One of the biggest differences between the two candidates is on the issue of Iraq. While Bob Corker favors staying the same failed course we have been on, Congressman Ford supports staying in Iraq but with new strategies and tactics on the ground.
Those differences were highlighted during a forum the two had earlier this week in Nashville:
Tennessee’s two U.S. Senate candidates offer opposing views on how they would prosecute the Iraq War if they were elected.
In separate speeches and remarks to the Nashville City Club Tuesday, Republican nominee Bob Corker said he would rely “most heavily” on what the troop commanders in Iraq recommend regarding issues like troop levels and is against dividing the country into three ethnic regions.
That came after Democratic nominee Harold Ford Jr. recommended that Iraq be divided into three “ethnic federations” – Shiite, Sunni and Kurd - under one central government. The oil revenues would be split between them, and the U.S. would work as a partner in helping reach an agreement.
Ford also continued his call for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign.
“If you are looking for a senator who will go and parakeet whatever the president says, I’m not your guy,” Ford told the crowd. “I think we have to pursue another course and the course is pretty simple – you’ve got to decentralize Iraq to unite it.”
In a response to Ford’s “ethnic federation” plan, Corker said the United States “went through a lot of effort” for Iraq to have elections, and he thinks the country should support the Iraqi government while it evolves into “how their vision of the country ought to be.”
“I’m a lot more interested in what they have to say versus candidates who are trying to make news during a political campaign,” Corker said.
On Rumsfeld, Corker has not called for his resignation, instead deferring to President Bush’s wishes.
While Corker would rely on the commanders on the ground to dictate war policy, Ford said that six retired generals returning from Iraq have said Rumsfeld should “be removed.”
“We should move along that path to achieve victory,” Ford said.
The remarks came after the release of parts of the National Intelligence Estimate, a report that notes America is less safe today than it was prior to the Iraq War, according to news stories.
Having not read the report, Ford would not say whether the country is less safe than prior to the invasion of Iraq.
Ford did allow that the intelligence report “cries out for change in tactics on the ground in Iraq right away” and “cries out for a new energy policy” as a result of the United States’ “enormously dangerous addiction” to foreign oil.
Similarly, Corker, waiting to read the report, declined to answer the question regarding U.S. safety.
“I think that most Americans want to make sure that those who go to the Senate and those who are in the House do those things to take on these particular issues … to make sure that we are safe,” Corker said.
The first debate between Corker and Ford is Oct. 7, with the general election set for Nov. 7.
Once again, Corker shows his lack of depth of foreign policy with such bland platitudes when he says 'those decisions rest with the Bush admininstration or the generals.' No specifics. None whatsoever. Just stay the course and let what is currently happening, keep on happening.
Bob is just repeating the talking points that Karl Rove has passed out to all the Republican candidates around the nation.
However, we all know how Bob really feels about the Iraq war:
- "You really don't hear so much about the war in Iraq — it's actually surprising," said Corker. "You all (in the media) are asking about that issue. It's just not an issue that comes up a great deal on the campaign trail."
This race will come down to who has the better ideas to confront the problems that we currently face here at home and abroad. And that is why Bob Corker is going to lose.
He has no record to defend and no vision to fight for.