by Max Brantley
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is making high sport out of Vice President Joe Biden's coming visit to Arkansas for Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign opener. In short, he's a liberal who, along with his running mate, got his hat handed to him by Arkansas voters last November.
Typical boilerplate stuff, but instructive of where the 2010 race is likely to head. Presuming the Repubs field a candidate.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Praise For Vice President Biden’s Arkansas Values Leaves Many Unanswered Questions
WASHINGTON – Yesterday U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) praised Vice President Joe Biden for having “values” consistent with “Arkansas families” in advance of his visit to Little Rock next month. However, her praise only leaves more unanswered questions about Senator Lincoln’s own positions on the important issues in her state.
“Blanche Lincoln’s assessment that Vice President Biden is in touch with Arkansas values begs a much greater question – how out of touch is Blanche Lincoln with her own constituents?” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson.
“While Lincoln may agree with Biden’s support for increased government spending, higher taxes, card check, and liberal social values, those positions simply do not represent the values of voters in her state – as Arkansans clearly conveyed on Election Day.”
Does Lincoln Believe Biden Has Consistent Values With Arkansans Even Though Arkansans Voted Against Obama/Biden Ticket By 20 Percentage Points?
Yesterday, Lincoln Said Vice President Biden’s Values Are Consistent With Arkansas Values. “The Vice President’s values are consistent with the values of most Arkansas families and I look forward to welcoming him to Little Rock next month.” (VP Biden To Appear In Little Rock For Sen. Lincoln,” http://www.todaysthv.com, 2/25/09)
NOTE: In 2007, Sen. Biden Was Rated The Third Most Liberal Senator By Non-Partisan National Journal. (Jim Wooten, “Thinking Right,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/19/08)
But Arkansas Voted For The McCain/Palin Ticket By 20 Percentage Points. (Election Center 2008, http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/, Accessed 2/26/09
· The McCain/Palin Ticket Received 59% Of The Vote In Arkansas While The Obama/Biden Ticket Received Only 39% In Arkansas. (Election Center 2008, http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/, Accessed 2/26/09)
Does Lincoln Believe Biden’s Position On Card Check Is The Correct Position Even Though Arkansas Is A Right To Work State?
In 2007, Biden Co-Sponsored S. 1041, The Employee Free Choice Act. (S. 1041, Introduced 3/29/07)
· Biden Emphasized His Support For Card Check At An Employee Free Choice Act Rally: “I am proud to speak in support of this important legislation. … After six years of failed Bush policies that have put the interests of America’s working women and men last, this bill is an opportunity to allow workers to bargain with their employers for a better life for themselves and their families. Working women and men deserve the chance to make the choice about whether to have a union and bargain for better wages and benefits.” (Sen. Joe Biden, “Biden Supports Employee Free Choice Act,” Press Release, 6/20/07)
Arkansas Is A Right To Work State. (National Right To Work Website, http://www.nrtw.org/c/arrtwlaw.htm, Accessed 2/26/09)
NOTE: Lincoln Does Not Know Her Own Position On Card Check; In January 2009, Lincoln Said “I Don’t Know” To Question On Whether She Would Vote For Card Check Legislation. Question: “If the vote [on card check] were held today, how would you vote?” Lincoln: “I don’t know.” (AETN’s “Arkansas Week,” http://www.aetn.org, 1/5/09)
Does Lincoln Believe Biden’s High Tax Agenda Is In Line With Arkansas’ Values?
