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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mr. President - You Lie - Fact Checkers Pummel Obama’s First Ad

Mr. President - You Lie

Fact Checkers Pummel Obama’s First Ad

By Dell Hill

Right out of the box!  The Obama re-election campaign airs it’s first ad and earns three Pinocchios for lying.

Washington Post:

We love ads that cite fact checkers, but President Obama’s first campaign ad contains a real blooper.  It cites a positive fact check by PolitiFact, while ignoring a subsequent column taking away that original ruling.

The suggestion that Obama was responsible for the 2.7 million clean-energy jobs or the decline in foreign oil imports is bad enough, though the ad does not directly claim that.  We have more trouble with the citation of PolitiFact.

The Facts:

The ad attempts to push back against a slashing ad attack on Obama’s clean-energy initiatives by a group called Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group, and accurately quotes from an ABC analysis that said the ad “contains claims that are not tethered to the facts.”

The Obama ad that quickly slips in claims that slickly appear to be the result of Obama’s policies, though the ad does not directly make that claim—a reference to 2.7 million clean-energy jobs, a note that for the first time in 13 years foreign oil imports are below 50 percent.

Those figures are correct, but they are also not tethered to anything Obama has done.  The report that mentioned the 2.7 million jobs simply said that is how many potentially exist.  Meanwhile, the Energy Department cited a host of reasons why foreign oil imports have declined, noting the main reason was “a significant contraction in consumption” because of the poor economy and changes in efficiency that began “two years before the 2008 crisis”—ie, before Obama took office.

Then, in bold type, the ad proclaims: President Obama “kept a campaign promise to toughen ethics rules” and it cites: “PolitiFact, 1/21/09.”

Politifact did write that on Jan. 21, 2009, but then it almost immediately changed its ruling as Obama began granting waivers to his ethics policy.

We had originally given this a Four Pinocchio ruling because we believed the campaign had ignored the fact that PolitiFact had changed its ruling.  Instead, it turns out it cherry-picked one ruling while ignoring the other negative one.  That’s pretty slippery, but it is more of a three Pinocchio violation rather than a Four, so we are revising it downward..”

Dell’s Bottom Line:

Not one single thing about this report will change the Democrat’s re-election campaign advertising.  In fact, I honestly believe we’re in for a tsunami of similar ads - all distorting the President’s dismal record in similar fashion.  And a lot of folks will actually believe it!

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