February 12, 2013

Letter: President Obama in his own words

President Obama coined the word “Romnesia” to describe Mitt Romney’s flip-flops, but when asked about his reversal on issues, he “evolves.”

In 2003 he told the AFL-CIO, “I happen to be a proponent of single-payer health care coverage. That’s what I would like to see.” While campaigning in 2008 he said, “I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter … I’m not promoting a single-payer plan.”

He did a complete about face on the debt limit. On the Senate floor in 2006 he argued, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. ... America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. America deserves better.” He continued his complaint on the campaign trail in 2008. “ … the way Bush has done it ... is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion … number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome so that we have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back ... It’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” As president, his views flipped to this: “To even entertain the idea of this happening (not raising the debt limit) … is irresponsible. It’s absurd.” The country now faces a debt approaching $17 trillion.

His views on guns have also evolved. In “The Audacity of Hope” he wrote, “I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer’s lobby.” In Virginia on TV in 2008 he declared, “I will not take your shotgun … your rifle … your handgun away.” I have absolutely no idea what his Executive Order on gun ownership means. After all, he’s a skeet shooter.

In 1996 he signed a questionnaire on which he wrote, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” He affirmed to pastor Rick Warren, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” But in 2012 he told Robin Roberts “… I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Flip-flops do matter. It means you can’t completely trust what that person says. He just might evolve at any given moment on any stated position.


Ina Fay Manly


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