Apparently Obama and his administration operate under that old, underhanded adage that if you tell a lie long enough and loud enough it becomes “truth,” because Obama has done it again by lying about how his jobs bill was to have been instrumental in the repairs of bridges that span the Ohio River.
Back in September, President Obama had another one of his campaign rallies disguised as a press conference in downtown Cincinnati in front of the Brent Spence Bridge, a span that connects Ohio and Kentucky. At that time he claimed that his jobs bill and stimulus money were to pay for much needed repairs to the bridge. Afterward, newspaper fact-checkers in Cincy as well as Washington DC noted that Obama’s claims were simply untrue. No stimulus money was going to any of the bridges over the Ohio river, much less the Brent Spence.
The scolding of the media doesn’t seem to have deterred Obama, however, for this week he’s done it again, misleading about how his stimulus money and jobs bill cash was to go to repair bridges across the river.
Back in September, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog gave Obama its Three Pinocchios rating for his false claims. Today WaPo has upped the ante, giving Obama’s claims four Pinocchios for his newest assertions — this time, campaign rhetoric that Republicans are making the bridges unsafe by blocking his big spending plans.
On April 30, in remarks made at a D.C. conference of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department, Obama made the direct claim that Republicans “said no” to his jobs bill and this, he said, was making the bridges across the Ohio unsafe. At the conference he said:
I sent them a jobs bill that would have put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back to work repairing our roads, our bridges, schools, transit systems, along with saving the jobs of cops and teachers and firefighters, creating a new tax cut for businesses. They said no. I went to the Speaker’s hometown, stood under a bridge that was crumbling. Everybody acknowledges it needs to be rebuilt. Maybe he doesn’t drive anymore. Maybe he doesn’t notice how messed up it was. They still said no. There are bridges between Kentucky and Ohio where some of the key Republican leadership come from, where folks are having to do detours an extra hour, hour-and-a-half drive every day on their commute because these bridges don’t work. They still said no.
But is any of this true? WaPo says no. The Post fact-checker said he understood the need for symbolism, but that need “does not give a president license to stretch the facts.”
Obama’s lies this time were even more egregious than those of last September. Last time Obama simply made vague claims that he was going to fix the Brent Spence Bridge — claims that were not true as his federal money outlays were not going to that bridge in the first place.
But this time, he’s gone full-on liar-liar with his campaign rhetoric that the Republicans have actually blocked funding that was to go to bridge repairs.
In his remarks to the union thugs, Obama alluded to a bridge that “won’t work,” implying that it has been shut down. The only bridge across the Ohio that fits this description is the Sherman Milton Bridge that connects Indiana and Kentucky near Louisville. A crack was discovered in that bridge last year but, as it happens, it was discovered that this crack had been there since 1962. Further, the bridge was quickly repaired and none of Obama’s jobs bill money or stimulus cash was used.
As WaPo notes, “While Obama claimed ‘these bridges don’t work,’ the Sherman Milton Bridge has already been repaired, ahead of schedule, and motorists are driving over it again.”
Finally, Obama’s claim that it was only Republicans that blocked his jobs bill is also simply untrue. The bill he was touting at the time had bipartisan opposition and couldn’t even get past his Democrat controlled Senate.
Calling out the Republicans at the Brent Spence bridge was bad enough, given the bipartisan support for its reconstruction. But pointing to the Sherman Milton Bridge, which already has been repaired without funding from the president’s jobs bill, is ridiculous.
Perhaps the president was using outdated talking points, but that’s little excuse. Given that the president earned Three Pinocchios before, we have little choice but to up the ante this time.
Once again we see a president who makes outright false claims over and over again, imagining that, if he just tells the lies enough, people won’t notice that he’s lying any more. Still, Obama does know one thing. He knows that most news outlets will uncritically report his words as “news” without noting where he is lying, and voters will hear his fantasy “facts” and imagine that he is telling them the truth.
In that case, he’s right. All he has to do is tell any lie he wants and, most of the time, his words will be taken as fact, whether they are or not. Bloomberg, for one, never noted that Obama lied in its report. Neither did ABC News. And neither did the National Journal ,which happily noted Obama’s attacks on Republicans but didn’t note his lies. In fact, only the WaPo Fact-Checker noted his outright lies at the union event. Many others followed suit, reporting Obama’s words as if his claims were legitimate political points.
As Obama’s preceding ideological father once said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”