NYT Attempts to Smear Kochs with False Narrative on Obamacare Defunding
With President Barack Obama’s approval rating now down to just 37% and with CNN showing that only 39% of Americans support Obamacare, the Obama Administration and its allies in the mainstream media are scrambling to rescue the president’s public opinion free fall.
The looming October 17 debt-ceiling showdown has the White House even more worried, as 61% of voters side with the GOP in believing it is "right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised even if it risks default."
Obama’s desperate strategy: divert attention away from the president’s rudderless leadership on Syria, unpopular and failing signature Obamacare law, and sinking approval ratings by blaming the Koch Brothers for nefariously hatching a months-long plot to shutdown the U.S. government in an attempt to defund Obamacare. Indeed, Obama and his acolytes in the media and on Capitol Hill have not shied away from using class-warfare themes to try and demonize those who oppose the Administration’s policies.
On Sunday, the New York Times dutifully carried out its Obama Administration marching orders and posited that “a galaxy of conservative groups” with Koch-backed money spent months devising a grand scheme to shutdown the government to defund Obamacare. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) read from the same talking points on Tuesday. “By shutting down the government, Republicans are satisfying the Koch Brothers while millions of people are suffering,” said Reid.
The Times’ own article, however, refutes the Obama Administration’s wild conspiracy theory. As the piece notes, “Not all the groups have been on board with the defunding campaign. Some, like the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity, which spent $5.5 million on health care television advertisements over the past three months, are more focused on sowing public doubts about the law.” Furthermore, the Times cited Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips as saying, “We want to see this law repealed. We view this as a long-term effort.”
On Wednesday, Koch Companies Public Sector President Philip Ellender sent senators a letter responding to Sen. Reid’s attack on the Kochs. “There was false information presented about Koch on the Senate floor by Senate Majority Leader Reid, who claimed yesterday that Koch was behind the shutdown of the federal government in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act or ‘Obamacare’…Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.”
Ellender added: “We are hopeful this sets the record straight and that in the future Senator Reid and other politicians will stop misrepresenting and distorting Koch’s positions.”
Ironically, Mother Jones progressive writer David Corn makes it clear that the true genesis of the effort to defund Obamacare was borne out of a memo to the Groundswell group—a private group of top conservative leaders and activists—backing Obamacare’s defunding and supporting efforts by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) toward that end. Corn reported that the memo, which helped spark the “Exempt America” grassroots movement, went to “conservative organizations that had backed Cruz on this initiative: the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, the National Taxpayers Union, the Family Research Council, FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity, National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Eagle Forum, Americans for Tax Reform, Independent Women's Voice, American Commitment, the Madison Project, the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Campaign for Liberty, Virginians for Quality Healthcare.”
If Obama and Democrats want to attack Republicans for standing strong in defunding Obamacare, so be it. But at least get the facts right. The Tea Party and grassroots conservatives are the ones who sparked and are leading the fight, not the Kochs.