Biden Received A 0% Rating From Americans For Tax Reform And Citizens Against Government Waste, And An “F” From The National Taxpayers Union For His Votes In 2007. (Americans For Tax Reform Website, “Vote Ratings U.S. Senate: 110th Congress, First Session,” www.atr.org, Accessed 8/30/08; Citizens Against Government Waste Website, “2007 Senate Scorecard,” councilfor.cagw.org, Accessed 8/30/08; National Taxpayers Union Website, “National Taxpayers Union Rates Congress, 110th Congress - 1st Session 2007,” www.ntu.org, Accessed 8/30/08)
Biden Voted In Favor Of The Democrats’ FY 2009 Budget Resolution, Which Would Raise Taxes On Individuals Earning Approximately $42,000 Or More. (S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 51-44: R 2-43; D 47-1; I 2-0, 3/14/08, Biden Voted Yea; FactCheck.org Website, “The $32,000 Question,” www.factcheck.org, 7/11/08;Tax Policy Center Website, “2008 Individual Income Tax Rates, Standard Deductions, Personal Exemptions, And Filing Thresholds,” www.taxpolicycenter.org, 11/4/07; Andrew Taylor, “Presidential Hopefuls To Vote On Budget,” The Associated Press, 3/13/08)
Biden Voted In Favor Of The Democrats’ FY 2008 Budget, Which Provided For “The Largest Tax Increase In American History,” And “Drastically” Increased Spending. (S. Con. Res. 21, CQ Vote #172: Adopted 52-40: R 2-40; D 48-0; I 2-0, 5/17/07, Biden Voted Yea; Americans For Tax Reform, “ATR Urges Senators To Vote Against The Proposed Fiscal Year 2008 Budget, S. Con. Resolution 21,” Press Release, 3/21/07)
Biden Voted Against Senate And Final Passage Of The 2001 And 2003 Tax Cuts. (H.R. 1836, CQ Vote #170: Adopted 58-33: R 46-2; D 12-31, 5/26/01, Biden Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay; H.R. 1836, CQ Vote #165: Passed 62-38: R 50-0; D 12-38, 5/23/01, Biden Voted Nay, McCain Voted Yea; H.R. 2, CQ Vote #196: Adopted 50-50: R 48-3; D 2-46; I 0-1, With Vice President Cheney Casting A “Yea” Vote To Break The Tie, 5/23/03, Biden Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay; H.R. 2, CQ Vote #179: Passed 51-49: R 48-3; D 3-45; I 0-1, 5/15/03, Biden Voted Nay, McCain Voted Nay)
The 2001 And 2003 Republican Tax Cuts Have Given Tax Relief To 918,000 Arkansans. (“2008 Tax Relief Kit,” U.S. Department Of Treasury, Office Of Tax Policy)
· As A Result Of The Tax Cuts:
284,000 taxpayers in Arkansas saw a reduction in their marriage penalty tax.
266,000 taxpayers in Arkansas saw an increase in their child tax credit.
155,000 taxpayers in Arkansas saw a reduction in their capital gains and dividends taxes. (“2008 Tax Relief Kit,” U.S. Department Of Treasury, Office Of Tax Policy)
Does Lincoln Believe Biden’s Liberal Stances On Social Issues Resonate With Arkansas’ Values?
Biden Received A 100% From NARAL And From Planned Parenthood In 2006. (NARAL Website, www.prochoiceamerica.org, Accessed 8/27/08; Project Vote Smart, www.votesmart.org, Accessed 8/27/08)
Biden Voted Against The Unborn Victims Of Violence Act, Known As “Laci And Conner’s Law.” (H.R. 1997, CQ Vote #63: Passed 61-38: R 48-2; D 13-35; I 0-1, 3/25/04, Biden Voted Nay)
Biden Said He Would Not Appoint Anyone That Did Not Support Roe v. Wade To The Supreme Court. (Sen. Joe Biden, Remarks Democratic Presidential Debate Sponsored By CNN And The Nevada Democratic Party, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)
Biden Repeatedly Opposed Measures To Protect The American Flag. (S.J. Res. 12, CQ Vote #189: Rejected 66-34: R 52-3; D 14-30; I 0-1, 6/27/06, Biden Voted Nay; S.J. Res. 12, CQ Vote #188: Rejected 36-64: R 3-52; D 32-12; I 1-0, 6/27/06, Biden Voted Yea; S. J. Res. 14, CQ Vote #48: Rejected 63-37: R 51-4; D 12-33, 3/29/00, Biden Voted Nay; S.J. Res. 31, CQ Vote #600: Rejected 63-36: R 49-4; D 14-32, 12/12/95, Biden Voted Nay; S.J.Res. 332, CQ Vote #128: Rejected 58-42: R 38-7; D 20-35, 6/26/90, Biden Voted Nay; S. J. Res. 180, CQ Vote #251: Rejected 51-48: R 33-11; D 18-37, 10/19/89, Biden Voted Nay)
The NRA Gave Biden An “F” For His Votes Against Firearm Freedom. “[B]iden is rated ‘F’ by the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) for his countless votes against firearm freedom.” (National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action Website, www.nraila.org, Accessed 8/25/08)
Does Lincoln Believe Biden’s Support Of Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants Is In Line With Arkansas’ Values?
The News Journal: “Sen. Biden Did Indeed Support An Immigration Amnesty Program.” (Editorial, “Our View,” The [Wilmington, DE] News Journal, 11/3/02)
The Washington Times: “Joe Biden Generally Supports Mass Amnesty For Illegal Aliens, Including The 2006 And 2007 Bills.” (Editorial, “The Candidates And Illegal Immigration,” The Washington Times, 1/2/08)