Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery doubled down on the false narrative over efforts to defund Obamacare in order to attack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after Breitbart News caught her and her colleague Sabrina Siddiqui reporting inaccurate information on Thursday morning.
In a Thursday evening story that was featured in the lead spot at Huffington Post, Bendery attacked Cruz again as selling “snake oil” in an article titled “Ted Cruz Digs Himself In Further On Obamacare: ‘Likely That It Will Take Another Election For Full Repeal.'”
“Right now, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid has 54 Democrats and they presumably are going to stand with him… and a number of Senate Republicans have expressed that they may support the Democrats here,” Cruz said to a “couple reporters” after his remarks at an event hosted by the National Auto Dealers Association, according to Bendery. “I think it is likely that it will take another election for a full repeal.”
Bendery seems to be conflating the distinctly different notions of repealing and defunding Obamacare. Bendery’s followup piece was posted at 12:07 ET and updated at 5:00 PM ET. During that timeframe, Bendery acknowledged at 3:44 PM via Twitter that she was aware of the Breitbart News article on Big Journalism pointing out the falsehoods in her original reporting with Siddiqui, where that conflation was specifically addressed.
“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) didn’t have much to say Thursday in response to House Republicans fuming at him for conceding that the Democratic-controlled Senate doesn’t have the votes to repeal Obamacare and leaving the battle — and all its political perils — for House conservatives to fight,” she wrote before printing Cruz’s quote about the next election. “In fact, Cruz, a tea party favorite who has championed an Obamacare repeal, went further and said even some Senate Republicans don’t support the latest push for defunding President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. He also said a full repeal of Obamacare doesn’t have a chance until at least after the 2014 elections.”
Bendery is implying that this was not Cruz’s plan all along and that he has not said as much throughout the course of the past few months. In fact, he and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) have said that they plan to defund Obamacare at every opportunity they get on must-pass legislation–like the current Continuing Resolution (CR) battle–until they get the chance to repeal the president’s healthcare law. This strategy is in contrast to holding another vote to repeal Obamacare when there have already been more than 40 such votes. Those efforts did not ever stand a chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate or being sent to the president’s desk and were essentially meaningless.
Both Cruz and Lee have made that exact point on numerous occasions over the course of the past two months, as recently as a July 17 U.S. Senate floor speech by Sen. Lee.