Fact Checking Obama's 'Fact Checkers'
The latest ad from Obama’s presidential campaign revealed his primary tactic for this year’s presidential election: attack the messenger of his failed policies.
Obama for America recently released an ad, “Swiss Bank Account,” in response to the new Americans for Prosperity ad, “Wasteful Spending,” which highlights the billions of taxpayer dollars that were sent to foreign companies as part of the president's green energy government spending boondoggle.
This is the second time in 2012 that President Obama has responded to an AFP ad detailing his disastrous economic policies. Both times, President Obama has launched personal smear campaigns vilifying our organization of two million activists -- even using a version of "liar, liar pants on fire" to divert from the real issue of his failed record.
Obama for America’s dodge-and-deflect campaign tactics would be fruitless without the mainstream media in his corner, ready and willing to carry water for his big-government agenda. The lack of journalistic integrity, or even curiosity, cannot be denied when one sees how some are so willing, almost fixedly, to justify almost any behavior or decision the President makes.
The Washington Post joined ThinkProgress and Huffington Post in an eager rush to defend President Obama against the proven facts of our ad. Almost immediately following the release of our ad online, the Post offered up excuses why Obama’s wasteful use of billions of taxpayer dollars is really nothing we worrywarts should be concerned about.
The piece, delivered under the questionable banner "The Fact Checker," called our TV ad “over-the-top” yet contained zero substantive refutation of the facts.
In the Post’s “fact-check,” they write, “Thus, in the Americans for Prosperity ad, questions about relatively small amounts of more than $800 billion in stimulus money turn into ‘American taxpayers are paying to send their own jobs to foreign countries.’”
The simple truth is more than $2 billion of stimulus dollars went to foreign companies. That is a fact. What is in dispute here is whether or not that matters. Americans for Prosperity believes that it does, and even though billions may be a pittance to Washington politicians and reporters, billions is a lot of money to many hardworking taxpayers. All those “pittances” have added up, which is why we are now almost $16 trillion in debt.
Throughout the piece, the Fact Checker works overtime telling us what to think: Obama’s obvious abuse of taxpayer dollars really isn’t that important, is misunderstood, or is somehow justified.
The American people know Obama’s stimulus bills were unsound policies that have caused our nation to go further into debt. Yet continuing its complete disregard of the failed stimulus, the Washington Post suggests that American taxpayer-funded stimulus money wasn’t necessarily intended for American industries and jobs.
“Americans for Prosperity says that ‘$1.2 billion [went] to a solar company building a plant in Mexico.’ So what? The stimulus money went to a solar plant in California; the Mexican plant is simply another investment.”
So what? So, $1.2 billion went to a solar company investing in Mexico rather than the U.S. That is an undisputed fact that matters to American taxpayers, even if it doesn’t matter to the Washington Post.
Our ad also describes a federal loan for $529 million given to Fisker Automotive. The money went to subsidize production of their luxury electric sports car that costs $102,000 and is assembled in Finland.
The fact that some of those car parts are assembled in Delaware is enough for the Fact Checker to sweep the entire boondoggle under the rug and inform us that Americans shouldn’t be concerned about subsidizing six-figure sports cars from Finland. Not mentioned in the ad, and apparently not important enough for the Washington Post to mention, is the fact that hundreds of Fisker vehicles were recently recalled due to risk of battery fire, and the company has been forced recently to lay off a couple dozen workers in its Delaware plant.
The Fact Checker presses on: Americans for Prosperity also asserts that the stimulus bill sent “tens of millions of dollars to build traffic lights in China.” The source is the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, but again, the article was much more nuanced.
True, there is more to this story, but not much. The traffic lights are for the United States market, but we’re buying most of the important parts from China. Hardly an excuse the American taxpayer should accept for sending millions overseas while our economy struggles to survive.
The bottom line: every claim in the AFP ad "Wasteful Spending" is backed up by cold, hard facts. The Obama Administration and the Washington Post may not like the facts, or they may think the facts are not important, but the American people deserve to know the truth about President Obama’s record.