Dubya likes to spout rhetoric branding Kerry as a flip-flopper, touting himself as a decisive guy.
Except, like any politician, when public opinion starts to shift.
After being criticized for using September 11 imagery in a commercial, and by extension, for refusing to meet the Sep. 11 Commission for more than an hour, he’s flip-flopped himself:
President Bush backed off yesterday from one of the major limitations he had set for cooperating with the independent commission looking into the terrorist attacks of 2001 and will now submit to open-ended questioning instead of setting a one-hour limit.
The reversal came 36 hours after his opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), seized on the restriction in remarks that accused Bush of “stonewalling and resisting the investigation into what happened and why we had the greatest security failure in the history of our country.”
The new flexibility, which White House press secretary Scott McClellan acknowledged under questioning at two briefings, came as Bush argued that Kerry tried to undermine the intelligence services during his 19 years in the Senate.
McClellan said the White House still considers a single hour before the commission to be “reasonable,” but he pledged that Bush “is going to answer all the questions that they want to raise.”
“Nobody is watching the clock,” McClellan said.
… Bush did not yield on other issues that are important to the commissioners. He still insists that his conversation occur only with Chairman Thomas H. Kean and Vice Chairman Lee H. Hamilton instead of with the entire panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.
Vice President Cheney also planned to limit his testimony to an hour, and has said he will meet only with Kean and Hamilton. His staff would not say whether he will answer all the commission’s questions, regardless of the clock.
Al Felzenberg, the group’s spokesman, said the panel would welcome more time to interview Bush and Cheney but would like them to meet with the full commission instead of just the chairman and vice chairman.
Timothy J. Roemer, a commission member who is a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, called Bush’s stance “a little bit of progress” but said it “certainly isn’t full cooperation.”
I love this hypocritical statement:
Asked whether Bush was responding to Kerry’s charges, McClellan said, “I don’t think [Kerry is] someone who lets the facts get in the way of his campaign.”
Just as our president doesn’t let facts get in the way of his decisions.
[Update: boingboing links to a fun list of Bush’s flip-flops today. Following this list is a loooong set of comments that keep adding to his inventory of flips. I can see that this campaign is going to be all about hypocrisy and the pot calling the kettle black.]