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Bennet not backing down from fiscal hawk stance

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There were cries of indignation after Sen. Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat running for re-election, was quoted criticizing the deficit, to wit: “We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet. In my view we have nothing to show for it.”

Conservatives sputtered that Mr. Bennet’s conversion to fiscal responsibility comes a little late, given his record as a dependable Obama administration supporter on, for starters, stimulus packages totaling nearly $1 trillion.

In response, the Bennet campaign yawned, pointing out that Mr. Bennet’s comment, made at an Aug. 21 town hall meeting in Greeley, wasn’t exactly stop-the-presses material. The first-term Senate-appointee has been running as a deficit hawk for most of the campaign, pointedly criticizing — who else? — President George W. Bush for his free spending on the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, not to mention his tax cuts.

In other words, conservatives can call Mr. Bennet a hypocrite on the deficit all they want. But don’t call him a flip-flopper. As one staffer put it, “It’s not like it’s some kind of bomshell that some Washington reporters who haven’t covered the campaign are making it out to be.”

Ouch.

— Valerie Richardson

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