Joe Kennedy rarely takes chances by making unscripted comments in public. Apparently, he’s not comfortable enough with issues, and he’s afraid he’ll say something wrong if he speaks off the cuff. Unfortunately for him, in the few instances in which he has offered impromptu remarks, he has revealed surprising ignorance of world events for someone seeking federal office. While every candidate makes mistakes, Joe has accumulated quite the record of gaffes in his amazingly short career.
The worst example of Joe’s campaign blunders came when he claimed that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a drone attack. While answering a question at the debate held at Wellesley College about his views on the drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia, Joe stated:
"I am a supporter of the President’s drone initiatives. I am a supporter of certainly the strike that the President launched to, that ended up in the killing of Osama bin Laden."
Joe wants to serve in the U.S. Congress, yet has no idea of how the most wanted man in the world died? How is it possible for a candidate to not be familiar with the actions of the now-famous SEAL Team 6?
Sadly, this is only one example of Joe’s foreign his policy blunders.
1) During a Democratic primary candidate debate on NECN’s Broadside with Jim Braude, Joe Kennedy incorrectly identified the capital of Israel as Tel Aviv. When questioned again by Braude, Joe doubled down on his answer.
2) While participating in a live chat on Patch.com, Joe was asked to describe specific programs that he would cut to balance the federal budget. He wrote:
"…Trimming the defense budget. We are winding two wars, which will yield a peace dividend. We also have to be more disciplined in how we spend, so I'd cut projects that even the DOD says they don't want, like the Osprey fighter and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle."
There are only two problems with that plan: a) the “Osprey fighter” does not exist and has never existed, and b) the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) had been cut almost two years before.
3) Joe again called publicly for the “Osprey fighter” to be eliminated during a joint editorial board meeting at the Fall River Herald News. Clearly his first mention of the non-existent “fighter” was intended.
While an “Osprey fighter” is not in existence, I believe that my opponent was referencing the V-22 Osprey. While it was at times a controversial program in the late-90s and early 2000s, the Marines and the Air Force have successfully used it for several years to conduct operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, a V-22 Osprey was used to carry the body of Osama Bin Laden to the aircraft carrier where he was buried at sea.
Joe’s answers clearly demonstrate why he is not only unqualified to serve in Congress. His lack of knowledge coupled with a lack of willingness to learn the issues, form a dangerous combination for someone who would vote on national security issues.
As one of my volunteers, a Marine who wrapped up his active duty in the past month, recently said, “The military has so much invested in the Osprey that it couldn’t function if the program was cut. No one wants it cut.”
Kennedy’s suggestion to cut the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was not exactly a bold stance either. According to a New York Times article from January 2011, the program was cut nearly two years ago.
Given that Joe Kennedy seldom takes positions on issues and, that when he does, he almost never gives specifics, it’s particularly odd that he should try to demonstrate expertise in a field that is so clearly a strength of mine and a weakness of his.
Joe Kennedy is inexperienced and unqualified. His answer on the location of the capital of Israel demonstrated his ignorance of foreign policy. The suggestion that we cut either made up programs or programs that were already eliminated only underscores how dangerous he would be if he was let loose in the halls of the Capitol Building.
America has real problems. The Fourth Congressional District needs a real leader – someone with military and national security experience and a background in the private sector.
With a growing track record of incompetence with foreign policy and now Defense spending, Joe Kennedy is clearly not qualified or ready to serve in Washington.
The people of the Fourth District should send someone with knowledge and experience in national security. They should send in a Marine.