During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion â€” positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he has projected during his presidential campaign.
The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter groupâ€™s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.
Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obamaâ€™s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he â€œnever saw or approvedâ€ the questionnaire. […] They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who â€œunintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.â€
But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama â€” the day after sitting for the interview â€” filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obamaâ€™s own handwritten notes added to one answer.
Here’s the campaign’s response…
Through an aide, Obama, who won the groupâ€™s endorsement as well as the statehouse seat, did not dispute that the handwriting was his. But he contended it doesnâ€™t prove he completed, approved â€“ or even read â€“ the latter questionnaire.
â€œSen. Obama didnâ€™t fill out these state Senate questionnaires â€“ a staffer did â€“ and there are several answers that didnâ€™t reflect his views then or now,â€ said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obamaâ€™s campaign, in an emailed statement. â€œHe may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire at the meeting, but that doesnâ€™t change the fact that some answers didnâ€™t reflect his views. His eleven years in public office do.â€
While these two things aren’t inconsistent, they’re certainly very suspect.
We’ll have more as it develops…