Diary

Ellsworth’s Gitmo Flip-Flop-Flip

National security has become a front burner issue in the U.S. Senate race after the release of ‘Judgment’ – Dan Coats’ first television ad of the fall campaign season. In the ad, and on the road this week, Dan has been discussing the contrast between his vigilance and record of service and incumbent Congressman Brad Ellsworth’s dangerously naïve national security record.

Visiting with veterans at VFW Post 9820 in South Bend yesterday, Dan said Congressman Ellsworth’s votes on the Guantanamo Bay issue constitutes “poor judgment on his part, and another in a long list of votes and decisions that pretty much rubber-stamped whatever the Obama-Pelosi agenda called for.”

While Dan has been consistent in his message – that closing Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility and transporting detainees to the United States where they could have the same rights as Americans is wrong – Congressman Ellsworth has been all over the map attempting to distract, deflect and ignore the issue the important difference of opinion on this issue.

First Congressman Ellsworth rubberstamped the plans to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States then he said he didn’t, then he said he did again.

So is that a flip-flop-flip?

Day One: Your Ad is False, Says Ellsworth campaign, with no evidence to back it up

Hours after the release of ‘Judgment,’ Ellsworth campaign manager called the ad “false” in an e-mail to their volunteer list. “This morning, Dan Coats launched a false and gallingly hypocritical television ad attacking Brad Ellsworth,” Cori Smith, campaign manager for incumbent Congressman Brad Ellsworth wrote. (Cori Smith, “Coats Launches Attack Ad.” Ellsworth for Indiana E-mail to Volunteers , 8/27/2010)

Day Four: Congressman Ellsworth Admits to Supporting the Closure of Guantanamo Bay and transfer of detainees to the United States

During a campaign stop in Jeffersonville, Ellsworth demands ‘Judgment’ be pulled off the air while admitting he supports closing Gitmo. The News and Tribune reported Ellsworth “supports closing the detention facility and Guantanamo Bay…”(Matt Thacker, “U.S. Senate hopeful Ellsworth calls for opponent to pull TV commercial.” Jeffersonville News and Tribune , 8/31/2010)

  • Congressman Ellsworth then re-affirmed his rubberstamp of the Obama-Pelosi plan to transport detainees to the United States. “If and when Gitmo is shut down, I have full confidence in our federal prisons,” Ellsworth said. (Matt Thacker, “U.S. Senate hopeful Ellsworth calls for opponent to pull TV commercial.” Jeffersonville News and Tribune , 8/31/2010)
  • Citing his vote, Congressman Ellsworth incorrectly claims President Obama’s plan must be approved by Congress. Nowhere in the two public laws on the books is it required that Congress approve the President’s plans to close Guantanamo and transfer terrorist detainees to the United States. Instead, there is a 45-day waiting period after a plan is submitted with no input from Congress – in fact, Congress already had their input and rubberstamped the idea.

Day Six: Spokesperson for Ellsworth Again Confirms Support for Closure of Gitmo & Transfer of Terrorists, Six Days After Calling the Ad ‘False’

Ellsworth campaign for the second time in two days confirms support for Obama-Pelosi plan to close Guantanamo and transfer terrorist detainees to the United States. “ Spokeswoman Liz Farrar said Ellsworth has not rejected the possibility of transferring some Guantanamo detainees into the United States for trial.” (Eric Bradner, “Senate candidate Coats’ TV ad on Guantanamo Bay under fire.” Evansville Courier & Press , 9/1/2010)

  • Morris Davis, a former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor who spoke on Ellsworth’s behalf in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, said case-by-case transfer decisions are not plausible in a November 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed . Ellsworth disagrees. “[Ellsworth spokesperson Liz Farrar] said [Ellsworth] is open to considering ways to deal with detainees on a case-by-case basis, as the military says is appropriate.” (Eric Bradner, “Senate candidate Coats’ TV ad on Guantanamo Bay under fire.” Evansville Courier & Press , 9/1/2010)

Today in Evansville

It’s been a busy week on the campaign trail as Dan has visited Fort Wayne, Auburn, Angola, South Bend and LaPorte. This afternoon, he will visit Berry Plastics in Evansville to discuss the economy and national security.

Berry Plastics was originally established in 1967 as Imperial Plastics. It is located in Evansville, Indiana. Berry Plastics has grown into a leading manufacturer of injection-molded plastic packaging, thermoformed products, flexible films and tapes and coatings. The company’s sales are focused in four divisions:

  • Rigid Open Top
  • Rigid Closed Top
  • Flexible Films
  • Tapes and Coatings

[Disclosure: Pete Seat is the press secretary for the Coats for Senate campaign.]