UPDATE: We’re seeing a number of stories about these remarks by President Barack Obama in Colorado yesterday, and they can be divided into two categories: right wing blogs going absolutely nuts, and mainstream media outlets correcting the record. It looks to us like a concerted attempt was made by Mitt Romney campaign surrogates to twist this into something that could be used politically against Obama–and based on what we see, they’ve failed pretty spectacularly convincing media outlets to take the bait.
ABC News reports:
It’s no secret President Obama is proud of the taxpayer-funded government intervention that rescued U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler back in 2009. He regularly takes credit for the companies’ resurgent profitability and hiring as one of his top achievements.
Now, Republicans say Obama is suggesting on the campaign trail that he wants to do it again, this time in other sectors of the economy, in order to “get the hand of government driving every industry in America.”
…The Obama campaign refuted the notion as political spin that does not reflect the president’s sentiment or intention, pointing to full context of the quote as evidence. [Pols emphasis]
And like good journalists, ABC posts the full clip for readers to decide for themselves:
Perhaps even more revealing, Politico put up a story originally titled “Obama: Let’s repeat auto rescue with every manufacturing industry” yesterday afternoon. Today this story was revised with a new title, “Obama: Let’s repeat auto industry success.” And this clarification:
Clarification: This post was updated to reflect the president’s intent to express his support for manufacturing success. An earlier version was unclear about his intent.
Not so much unclear as it was absurd. But we’re pleased to see Politico had the integrity to fix this after sleeping on it–or whatever persuaded them to revisit their prior reporting.
Something we’ve noticed in our years of blogging on Colorado politics: often, folks who are trying really, really hard to stay on offense try too hard, and wind up convincing you of something else entirely–that they’re determined to criticize everything, no matter how silly they look.
Today’s case in point comes from a Colorado right-wing blog site we’ve discussed in this space a few times, the always-entertaining Colorado Observer. Breathlessly reporting President Barack Obama’s “latest gaffe” on the campaign trail, supposedly committed in Pueblo yesterday:
President Obama made another economic policy gaffe Thursday in Pueblo when he suggested that he wants to bail out a host of other corporations as he already did with the auto industry.
“I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back,” Obama said. “Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”
Critics wasted no time pouncing on the president’s statement. Hours later, Republicans traveling the state on the Romney bus ripped the remark at a rally at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs.
“Just a couple of hours ago, Barack Obama said he wanted government to get involved in every industry,” Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz said… [Pols emphasis]
So, uh, is that even remotely close to what President Obama actually said? Because we read this statement to mean the president wants manufacturing jobs in every industry to “come roaring back” like the auto industry has. An independent report released yesterday says that the auto industry has recovered some 236,000 jobs since 2009. Should those workers apologize?
It’s plain to us that Obama was simply talking about bringing manufacturing jobs back, not getting government “involved in every industry.” That’s a ridiculous “death panel”-style leap. To jump to such a wild conclusion based on an innocuous statement like this speaks more to the unhinged (or unprincipled) person drawing the conclusion. In this case, a sitting member of Congress.
As for the Colorado Observer, we wish them the same success that we do “every” blog.