RNC: This Week in Change V

Obama Continues Breaking Pledges And Shifting Stances In Search Of The Most Politically Expedient Position

IMMUNITY FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES INVOLVED IN TERRORIST SURVEILLANCE

WASHINGTON , July 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Republican National Committee:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/RNCLOGO )

During The Primaries, Obama Pledged To Filibuster Any Bill Which Contained Immunity For Telecommunications Companies Involved In Electronic Surveillance:

In October, The Obama Campaign Pledged He Would Filibuster "Any Bill That Includes Retroactive Immunity For Telecommunications Companies." Obama Spokesman Bill Burton : "To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." ( Greg Sargent , "Obama Camp Says It: He'll Support Filibuster Of Any Bill Containing Telecom Immunity," Talking Points Memo's "Election Central" Blog, tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com, 10/24/07)

-- In December, Obama's Senate Office Stated He "Unequivocally Opposes Giving Retroactive Immunity To Telecommunications Companies." "Senator Obama unequivocally opposes giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies and has cosponsored Senator's efforts to remove that provision from the FISA bill. ... Senator Obama supports a filibuster of this bill, and strongly urges others to do the same." (Sen. Barack Obama , "Statement From Senator Obama's Office On The FISA Bill," Press Release, 12/17/07)

In February, Obama Voted Against A Bill That "Would Grant Retroactive Legal Immunity To Telecommunications Companies Alleged To Have Participated In The National Security Agency's Warrantless Surveillance Program." "Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to authorize warrantless surveillance of foreign targets, even if they are communicating with someone in the United States . It would give the FISA court authority to approve several aspects of how such surveillance is conducted. It also would grant retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies alleged to have participated in the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program." (S. 2248, CQ Vote #19: Motion Agreed To 69-19: R 48-0; D 20-28; I 1-1, 2/12/08, Obama Voted Nay)

But This Week, Obama Supported A Bill Which Grants Immunity For Telecommunications Companies, A Shift That Sparked An "Online Mutiny" From His Own Supporters:

Obama Voted For A Bill That "Would Allow For Retroactive Liability Immunity For Telecommunications Companies That Have Participated In The National Security Agency's Warrantless Surveillance Program." "Passage of the bill that would overhaul the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which governs electronic surveillance of foreign terrorism suspects. The bill would allow investigations of up to one year that involved surveillance targeting those who are not U.S. persons and who are reasonably believed to be outside the United States . The FISA court would have to approve procedures for conducting the surveillance. Warrantless surveillance would be allowed as long as it does not intentionally target U.S. persons or those located within the United States , excluding foreign agents. It would allow for retroactive liability immunity for telecommunications companies that have participated in the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program. The bill's provisions would sunset on Dec. 31, 2012 , but warrants would remain in effect until they expire." (H.R. 6304, CQ Vote #168: Passed 69-28: R 47-0; D 21-27; I 1-1, 7/9/08, Obama Voted Yea)

"[T]he Presumptive Democratic Nominee Has Angered Some Of His Most Ardent Supporters While Triggering Something Of An Online Mutiny. Thousands Are Using MyBarackObama.com To Angrily Organize Against Him Because Of A Changed Position On Terrorist Wiretap Legislation..." ( John McCormick , "Obama's Online Muscle Flexes Against Him," Chicago Tribune, 7/8/08)

INCOME TAXES

This Week, Obama Recently Said That A Family Making Less Than $250,000 Would Not See Higher Taxes Under His Plan:

Obama: "So let me just be absolutely clear: If you are a family making $250,000 a year or less -- $250,000 a year or less -- we will not raise your taxes. ... Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax. Not any tax."( Anne E. Kornblut , "Obama Tells Voters His Views Have Not Changed," The Washington Post's "The Trail" Blog, blog.washingtonpost.com, 7/8/08)

But Earlier This Year, Obama Voted In Favor Of The Democrats' FY 2009 Budget, Which Would Raise Tax Rates For Americans Earning $32,000 Or More:

Obama Voted Twice In Favor Of The Democrats' FY 2009 Budget Resolution. (S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 51-44: R 2-43; D 47-1; I 2-0, 3/14/08, Obama Voted Yea; S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #142: Adopted 48- 45: R 2- 44; D 44- 1; I 2-0, 6/4/08, Obama Voted Yea)

The Democrats' Budget Would Raise Taxes On Individuals Earning $32,000 Or More. "Under both Democratic plans, tax rates would increase by 3 percentage points for each of the 25 percent, 28 percent and 33 percent brackets. At present, the 25 percent bracket begins at $31,850 for individuals and $63,700 for married couples. The 35 percent bracket on incomes over $349,700 would jump to 39.6 percent." ( Andrew Taylor , "Presidential Hopefuls To Vote On Budget," The Associated Press, 3/13/08)

Obama Even Backtracked On The Importance Of These Votes:

On Monday, Obama Downplayed His Vote To Raise Taxes On Working Americans. Obama: "The budget resolutions are not tax votes. They are, and everyone in Washington knows this, the budget process screwy as it is in Washington , not one that by the way I designed, and frankly I think has to be fundamentally reformed. The budget resolution is to give some parameters in terms of what in fact, what the budget is going to look like in the upcoming year, but it does not purport to actually be a tax bill and every observer who looks at this has said that this is a phony issue on the part of the McCain campaign." (Sen. Barack Obama , Media Availability, St. Louis, MO , 7/7/08)

