As Congress briefly reconvenes before the election, Republicans have made a lot of noise about impending military spending cuts, seemingly forgetting that many GOPers voted for them when they passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) was reminded of this fact on Friday morning’s Fox & Friends, but refused to account for his vote.
During an early morning segment, Fox host Brian Kilmeade demanded to know why Kelly and his Republican colleagues supported the military spending sequester. Kelly essentially shrugged the question off, claiming we shouldn’t “quibble” about the past and instead place the blame on President Obama:
KILMEADE: As we know this is a deal cut, so we didn’t have another debt ceiling debate this year like last year. You made huge mistake putting the defense up there on the chopping block even as — they had nothing to do with the fight that the congress was having with the president. Why was it even put into play?
KELLY: First of all, when that took place, this was an idea that came from the administration, put on the table by the administration.
KILMEADE: You should say no.
KELLY: What should have happened and what could have happened are two different things. We can’t do anything about what happened before. But we can certainly do something about what happened today… If we cannot rely on the president to lead, and we’ve seen a lack of leadership in this country for the last three years, this is a vacuum of leadership both of our domestic policy and foreign policy. My goodness, let’s not quibble about what shouldn’t have happened at a bargaining table. Let’s talk about what the president has the power to do today and to reassure our military and our allies around the world, the American military will remain the strongest. We are the leaders of the free world. Let’s start act like it.
Kelly isn’t the first Republican to be tripped up by his voting record. When vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) faced the same question on Sunday, he simultaneously denied that he voted for the defense cuts and agreed that he voted for the bill that enacted the cuts.
The narrative that Obama is weak on defense is a favorite among Republican politicians this week, who are taking up the false accusation that the president caused the attacks on American diplomats in Libya and Egypt by apologizing for America.