He did it again. Last night, appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, President Barack Obama repeated the claim that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms--a misstatement Obama had made in the last presidential debate, and for which he had been corrected. But Obama used the line anyway, because mammograms are less unpopular than abortions, which are not supposed to be paid for by federal tax dollars.
Voters--and prominent Obama supporters--are increasingly coming to the conclusion that President Obama will say anything to gain a political advantage.
The latest to wake up to reality is Leno’s rival, David Letterman of The Late Show, who told guest Rachel Maddow how “discouraged” he was to discover that Obama had lied about rival Mitt Romney’s views on the auto bailout. “[Y]ou want your president to be telling the truth.”
In the closing days of the campaign, Obama is telling voters that they should not vote for Romney because they cannot trust him. “You want to know that the person who’s applying to be your president and commander-in-chief is trustworthy. That he means what he says. That he’s not just making stuff up.”
But the charge is backfiring because voters, like Letterman, are discovering that the president has a problem with the truth.
That is the most damaging fact to emerge from the Benghazi scandal--not just that the Obama administration had failed to provide adequate security to protect U.S. diplomats or had failed to anticipate the 9/11 attacks, but that the President, Secretary of State, and UN Ambassador tried to sell a lie about an anti-Islam video to the American public, even though they knew almost immediately that there was evidence of a terror attack.
The effort they expended to repeat the lie is breathtaking. They lied at a memorial for the four dead Americans, in front of the flag-draped coffins. They lied at the United Nations, and on the Sunday morning talk shows, and, yes, on the David Letterman show as well.
Only when one of their subordinates refused to perjure himself before Congress did they begin to change their story, eventually excluding the video entirely.
But they still could not bring themselves to tell the truth. Obama claimed he had called the attack an act of terror all along, pointing to a statement in the Rose Garden on Sep. 12, but his reference to “acts of terror” did not refer specifically to Benghazi.
The new revelation that he had, in fact, described Benghazi as a premeditated attack that same day in an unaired CBS interview only makes the subsequent lies seem much worse.
Obama’s lies have begun to backfire ever since the first debate, when voters who had been told for months that Romney was stupid and evil saw a competent, composed, and confident candidate.
Something broke that evening, and left a feeling that endured past the usual charges that this candidate or that had stretched the facts on this or that issue. Voters knew their president had lied to them--for months, and at great expense.
The president recently told Rolling Stone that people would easily see through his rival: “‘You know, kids have good instincts,’ Obama offered. ‘They look at the other guy and say, “Well, that’s a bullshitter, I can tell.”’
But Obama is now seen as less trustworthy--not because Romney is a pillar of consistency, but because Obama made a great show of being honest, and turned out not to be.
That sense of betrayal will not fade quickly.