Last week we revisited Ken Buck's greatest "I'm really not an extremist" hits, adding two more to the list.
Ken "not an extremist" Buck, who was courting the teabaggers before he called them "dumbasses" and who agreed with Tom Tancredo that "the greatest threat to the country that was put together by the founding fathers, is the guy that's in the White House today" until he decided he didn't, and who wanted to repeal the 17th amendment until he decided he didn't, has been caught in another complete lie.
And last week we added his support/opposition to the FAIR tax and his triple flip on Colorado's personhood amendment (the one that says a fertilized egg should get all the rights of a actual person).
Chalk up another one in the triple flip category: whether VA hospitals should be privatized. ThinkProgress tries to track his ever-changing position after they released a video of him calling for veterans' healthcare to be privatized. That led to a very predictable response from veterans organizations, blasting him on the issue. Then came the confusion.
Responding to the firestorm, the Buck campaign is having trouble getting its story straight. At first, Buck stuck by his guns. According to campaign manager John Swartout:
Ken said that private companies do a better job than the government. Most people agree with Ken, that the government doesn’t always provide the best service. Take a look at Walter Reed.
An important aside, Walter Reed is a government hospital, run by the Department of Defense. Of course, we've come to expect Republican candidates to have only a passing acquaintance with what the majority of us would call facts. Back to the confusion.
Following this misstep, the Buck campaign backtracked on the story, arguing that, while Buck believes VA hospitals would be improved if they were privatized, he doesn’t actually want them to be privatized. According to campaign spokesman Owen Loftus:
What Ken’s saying is that our veterans deserve the best, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of people who would say the government does the best [job]. Ken is not for privatizing the VA hospitals.
So he doesn't want veterans to get what he thinks is the best care? The lack of coherence coming from this campaign is remarkable, even for this election year. Buck, while as extreme as any of the other teabagger candidates (remember, no abortion for rape or incest victims) must at least recognize that these are extreme positions, so he's always trying to find a way to make himself sound less radical. That doesn't make him any less dangerous, but it sure makes him a lot more craven.