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Obama in 2001: Rumsfeld in the Mainstream
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Discussing his opposition to Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, Obama praised newly-elected President Bush's new nominee for Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.
"The proof in the pudding is looking at the treatment of the other Bush nominees," Obama said. "I mean for the most part, I for example do not agree with a missile defense system, but I dont think that soon-to-be-Secretary Rumsfeld is in any way out of the mainstream of American political life. And I would argue that the same would be true for the vast majority of the Bush nominees, and I give him credit for that.
"So I don't want to be pegged as being far left simply because I find certain aspects in John Ashcroft's record to be divisive or offensive," Obama continued. "I think it's legitimate for me to raise that. As I said before, if he brought before us a nominee who didn't agree with me on affirmative action and yet said that, you know, I do think that and showed a history for showing regard and concern for racial justice, if he came before us and said I oppose a woman's right to choose, or I oppose abortion, I find it religiously offensive, and yet I do respect, for example, the notion that we shouldn't be solving these things with violence, historically, if that had been what was said, then I don't think I would object. And I think that's a fair position to take."
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