Would the Real John Edwards Please Stand Up?

John Kerry announced on Tuesday, July 6, that freshman Sen. John Edwards (D.-N.C.) will be his running mate this year against President George W. Bush.

Though on his webpage he bills himself as “a champion for the issues that make a difference to American families,” his history belies a much more extreme, Leftist worldview. In five years in the U.S. Senate, Edwards has earned a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 12.

Edwards, the multi-millionaire trial lawyer from Robbins, N.C., grew up the son of a mill-worker and postal clerk. He says that it was from his father that he learned the value of the dollar and a hard day’s work.

Edwards believes that this background should earn him a place in the hearts of American voters as a man of the people and friend of blue collar America. But the picture Edwards paints of himself is more of a paint by number than a true to life portrait. The truth is that his positions on issues key to the integrity of the American family and the strength of security for the nation are likely to be seen as anything but picture perfect in the eyes of the average American voter.

Position: For

  • October 21, 1999: Voted against a ban on partial birth abortion.
  • March 25, 2004: Voted against Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

    Gun Rights
    Position: Against

  • March 2, 2004: Voted for reauthorization of assault weapons ban.
  • March 2, 2004: Voted for a bill to heavily regulate private sales of firearms at gun shows.

    Defense/Homeland Security
    Position: Mixed.

  • July 13, 2000: Voted to delay the deployment of National Defensive Ballistic Missile Shield.
  • October 25, 2001: Voted for the Patriot Act.
  • October 11, 2002: Voted for the Authorization for the Use of Force Against Iraq.
  • October 17, 2003: Voted against a bill to authorize $87 billion to help rebuild Iraq and, thereby, reduce the time the troops would be required to stay on station in Iraq.

    Tax Relief
    Position: Against

  • July 30, 1999: Voted against a bill to reduce federal income taxes by $792 billion over a decade.
  • July 21, 2000: Voted against repealing the marriage penalty.
  • May 23, 2001: Voted against the President Bush’s 2001 Tax Relief Package.
  • June 12, 2002: Voted against a permanent repeal of the estate tax.
  • March 25, 2003: Voted to reduce the size of Bush’s tax cut.

    Floor Votes on Bush Nominees
    Position: Against

  • February 1, 2001: Voted against the confirmation of Sen. John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General.
  • March 14, 2002: Voted against Charles Pickering in committee.
  • March 6, 2003: Voted against allowing a floor vote on the confirmation of circuit court nominee Miguel Estrada.
  • May 8, 2003: Voted against allowing a floor vote on the confirmation of circuit court nominee Priscilla Owen.
  • July 31, 2003: Voted against allowing a floor vote on the confirmation of circuit court nominee Bill Pryor.

    Campaign Finance Reform
    Position: For

  • April 2, 2001: Voted for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, which limits Americans’ freedom to associate and spend money to criticize political candidates.

    Impeachment of President Clinton
    Position: Against

  • January 27, 1999: Voted to dismiss all impeachment charges against the former president.
  • February 12, 1999: Voted “not guilty,” on Article I of the impeachment–in other words, that Clinton was not guilty of perjury for his false testimony to a grand jury.
  • February 12, 1999: Voted against Article II of impeachment–in other words, that Clinton was not guilty of obstruction of justice.