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Obama To Jacksonville: I’ve Changed (For The Worse)

- July 19, 2012

With A Record Of Broken Promises To Jacksonville, All He Has Left Is A Negative Campaign

OBAMA TOLD JACKSONVILLE HE WOULDN’T TRY TO “MAKE BIG ELECTIONS ABOUT SMALL THINGS,” CRITICIZING “SLASH AND BURN” TACTICS

PROMISE: In 2008 Obama Said “When You Have Run Out Of Ideas, Then You Try To Destruct And Make Big Elections About Small Things” Criticizing “The Slash And Burn, Say-Anything, Do- Anything Politics That's Calculated To Divide And Distract, To Tear Us Apart Instead Of Bringing Us Together.” OBAMA: “He's spent the last weeks calling me every name (but a child of God?). (Boos.) Because that's how you play the game in Washington. When you have run out of ideas, then you try to destruct and make big elections about small things. So we may see a little more of that over the next 24 hours, more of the slash and burn, say-anything, do- anything politics that's calculated to divide and distract, to tear us apart instead of bringing us together. Well, that's not the kind of politics the American people need right now.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL, 11/3/08)

But Without A Record To Run On, Obama Is Running A Vicious, Negative, Small Campaign

BROKEN: “Now, In The Throes Of A Sluggish Economic Recovery And Tight General Election Race, Obama Appears To Have Resorted To Some Of The Same Tactics He Once Opposed.” (Devin Dwyer, “FLASHBACK: Obama Decries Negative Ads as ‘Disservice’ on ’08 Cedar Rapids Visit,”ABC News, 7/10/12)

Politico : “Obama Plan: Destroy Romney.” (Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, “Obama Plan: Destroy Romney,” Politico, 8/9/11)

  • “‘Unless Things Change And Obama Can Run On Accomplishments, He Will Have To Kill Romney,’ Said A Prominent Democratic Strategist Aligned With The White House.” (Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, “Obama Plan: Destroy Romney,” Politico, 8/9/11)

Time: “Obama Campaign Says Mitt Romney Is Either A Crook Or A Liar.” (Michael Scherer, “Obama Campaign Says Mitt Romney Is Either A Crook Or A Liar,” Time, 7/13/12)

New York Magazine ’s Frank Rich: Obama’s “Political Hit Men” Indicated That Their Attack Ads Were “Inevitable” As Far Back As August 2011. “ And yet from the blowback that erupted once his Bain ad hit the fan—from his own camp, from the pious arbiters of Beltway manners, and, of course, from his adversaries—you’d think Romney was an innocent civilian under assault by a drone. What was everyone so shocked about? As far back as August 2011, Obama’s political hit men were signaling the inevitable to Politico: The president, ‘resigned to running for reelection in a glum nation,’ had little choice ‘but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.’” (Frank Rich, “Frank Rich: Nuke ‘Em,” New York Magazine, 6/17/12)

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Fact Checks Obama On Negative Ads: “Over The Past Month, Obama’s Own Campaign Has Run Its Ads More Than 68,000 Times, Nearly 80% Of Them Attacking Mitt Romney.” “KARL: “Turn on the T.V. in one of these states, and you'd think the election was next week. A bombardment of political ads, the vast majority brutally negative.” OBAMA: “Most of the ads are negative and at a certain point, people get discouraged and start feeling like nobody in Washington is listening.” KARL: “That's right. Over the past month, Obama's own campaign has run its ads more than 68,000 times, nearly 80% of them attacking Mitt Romney. Negative and loose with the facts. Take this Obama ad. OBAMA AD: “Romney's never stood up to China. All he's ever done is send them our jobs.” KARL: “But that's not true. Romney's former company Bain Capital may have invested in companies with operations in China, but there is no evidence that they shipped any U.S. jobs there under Romney’s leadership.”(ABC’s “ABC World News,” 7/9/12)

“Obama’s Negative Ads Have Overtaken His Positive Ads.” (Mark Silva, “$10 M Checks, Obama Complains – Yet Look Who’s Gone Negative,” Bloomberg, 7/6/12)

Obama “Pummel[ed] Mitt Romney With A Volley Of Attack Ads Once Romney Sewed Up The Republican Nomination.” “Barack Obama has made his mistakes as a politician and as a president, but here is one thing he indisputably did right: pummel Mitt Romney with a volley of attack ads once Romney sewed up the Republican nomination.” (Frank Rich, “Frank Rich: Nuke ‘Em,” New York Magazine, 6/17/12)

