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Negative Campaigns

Recorded on January 3, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

The free-for-all campaigning in Iowa is a reminder of what our First Amendment makes possible.

Republican candidates for President have not been shy about pointing out each other's shortcomings. Sometimes they criticize each other more than President Obama, whose policies they all oppose.

The attacks have gotten so harsh that Bob Schieffer of CBS News actually proposed to Iowa's governor that somebody should put a stop to the negative ads. But even to a left-leaning reporter, it should be clear that this is what free speech is all about. Unless we have the freedom to criticize our government and its leaders, and unless candidates have the freedom to criticize, then we would no longer have free speech.

We all get tired of negative campaigning, but trying to outlaw it would only wreck one of our most fundamental freedoms.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.