Friday, October 22, 2004

Condoleezza Rice should not be touring swing states.

Why you're right:

1. Rice is misusing taxpayer money. With less than two weeks before the election, Rice is using government money to go around the country and speak on national security. She claims that she isn’t campaigning, but she has given nine speeches in the last two months, all in swing states. In her term as National Security Adviser, Rice has given 68 speeches – mostly in Washington, D.C. American taxpayers are paying Rice to campaign for Bush instead of protect the nation. (KDKA, AP, U.S. Newswire)

2. Rice’s swing state tour is distracting her from keeping the nation secure. Rice’s real job is as National Security Adviser, not as a staffer on the Bush campaign. On October 16, Rice was speaking in Ohio as Poland announced it would begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq and as the U.S. conducted airstrikes against Zarqawi hideouts. With soldiers still in Iraq and bin Laden nowhere to be found, Rice should not be using time on the job to campaign. (International Herald Tribune, New York Times)

3. Rice is undermining her credibility at home and abroad. Rice is breaking a longtime tradition of national security advisers being apolitical. Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser in the Carter Administration, said, "I know of no other national security adviser who went around and gave as many political speeches as is the current case. The job should be viewed as objective and totally preoccupied with national security." Rice’s tour gives the appearance that the administration’s foreign policies are directly tied to the November election, not the best interests of the nation. (Mercury News)

Why they're wrong:

Rice and the administration refute the charge that she is campaigning for Bush’s reelection, explaining that, "I do think it's important in a time of war -- and we are in a time of war, and the election doesn't change that -- to get out and talk about what the administration is trying to do." But, Rice does not explain why she suddenly decides to visit critical swing states right before the election and neglect her national security duties. (AP)