It was inevitable. When Mitt Romney started hyping a fourteen year old audio clip that he thought made President Obama look bad, we should have known there would be more to the story. Now, NBC has found the actual video, and it proves that Obama was taken out of context – again. As I reported yesterday…
In response to the devastating video (from way back in May) of Romney telling a roomful of wealthy donors that his job is not to worry about half the country who may be receiving some sort of federal assistance, Romney has begun hyping a fourteen year old clip of then-state senator Obama expressing his view that public institutions have room for improvement. He speculated about the need for “resuscitating the notion that government action can be effective.”
Obama: “I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”
That’s not a particularly controversial comment. He’s talking about the pooled resources of agencies that administer services like housing and schools, which he specifically used as examples. And, technically, all services provided by the government – schools, roads, libraries, public safety, military, etc. – are examples of redistribution of funds obtained from taxpayers to programs that benefit society at large.
The new expanded video shows that there was a deliberate attempt to mislead people with the truncated clip pushed by Romney and his pals in the right-wing press. In the video Obama is seen clearly advancing the principles of free markets that conservatives pretend to support. Here is the full statement with the part previously edited out in bold:
“I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.“
This more evidence that the right simply doesn’t care about being truthful. As Romney’s communications directer said, they will not let their campaign be run by fact-checkers. The GOP has already released an anti-Obama ad that includes the deceptive version of this video. And their official response to the discovery of the expanded version simply ingnores the new information:
“Barack Obama said he believes in redistributing wealth among Americans and his policies over the past three and a half years bear that out. Under Obama we have increased our dependency on government with 47 million Americans on food stamps, record levels added to our debt and gutting work requirements for welfare. Instead of pro-growth policies, the Obama administration says they are relying on increased food stamps and unemployment to stimulate the economy.”
This is their actual response to the long version of the 1998 video, but they merely repeat the short version and never even mention the corrected context. However, they do lie outright about Obama saying that they are “relying on increased food stamps and unemployment to stimulate the economy.” I defy them to document that charge, but I won’t hold my breath. I do, however, expect them to continue hammering Obama about this video as if the longer version never existed. It’s how they operate. Just lie, and keep lying, and when your lie has been discovered – lie harder.