While I have registered some of my concerns about California Republican Senate candidate Chuck DeVore in comments to this blog, e-mails to friends (and readers) and in private conversations, I have, by and large, held back on criticizing him on this blog. While I don’t support his candidacy, I do believe a staunch conservative like he can serve a useful function in a contested Republican primary. He can help remind the more moderate candidate of the resilience of conservative ideas andd prevent her from moving too far to the left to cater to the supposed big government whims of the electorate of this “blue” state.
Perhaps DeVore ‘s candidacy, announced last year, ensured that when Carly Fiorina launched her bid last week she stake out conservative positions on fiscal issues. But, to be sure, her public statements before then indicate that she has long been a champion of freedom and opponent of excessive government regulation.
Despite these public statements, DeVore still seems to believe Carly is a Golden State version of Dede Scozzafava, supporting more government spending and greater regulation. Yesterday, on Ed Morrissey’s radio show, he contended this businesswomen favors massive new regulation of the financial sector, suggesting she refused to blame the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for helping contribute to the financial meltdown.
Chuck forgot to do a google search. Last September, Fiorina faulted Congress for letting “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac get totally out of control.” Like many Republicans, she faulted the federal government for failing to oversee the GSEs: “The oversight of Fannie and Freddie has been woefully inadequate over the years. We’ve seen a series of frauds and abuses coming out of Fannie and Freddie.” Not just that, the faulted the Democratic Congress for failing to do anything about the GSEs.
She does not favor new regulations, but streamlining existing ones, repealing those that have proven excessively burdensome on private enterprise.
It’s a good thing for the GOP to have the various candidates vying for its Senate nomination to engage in a robust debate on the issues. But, such a debate does not mean one candidate gets to claim his opponent is the liberal straw woman against whom he would rather square off. Especially when her record tells a different story. Like many sensible conservatives, Carly Fiorina is not only aware of the role of the GSEs in last fall’s financial meltdown, but she has said as much in public statements.
It’s time that DeVore respect her positions and address them honestly as they both vie for the GOP nomination.