Have you ever laughed at something while in the company of others only to find yourself the only one laughing? It is an experience I have had often, unfortunately, despite my best efforts to contain myself. And it would have been an experience I would have had once again had I been in the Wisconsin audience recently listening to President Obama.
He said, “What we have not seen before in our public life is politicians just blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly, lying. Just making stuff up. Calling up down. Calling black white.”
Much to my amazement, President Obama was serious when he said this, and it looked as though his audience took his remarks seriously as well. I heard applause rather than the guffaws I expected.
To be clear, no one would argue that President Trump is a paradigm of honesty, not even President Trump. George Washington may have told his father “I cannot tell a lie” while confessing to his father about taking an ax to a cherry tree, but had that been Donald Trump he would have returned to his father the next day to say he misspoke: “When I said I cut down the cherry tree, I meant to say ‘I did not cut down the cherry tree.’”
Yet President Trump’s imperfect relationship with the truth is hardly historic. Other presidents have lied much more significantly and more often than he, including President Obama who continues to prove that Governor Scott Walker’s characterization of him as being “the biggest liar in the world” is not far off. President Obama may not own the global title for dishonesty but he certainly exceeds President Trump is that respect.
President Obama was an established liar before his presidency, during his presidency, and after his presidency — especially when discussing his presidency.
His lies come large and small. One example of his small lies would be writing about a white girlfriend in his own autobiography that later turned out not to exist. This is a small lie to be sure but imagine the media reaction if one of the people mentioned in a Trump autobiography turned out to be a “composite” rather than a real person.
President Obama also attempted to deceive by linking the famous Selma march with his parents meeting and conceiving him: “There’s some good craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided, we know that in the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. But something stirred across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks were willing to march across a bridge. And so they got together, Barack Obama Jr. was born.” However, that march was in 1965; Barack Obama, Jr. was born in 1961.
Also, when Jeremiah Wright, who officiated his wedding to Michelle Robinson and baptized his children, whose sermons he attended for nearly 20 years, made his infamous ‘God d**n America’ speech, then-Senator Obama made the specious claim that Wright’s comments “were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation.” This is despite being a member of Wright’s church for nearly 20 years.
Larger lies would follow once Barack Obama became president.
Here is a partial list:
After the Benghazi terrorist attack, the president sent Susan Rice, his national security adviser, to go on air on all three cable news networks to tell the American people that it was based on a YouTube video. l
President Obama later said “The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.” This earned him four Pinocchio (their highest indication for dishonesty) from the Washington Post.
He falsely claimed during his initial presidential run that, “We are bogged down in a war that John McCain now suggests might go on for another 100 years” when in fact Senator McCain actually “said a 100-year presence would be acceptable in the absence of violence against U.S. troops, and later said “the war will be over soon.”
When his anti-gun Operation Fast and Furious program resulted in the death of American Brian Terry, and numerous Mexicans, he falsely claimed the program began under President Bush. .
Much like how he now claims that he is responsible for the Trump economic boom, President Obama claimed in 2012 on 60 Minutes that “90 percent” of the deficit increase under his administration at that point was due to the Bush administration. The Washington Post gave this claim four Pinocchios.
He also claimed in 2011 that his administration “signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history.” That was worth four more Pinocchios.
In 2014, on “Meet The Press,” President Obama claimed that when he belittled “the Islamic State” — I suspect he had some sort of religious objection to calling these terrorists “ISIS” — by calling it a junior varsity team, he was not talking specifically talking about ISIS. Politfact called that false.
President Obama claimed in 2017, again on 60 Minutes, that “We’re probably the first administration in modern history that hasn’t had a major scandal in the White House.” Yet the IRS had to agree to a multimillion-dollar settlement with Tea Party groups after the tax agency was proven to be discriminating against conservative groups.
And of course who can forget his most famous lie — “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” — which was deemed by Politifact as the 2013 Lie of the Year.
This may be an exhausting list of President Obama’s history of deceits, but it is hardly an exhaustive list, and he seems determined to add to it now that he is returning to the spotlight. Just recently, he claimed that he, unlike President Trump, never treated the press as enemies. What?
Yet when President Obama finally stepped down from the White House, he was able to do so with an astounding 55% of voters believing that he “has done a good job ‘being honest and straightforward.’” In comparison, only 32% of Americans think President Trump is honest.
The disparity between the perception of honesty could most likely be explained as a byproduct of the biased reporting of the MSNBCNN media which worked feverishly to help Barack Obama even before he became president.
For example, when the 2005 photo of Barack Obama posing happily with the notorious anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan was finally released in 2018, the photographer admitted he hid the picture intentionally so as to not to harm Senator Obama’s career. Similarly, the Los Angeles Times continues to refuse to release the audiotape of him praising Professor Rashid Khalidi.
These two examples are illustrative: if the press had so little interest in revealing President Obama’s relationships with two such obvious haters of the Jewish people, then clearly they could not be expected to be enthusiastic exposers of anything negative regarding him, including his dishonesty.
Conversely the MSNBCNN media scours every word President Trump says; elevating every misstatement, exaggeration, or inaccuracy into a scandal.
One recent example of this would be an incorrect tweet sent out by President Trump that stated that the GDP was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in 100 years. Even after the White House quickly told the press that the number should have been “10” rather than “100” years, this was taken as evidence of the president’s ‘rocky relationship with the truth’ rather than a typo.
Imagine if the press held Democrats, or even themselves, to the same standard of honesty and accuracy that they hold the president.
Unfortunately, this may never be the case. MSNBCNN will continue their relentless crusade against President Trump and their advocacy for progressivism for the foreseeable future, and a large part of that will continue to include their attempt to portray him as hopelessly dishonest.
My view is while he’s not George Washington he’s also more honest than most in politics and in the media, including his most shameless critic: President Obama.