Click Here To View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmi9xWe_rSg

But In June 2008 , Obama Said "The Senate Voted To Stand Up For Working Families In Illinois And Throughout The Nation" By Passing The Democrats' Final Budget Resolution. Obama: "Today the Senate voted to stand up for working families in Illinois and throughout the nation by rejecting the failed policies of the Bush Administration and moving our country back on track to fiscal discipline. ... Our country needs change, and this budget is an important step in the right direction. I commend House and Senate leaders for working together to move this legislation through Congress."(Sen. Barack Obama , "Statement Of Senator Barack Obama On The Senate's Passage Of The FY 2009 Budget Resolution," Press Release, obama.senate.gov, 6/4/08)

-- And In March 2008 , Obama Hailed His Vote For The Budget As Making "Significant Progress In Getting Our Nation's Priorities Back On Track." Obama: "The budget passed by the Senate tonight makes significant progress in getting our nation's priorities back on track.... We need change in this country, and this budget is an important step in helping bring it about." (Sen. Barack Obama , "Obama Statement On The Senate's Passage Of The FY 2009 Budget," Press Release, obama.senate.gov,3/14/08)

NEGATIVE ADVERTISING

On Tuesday, Barack Obama Launched The First Negative Ad In The General Election By Either Campaign:

Time's "The Page" Blog Headline: "Obama Attacks McCain On Gas Prices In New TV Spot"( Mark Halperin , "Obama Attacks McCain On Gas Prices In New TV Spot," Time's "The Page" Blog, thepage.time.com, 7/8/08)

But In April: Obama Pledged He's "Not Going To Go Around Doing Negative Ads":

Obama: "Now, one of the things I'm proud of at the beginning of this campaign I said, this is a different time. This is an extraordinary time. We've got to run a different kind of campaign. So we're not going to go around doing negative ads. We're going to keep it positive. We're going to talk about the issues."(Sen. Barack Obama , Remarks At A Campaign Event In Wilson, NC , 4/28/08)

Click Here To View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceHhRdaO_Gs

MENTAL HEALTH EXCEPTIONS TO LATE TERM ABORTION BANS

In A Recent Interview With Relevant Magazine, Obama Said That He Did Not Believe "Mental Distress" Should Qualify Under The Health Of The Mother Exception In Late-Term Abortion Bans:

Obama: "I Don't Think That 'Mental Distress' Qualifies As The Health Of The Mother." Obama: "I have repeatedly said that I think it's entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term." (Sen. Barack Obama Interview, Relevant Magazine, 7/1/08)

-- Obama Appears To Have Backed Away "From His Long-Stated Positions On Abortion." "In a recent interview, Obama appears to back away from his long-stated positions on abortion (and a proposed federal abortion rights law he had co-sponsored), repudiate 35 years of accepted Supreme Court rulings on the issue and embrace a view on abortion restrictions that has been expressed on the Court only by Justices Thomas and Scalia." ( Jan Crawford Greenburg , "Obama: Sounding Like Thomas And Scalia?" ABC News' "Legalities" Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 7/4/08)

Obama Has Strongly Supported Exceptions For The Health Of The Mother Which Pro-Choice Groups Believe To Include Mental Health:

Obama Said He "Strongly" Disagreed With Last Year's Supreme Court Ruling On Partial-Birth Abortion, Citing Concerns Over The Health Of The Mother. Obama: "I strongly disagree with today's Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women." (Sen. Obama, "Obama Response To Supreme Court Decision," Press Release, 4/18/07)

-- Obama: "We Know That Five Men Don't Know Better Than Women And Their Doctors What's Best For Women's Health." "'We know that five men don't know better than women and their doctors what's best for women's health,' Mr. Obama said, alluding to the 5-to-4 majority in the abortion case, Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003." ( Mark Sherman , "Justices Uphold Abortion Procedure Ban," The Associated Press, 4/19/07)

"But Abortion Rights Groups Just As Strongly Argue The Mental Health Exception Is Critical To Preserving A Woman's Right To An Abortion--And That The Woman And Her Doctor Must Be Allowed To Make Those Decisions About Her Health Without Government Interference." ( Jan Crawford Greenburg , "Obama: Sounding Like Thomas And Scalia?" ABC News' "Legalities" Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 7/4/08)

Obama Is The Co-Sponsor Of The Freedom Of Choice Act Which References Supreme Court Cases That Cite A Mental Health Exception To Abortion Bans. "The Freedom of Choice Act specifically allows abortions after viability where necessary to protect a woman's health, and the legislation refers repeatedly to the guarantees of Roe and Doe, which protect the right to an abortion where necessary for a woman's physical and mental health. One of its co-sponsors? Barack Obama ."( Jan Crawford Greenburg , "Obama: Sounding Like Thomas And Scalia?" ABC News' "Legalities" Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 7/4/08)

"There's No Mistaking That Obama Says He No Longer Will Support What's Long Been A Cornerstone Of The Abortion Rights Debate." "[T]here's no mistaking that Obama says he no longer will support what's long been a cornerstone of the abortion rights debate: The Court's insistence that laws banning abortions after the fetus is viable (now about 22 weeks) contain an exception to allow doctors to perform them if necessary to protect a pregnant woman's mental health." ( Jan Crawford Greenburg , "Obama: Sounding Like Thomas And Scalia?" ABC News' "Legalities" Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 7/4/08)

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