For Mr. Obama

Last week, I got this e-mail from a Republican activist, with the following questions which he (and I) would like to ask Mr. Obama on his next trip here. But, as you will see, we think we already know the answers...

Senator Obama, the heart of the Michigan economy is its homebred automotive industry. It accounts for one in seven jobs in Michigan, provides health care, retirement, and income to millions of Michigan residents. Yet, you take every opportunity to denigrate this Arsenal of Democracy; why should rank-and-file workers believe that you truly care about auto jobs in Michigan when your campaign rhetoric suggests you don’t?

  • INDIANAPOLIS -- Sen. Barack Obama defended his opposition to a temporary break from the federal gas tax Sunday and put part of the blame for the nation's dependence on imported oil on the domestic auto industry. Repeating criticisms of the Detroit carmakers he has made throughout the campaign, Obama faulted them for failing to build more fuel-efficient cars during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press.”

Obama hits Big 3 on SUVs,” Gordon Trowbridge, Detroit News, 5/5/08

Senator Obama, until recently you boasted a luxury, 340 horsepower Chrysler 300C in your garage, and you travel the campaign in a Chevy Suburban, yet you consistently espouse the need for Detroit auto manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles; why should Michigan voters trust what you say as a candidate when your own personal actions belay your rhetoric?

  • Obama knows firsthand Detroit's motivation for making big, powerful vehicles. It's because customers want them. Customers like Obama, who had a 340 horsepower Chrysler 300C Hemi V-8 in his garage when he first dressed down Detroit last May for making gas guzzlers like the Chrysler 300C. Alert Detroit reporters caught him in this hypocrisy, and he quickly bought a politically correct Ford Escape hybrid to save face. As a candidate, though, Obama's daily drive is a thirsty, Secret Service-provided Chevy Suburban.

Obama's auto truth-telling runs on empty, Detroit News, 5/9/08

Senator Obama, Michigan families are paying more than $4 a gallon for gasoline. There are proposals at the state and national levels that would give Michigan families a break when they fill up their tanks during the busy summer months – nearly identical to a proposal you supported as an Illinois State Senator. Yet, now you refuse to support this plan; why was this plan a good idea when you were a state senator but a bad idea now that you are running for president?

  • Think McCain’s plan to suspend the gas tax temporarily is a bad idea? A similar measure in Illinois -- which Obama backed -- seems to have helped consumers. (‘Obama is wrong about the gas tax,’ Salon.com, 5/6/08)

Senator Obama, you talk about being the candidate for everyone. Yet, when you were at an elite liberal fundraising event in San Francisco you insulted nearly every blue-collar family in Michigan with your intemperate comments about churchgoers, gun owners, and factory workers; how can you convince working class Michigan families that you are not just another elitist politician?

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” (ABC News, “Obama Allies Avoid Trying to Explain Most Controversial Part of his Remarks”, 4/13/08).

Senator Obama, for nearly a year you spurned Michigan voters, refusing to campaign in the state and used a legal loophole to remove your name from the ballot; why should Michigan voters bother to give you any of their time now that you seem to need it?

  • “This will be Obama's first visit to the state since he made a pledge not to campaign in Michigan due to a controversy over the state holding a primary in violation of national party rules and a subsequent fight over the delegates committed in that election.”

(Macomb Daily, 5/13/08)

  • “Where's Obama? Gaps on ballots surprise some Genesee County absentee voters

GENESEE COUNTY -- Something seemed to be missing when Susan Keeler of Grand Blanc Township opened her absentee ballot. The candidates.”

(Flint Journal, 12/17/07)

Senator Obama, nearly every parent in Michigan, including supporters of abortion –agree that, as parents, they have a right to be notified if their underage child seeks an abortion; how can you clam to share the values of nearly every parent in Michigan when you oppose legislation that would preserve a right and responsibility to care for and protect children?

  • Obama voted against a law that prohibits children from crossing state lines to circumvent parental notification laws. (Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act; Bill S.403 ; vote number 2006-216 on Jul 25, 2006)

Senator Obama, you voted against an Iraq supplemental spending bill two months after pledging you would not deny funding for American troops; why should Michigan families, who have loved ones serving in harm’s way, support you when you won’t even support the basic needs of our troops on the ground?

  • Mike Glover, "Obama Says Congress Will Fund Iraq War After Expected Bush Veto," The Associated Press, 4/1/07; H.R. 2206, CQ Vote #181: Passed 80-14: R 42-3; D 37-10; I 1-1, 5/24/07, Obama Nay).

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