The Senate EPW Committee has noted that on “Meet the Press” on April 18, Senator Kerry flip-flopped on an issue he has been a long time champion of — CAFE standards:
RUSSERT: That was your legislation. You stand by that?
KERRY: Well, we tried to do that that year but both McCain and I said at the time, you can go back and look at the quote — we said we’re not fixed in stone as to the number or how we do this. We’re ready to negotiate. The problem is nobody wanted to negotiate because they had the votes. (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 4/18/04)
FACT: Senator Kerry flip-flopped positions on CAFE in just three weeks. The New York Times on March 26, 2004, reported, “In the face of rising gasoline prices and stagnating fuel efficiency, Senator John Kerry is sticking with a plan he backed in the Senate to increase the nation’s fuel economy standards 50 percent by 2015. That would be the largest increase, by far, since automotive fuel economy standards were first imposed after the oil shocks of the 1970’s.” (Danny Hakim, “Kerry Is Sticking With Plan To Raise Auto Fuel Efficiency,” The New York Times, 3/26/04)
Less than two weeks before Senator Kerry made his appearance on “Meet the Press,” Greenwire published an article suggesting Kerry was already on his way to the CAFE flip-flop just not sure how far he would go writing, “An automotive industry source said that, while Kerry might not back down from the 36 mpg target, there could be room for compromise on other aspects of a fuel economy hike. ‘He’s apparently not wanting to back down on the raw number,’ the source said about Kerry’s 36 mpg proposal. ‘I don’t think they want to give the appearance he’s changed positions.'” Greenwire 4/5/04