OBAMA PROMISED JACKSONVILLE THAT LOBBYISTS WOULDN’T RUN HIS WHITE HOUSE

PROMISE: In 2008, Obama Told Jacksonville That Lobbyists “Will Not Run Our White House, And They Will Not Drown Out The Voices Of The American People When I’m President Of The United States Of America.” OBAMA: “I don’t take a dime from Washington lobbyists and special interests. They don’t fund my campaign, they will not run our campaign, they will not run our White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I’m president of the United States of America.” (Senator Barack Obama, Press Conference, Jacksonville, FL, 6/20/08)

But Obama Rolled Out The White House Red Carpet For Lobbyists, Granting Waivers And Jobs In Top Policy Positions

BROKEN: But Obama Has Granted Numerous Exceptions To His Lobbyist Ban. “Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09)

  • The Washington Post ’s Dana Milbank: “Earlier, Obama Administration Officials Got Around Their Self-Imposed Rule (Which Prevents A Lobbyist From Serving For Two Years) By Granting Waivers To People Obama Sought To Appoint, Such As Former Raytheon Lobbyist William Lynn, Who Got A Top Job At The Pentagon.” (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, “Settling In To Washington’s Ways,” The Washington Post, 3/6/12)

PolitiFact Rated Obama’s Promise To Bar Lobbyists From His Administration As “Broken.” “We rated that one a Promise Broken because his policy has substantial loopholes that have allowed Obama to essentially decide when he wants to ignore the rule. He’s right that on his first day in office, he signed an executive order to bar lobbyists from his administration. But the order also included a loophole — a ‘waiver’ clause that allows former lobbyists to serve. Waivers are granted by the administration itself, so they are little more than the administration saying it’s okay for the lobbyist to work for the administration.” (“Obama Says Lobbyists Have Been Excluded From Policy-Making Jobs,”PolitiFact, 10/7/11)

  • PolitiFact: “We Rate Obama’s ‘Revolving Door’ Policy For Former Lobbyists His Biggest Broken Promise.” (Angie Drobnic Holan, “Not So Fast On Obama Revolving Door Policy,” PolitiFact, 1/23/09)

The Center For Responsive Politics Finds Over 350 Individuals In The Obama Administration Who Have Been Through The Revolving Door, With Over 120 Individuals Who Are Current Or Formerly Registered Lobbyists. (Center For Responsive Politics, Open Secrets, Accessed 7/18/12)

And Obama Officials Meet With Lobbyists Just Off White House Grounds To Shield The Meetings From Transparency Rules

BROKEN: Obama Officials Have Met “Hundreds Of Times” With Lobbyists At A Coffee Shop Across The Street From The White House. “Here at the Caribou on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a few other nearby coffee shops, White House officials have met hundreds of times over the last 18 months with prominent K Street lobbyists -- members of the same industry that President Obama has derided for what he calls its ‘outsized influence’ in the capital.” (Eric Lichtblau, “Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists,” The New York Times, 6/24/10)

  • They Discussed Issues From Wall Street Regulation To Health Care. “On the agenda over espressos and lattes, according to more than a dozen lobbyists and political operatives who have taken part in the sessions, have been front-burner issues like Wall Street regulation, health care rules, federal stimulus money, energy policy and climate control -- and their impact on the lobbyists' corporate clients.”(Eric Lichtblau, “Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists,” The New York Times, 6/24/10)

The White House Also Met With Lobbyists In A Complex Just Off The White House Grounds. “Caught between their boss’s anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds – and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.” (Chris Frates, “Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site,” Politico , 2/24/11)

By Holding The Meetings With Lobbyists At Jackson Place, The Obama Administration Is Able To Evade Their Own Transparency Rules And The Secret Service Background Checks. “The Jackson Place townhouses are a different story. There are no records of meetings at the row houses just off Lafayette Square that house the White House Conference Center and the Council on Environmental Quality, home to two of the busiest meeting spaces. The White House can’t say who attended meetings there, or how often. The Secret Service doesn’t log in visitors or require a background check the way it does at the main gates of the White House.” (Chris Frates, “Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site,”Politico 2/24/11)


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