“Flexibility” To Do What?

- April 1, 2012

Vice President Can’t Answer The Fundamental Question People Want Answered: What Will Obama Do On Missile Defense With The “Flexibility” He Says He Needs?



Vice President Joe Biden Dodged Question On Missile Defense “Flexibility” By Not Mentioning Missile Defense. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “And look, here's the president just stated the obvious…. The idea that in this election year we're going to be able to deal with an agreement with the Russians on further reducing our nuclear arsenals in the environment that we have in the United Nations Congress now is difficult. And what the president was doing is stating the obvious.  That it's going to be difficult.  We're going to have - we're not going to have the flexibility to sit down and talk with people in this Congress that are going to be able to listen and be able to work with us.  Probably between now and Election Day.” (CBS’s “Face The Nation,” 4/1/12)

Maybe Because In The Past Obama Has Said He’s Not For A Missile Defense System?

Obama: “I, For Example, Don’t Agree With A Missile Defense System.” (WTTW11’s “Chicago Tonight,” 1/17/01)

“Obama May Well Be The Only Senator In The United States Who Is Pledged To Cut U.S. Missile Defense System Research By As Much As $10 Billion.” (Thomas Roeser, Op-Ed, “Think Kerry Is Liberal? Get A Load Of Obama,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/20/04)

Or Because He’s Already Cut Missile Defense Spending And Killed A Missile Defense Agreement In Europe Aimed At Countering Threats from Iran And North Korea?

Obama Requested Massive Cuts To Missile Defense Spending In His First Budget. “President Obama's FY10 budget request includes $9.3 billion for missile defense programs -- an amount that, Republicans are quick to point out, is $1.2 billion below FY09 levels.  ‘I can't conceive of cutting missile defense when you've got [North] Korea shooting off missiles,’ McKeon said. ‘It's ludicrous to me.’" (Megan Scully, “Republicans to Oppose Missile Defense Cuts in Authorization Markup”, Congress Daily, 6/15/09)

Obama Scrapped Plans For A New Missile Defense System In Europe, “Drawing Immediate Cheers In Moscow And Criticism Elsewhere.” “President Barack Obama's decision to drop plans to deploy a ballistic-missile defense shield in Central Europe -- drawing immediate cheers in Moscow and criticism elsewhere -- is a gamble by the U.S. that scaling back its defense ambitions will improve security in the long run.” (Peter Spiegel, "U.S. Shelves Nuclear-Missile Shield," The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/09)



Vice President Biden Agreed That Obama’s Hot Mic Comment On “Flexibility” Is Legitimate Basis To Raise Questions About Obama’s 2013 Agenda.  CBS’S BOB SCHIEFFER: “You know, but doesn't it play to the Republican allegations because I hear this from conservatives all the time. ‘If you don't like Barack Obama now, wait until he gets reelected because he'd be - he's free to do whatever he wants to do.  He's going to raise our taxes.  He's going to put in gun control.  He's going to do everything from, you know, authorize gay marriage to whatever. Just once he gets past that election.’” VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “Well, look, every opportunity they get to try to seed that argument, they do.  So I agree with you that anything that is said that allows them even the, you know, the patina of saying that's what he's doing, they use it.” (CBS’s “Face The Nation,” 4/1/12)  

Obama Told The Outgoing Russian President That “After My Election I Have More Flexibility”

“In A Private Conversation About The Planned U.S.-Led NATO Missile Defense System In Europe, President Obama Asked Outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev For Space On The Issue.” (Brianna Keilar, “Open Mic Catches Obama Asking Russian President For Space On Missile Defense,” CNN Politics3/26/12)

President Obama To Russian President Medvedev: “After My Election I Have More Flexibility.”  PRESIDENT OBAMA: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.” PRESIDENT MEDVEDEV: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…” OBAMA: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” MEDVEDEV: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” (Jake Tapper, “President Obama Asks Medvedev For ‘Space’ On Missile Defense — ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility,’” ABC News, 3/26/12)

Obama’s Message To Russia On Missile Defense: “Let Me Get Reelected First…Then I’ll Have A Better Chance Of Making Something Happen.” “In their joint statement to reporters here, President Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev spoke carefully about continuing discussions on the sensitive issues of European missile defense. But in an unscripted moment picked up by camera crews, the American president was more blunt: Let me get reelected first, he said, then I’ll have a better chance of making something happen.” (David Nakamura And Debbi Wilgoren, “Obama Tells Medvedev Solution On Missile Defense Is Unlikely Before Elections,” The Washington Post, 3/26/12)

What Else Does Obama Need “Flexibility” On For 2013?

Obama Admits He Wants To Raise Taxes In 2013 If He Is Reelected. OBAMA: “That is a reasonable proposition. So, when you hear folks saying ‘Well, the president shouldn’t want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.’ Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years.” (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 7/11/11) 

The President’s FY2013 Budget Projects That Obama Will Increase The National Debt To $17.548 Trillion By The End Of FY2013. (“The Budget For Fiscal Year 2013; Table S-15. Federal Government Financing And Debt,” Office Of Management And Budget, Accessed 3/2/12)

Obama Would Bring Back Cap-And-Trade. OBAMA: “We have to have an even more robust energy policy if we’re going to create the kind of jobs in this new energy sector that are needed and we’re going to deal with climate change in a serious way.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, San Francisco, CA, 2/17/12)

  • Cap-And-Trade “Is Likely To Be The Biggest Tax In American History.” “Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can’t repeal that reality.” (Editorial, “The Cap And Tax Fiction,” The Wall Street Journal,4/27/09)

Obama Says The EPA Will Reassess Ozone Standards In 2013, If He Wins Reelection. “He clearly understood the scientific, legal and political implications. He told Ms. Jackson that she would have an opportunity to revisit the Clean Air Act standard in 2013 — if they were still in office. We are just not going to do this now, he said.” (John Broder, “Re-Election Strategy Is Tied To A Shift On Smog,” New York Times, 11/16/11)

Click To See The Rest Of Obama’s 2013 Agenda

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