[Guest post by DRJ]
According to a Politico article, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has given conflicting answers to policy questionnaires that raise questions about how liberal his views really are:
“During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion — positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he has projected during his presidential campaign.
The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.
Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.
They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.”
But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.”
The Politico notes specific examples of Obama’s liberal nuance on issues like abortion:
“Consider the question of whether minors should be required to get parental consent — or at least notify their parents — before having abortion.
The first version of Obama’s questionnaire responds with a simple “No.”
The amended version, though, answers less stridently: “Depends on how young — possibly for extremely young teens, i.e., 12- or 13-year-olds.”
By 2004, when his campaign filled out a similar questionnaire for the IVI-IPO during his campaign for U.S. Senate, the answer to a similar question contained still more nuance, but also more precision. “I would oppose any legislation that does not include a bypass provision for minors who have been victims of, or have reason to fear, physical or sexual abuse,” he wrote.
The evolution continued at least through late last year, when his campaign filled out a questionnaire for a nonpartisan reproductive health group that answered a similar question with even more nuance.”
Links to the questionnaire and related stories are at the Politico link. Check it out.