For those of us who have attempted to glean a single definitive position on the Iraq War, stem cell funding, global warming, and other issues from Tom Kean Jr., we already know that Kean Jr. substitutes vague responses when asked for specifics, refuses to answer difficult questions from reporters, and attempts to placate the conservative and moderate branches of his supporters by giving them different responses at different times.
In these last few days of Kean Jr.’s losing campaign, however, reporters seem to be stepping up the pressure on him to state what he believes, not just restating whatever is popular (“Rumsfeld should step down,” his newfound revelation) and shifting according to the wind. Fred Snowflack,Daily Record link writing for the Daily Record, had an editorial in the Sunday edition of that paper, asking both Menendez to reveal some points about his work with the North Hudson Community Action Corp. and Kean Jr. to expand upon his “less-than-clear stance” on the Iraq War. Snowflack writes:
“We haven’t heard from Kean, but Tuesday afternoon, the phone rang and Menendez was on the other end of the line.”
Menendez revealed how the Head Start funding works from a formula and how the poverty organization is still receiving that funding, hardly anything nefarious going on there. But Kean Jr. was also called out in this editorial for having a hazy stance on an issue that directly affects New Jersey; once again, he refused to provide any clarity on his position of support for the Iraq War.
Meanwhile, the Star-Ledger article Star-Ledger Link that dropped the bombshell information that Kean Jr. is receiving support from radical right-wing organizations, Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition and the National Right to Life group, also mentions that Kean’s position on gun control
“has caused confusion among people on both sides of the issue.”
Kean Jr., at a campaign stop in Newark,
““refused to answer a reporter’s questions about the matter”.
and has received support from the Christian Coalition because he supposedly doesn’t favor any further restrictions on gun control.
True to form, Kean Jr.’s spokeswoman, Jill “Astroturf” Hazelbacker, had to backpedal and attempt to create a consistent stance for the Republican despite his inconsistent responses:
“Kean’s record on gun control is clear… and in favor of tough gun control legislation.”
Strangely, Kean Jr. is giving different responses to this issue in both his answer to the Hall Institute’s virtual debate question on gun control, where he argues that “current firearm laws” are fine, thus agreeing with the Christian Coalition’s position, which contradicts his previous stances on gun control. But Bryan Miller, who serves as executive director of Ceasefire New Jersey, a gun control group that has endorsed Menendez, says Kean Jr’s response
“sounds like it’s out of the NRA playbook. The gun lobby’s mantra is we don’t need new laws, we just need to enforce the laws we have better.””
Is it little wonder that New Jersey reporters covering our senate campaign have found Kean Jr’s policy positions to be “confusing” and “less-than-clear”?