To a growing number of us, it is no big shock that Barack Obama is running another dishonest campaign, as he hides behind his shameless operatives while they create their own facts.
Within this Chicago-style method of politics, it also seems that Mr. Obama is enabled to slander his opponent as much as he wishes, through the mouthpiece of others, and then to just deny any knowledge of this slander when it is brought to light and questioned. In spite of his promises from 2008 to operate with a “positive” campaign and to head what would be the most “open and transparent” administration in history, it seems that both of his campaigns and his administration have turned out to be just the opposite. But with an increasing scrutiny of his messages, as well as half-empty houses along the campaign trail, Obama’s success with this sort of approach may finally be coming to a long overdue end.
Back in 2008, at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Mr. Obama talked about “…the ugly phone calls, the misleading mail and TV ads, the careless, outrageous comments, all aimed at keeping us from working together, all aimed at stopping change.” He then claimed that “This is not what we need right now,” and that “The American people don’t want to hear politicians attack each other. You want to hear about how we’re going to attack the challenges facing the middle class all over the country.” Just as based on the very negative tone of his current campaign, complete with empty rhetoric and accusations, Obama must have decided that this IS “what we need right now.”
Recently, with MSNBC’s Willie Geist, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter was vaguely discussing the president’s plans to help the current unemployed in the event of his reelection. During this discussion, Geist asked Cutter, “What would you say to that same person that said, ‘Well, that hasn’t worked for four years. I haven’t had the job over time; it’s time for a change.’ Cutter’s response was, “Well, I think that worker probably has a good understanding of what’s happened over the past four years in terms of the president coming in and seeing 800,000 jobs lost on the day that the president was being sworn in, and seeing the president moving pretty quickly to stem the losses, to turn the economy around, and over the past, you know, 27 months we’ve created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That’s more jobs than in the Bush recovery; in the Reagan recovery. There’s obviously more we need to do, and as I said to Mika at the beginning of the program, I think that unemployed worker probably sees one person in this race trying to move the country forward, and that’s the president.”
O.K… if she says so. Even if we give the hypothetical benefit of the doubt that Obama actually created 4.5 million jobs during his entire first term as president, Ms. Cutter’s figures are still incorrect. As it turns out, Ronald Reagan created 8 million jobs in 27 months, and even at the lowest point of the recession, Bush’s job numbers amounted to 4.8 million jobs. Maybe this would qualify as some of that “fuzzy math” that President Bush used to talk about?
With an Obama unemployment figure still standing at 8.3%, AP says “this has been the worst recovery since World War II,” a war that historians of economics suggest, by the way, that actually provided the recovery then from the Great Depression; not FDR’s New Deal.
During a conference call with reporters last month, the same Stephanie Cutter stated that “Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people.”
Also, in a pro-Obama ad produced by Priorities USA, a former steelworker, Joe Soptic, appears to blame Mitt Romney for the death of his wife who had battled cancer, in that he lost his job and medical insurance when Romney’s Bain Capital-owned GST Steel plant closed. In actuality, records show that Romney had already cut ties with Bain Capital before the steel plant closed and before Soptic’s wife was diagnosed with cancer.
As Stephanie Cutter seems to never miss an opportunity for dishonesty, she was involved in this controversy as well. In an Obama campaign conference call hosted by Cutter in May, Soptic told reporters the same story that had been featured in the Priorities ad.
Recently, Nancy Cordes of CBS News questioned Obama about such ads and statements, asking him, “Are you comfortable with the tone being set with your campaign? Have you asked them to change their tone when it comes to defining Mr. Romney?” In response, Obama said, “Well, first of all, I am not sure that all of those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate. For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.” Oh, really, Mr. President?
In one of several similar lines of questioning concerning the Priorities spot, a member of the White House Press Corps suggested Obama’s need to signal to the Super PAC that this sort of ad was “out of bounds.” Obama provided a response that was almost verbatim to those he had given to others posing this question saying, “I don’t think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad. But keep in mind this is an ad that I didn’t approve, I did not produce, and as far as I can tell, has barely run. I think it ran once.”
Obama’s loyal enablers in the mainstream media have been quick to highlight that this statement shows how in tune Obama is to the campaign. Yet, as recently as this month, some three months after the Priorities ad aired, Team Obama says they are unfamiliar with Soptic or his story, even after their own deputy campaign manager hosted a conference call featuring the story. So, let’s get this straight. Obama’s so in tune to the campaign that he knew the ad only aired once, but he didn’t know what the ad’s message would be before it aired?
It seems that the figurative smell of fish from the Obama campaign is lingering in the air and growing stronger by the day. Let’s just hope that Team Romney continues to choose the right bait, so they can reel them in by November.