This afternoon, during an interview with KTVA’s Matt Felling, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that she would not oppose repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “as long as as long as it is supported by the troops as long as it doesn’t hurt the performance, the morale, the recruitment”:
MURKOWSKI: I have said that I would work to make sure that as long as it is supported by the troops as long as it doesn’t hurt the performance, the morale, the recruitment, that these are all things we want to take into consideration. I think we will see this play out in this report. If in fact, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is included in the defense authorization and we get to a point where we can move that bill through, I would not oppose the Defense Authorization Bill because Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the repeal of it — is included within it.
Murkowski went on to say that the country was at “different point in time.” “There is clearly a level of acceptance within our communities, at all levels, of supporting and providing for that level of equality for the homosexual community and I think it’s important to recognize that,” she added.
Interestingly, hours after taping this interview (sometime before 4pm EST), Murkowski appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room (after 6pm EST) and suggested that she didn’t know how she would vote on the issue, possibly hinting that her vote would depend on an open amendment process. “I don’t know how it is going to be presented in the upcoming lame duck in terms of that defense authorization bill, and whether or not we will get to that,” she said. “It is indeterminate at this point in time.” Watch it:
I should note, as I did in the update to my original post, that Murkowski spokesperson Michael Brumas called me after the CNN interview to say that the Senator would vote for repeal “as long as it is supported by the troops and doesn’t hurt performance, morale, or recruitment and we allow for a transition that makes sense.” When I spoke to him, I had not yet discovered the inconsistency in the two interviews. I have since submitted another query and will update if he responds.