Host Sean Hannity repeated misstatements of Senator John Kerry's record on military spending for the fifth time in less than two weeks. "[Kerry] voted against the major weapon systems in the [George W.] Bush ad that our modern military uses," stated Hannity on the April 29 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes.
On the April 28 episode, Hannity gave a more detailed account of the cuts he accused Kerry of voting for:
This is a man who has opposed 27 major weapons systems. If he had his way, we wouldn't have the F-15 Stealth Fighter, the SDI, Apache helicopter, and the Kerry people are livid at this ad. Why should they be lived when that's his record?
On the April 26 episode, Hannity made a similar statement:
[I]f John Kerry had had his way, we wouldn't have a B-1; we wouldn't have a cruise; we wouldn't have a Trident; we wouldn't have a Patriot air defense system, F-15, F-16, stealth bomber, Persian 2 missile. And he vowed to cut the Apache, the M-1 Abrams, the Tomahawk missile, the Bradley fighting vehicle, and he's against SDI.
These statements follow Hannity's April 14 comment that “Kerry voted against every major weapon systems we pretty much use now” and Hannity's April 21 criticism of about Kerry's “gutting of defense.”
Hannity's claims echo the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign ads and a February Republican National Committee research brief. Yet Hannity, the campaign ads, and the RNC brief all misrepresented the facts on Kerry's record on military funding.
As the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Political Fact Check explained, “Kerry's votes against overall Pentagon money bills in 1990, 1995 and 1996 . were not votes against specific weapons. And in fact, Kerry voted for Pentagon authorization bills in 16 of the 19 years he's been in the Senate.”
Since each appropriations bill contains hundreds of line items to fund all aspects of the armed forces -- from weapons systems to soldiers' salaries to schools on military bases -- as Slate.com's Fred Kaplan explained in a February 25 military analysis, one could use this same logic to claim that Kerry had voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces.