Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) today accused President
Bush of playing fast and loose with the facts,
creating "the largest credibility gap since President
at the Brookings Institution, Kennedy charged
that Bush had misled the American public on Iraq,
the economy, Medicare, and education.
issue after issue, they tell the American people
one thing and do another," Kennedy said. "They
repeatedly event facts to support their perceived
this Administration," the Senator said, "truth
is the first casualty of policy."
claimed we went "to war in Iraq on false pretenses"
because the Administration knew it could not gain
the consent of Congress if the facts were known.
"We have made America more hated in the world,
and the war on terrorism more difficult to win."
is George Bush's Vietnam," Kennedy declared.
said the Administration's "only economic policy
is more and more tax cuts for the wealthy. What
he doesn't mention is larger and larger deficits."
also ridiculed Bush's promise in February 2001
that his tax cuts would create jobs.
of creating 800,000 jobs by the end of 2002, Kennedy
said, "We lost 1.9 million jobs instead. His economic
report promised 3 million jobs in 2003. Wrong
againč300,000 jobs lost."
downplayed Friday's report showing the creation
of 300,000 new jobs last month, saying that the
news didn't paint a complete picture of the United
States economic condition. "The unemployment rate
actually went upčnot downčlast month," Kennedy
said, adding that the new jobs "pay an average
of $8,000 less than the jobs lost in the Bush
sharply rebuked the recent Medicare bill, calling
it "a triumph of right-wing ideology masking as
moderate reform" and "a poster child for how not
to write a law."
a sausage maker would be offended by how this
law was made," Kennedy said, criticizing the White
House for underestimating the bill's final costs,
engaging in arm twisting, and spending public
money to promote the bill. "It's an anti-elderly,
anti-Medicare bill that never should have passed,"
that the bill would cost $400 billion only to
increase the price tag seven weeks later to $534
billion amounted to a "conspiracy to hide the
truth about the cost of the bill from Congress
and the American people."
believed victory was more important than honesty,"
sharply criticized the Administration for not
fully funding the No Child Left Behind Act, an
education bill Kennedy strongly supported in January
2002. At the time, the partnership between Bush
and Kennedy led many to believe that the two had
formed a powerful friendship and political alliance.
took the President at his word," Kennedy said,
"and we worked with him...The country has seen
that promise flagrantly broken." Kennedy said
that the administration's failure to adequately
fund the education bill makes it impossible for
schools to properly implement the bill's reforms.
if President Kennedy had said, 'We're going to
send a man to the moon,' and then provided the
resources to get only two-thirds of the way there,"
reminded the audience that during the campaign,
Bush had promised humility abroad and compassionate
conservatism at home.
reality, he insisted, has been radically different:
Bush has been arrogant, not humble in foreign
affairs; conservative, not compassionate in domestic
policy. As we now know, all the reassuring language
of the 2000 election campaign was a Trojan horse
cynically constructed to smuggle the extreme right
into the White House."
Copyright 2004 The Brookings Institution
Posted: May 2, 2004