Aggressively liberal late-night television host David Letterman can't shake his newfound sinking feeling about Barack Obama's honesty, a concern he shared with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on his Tuesday program:
Newsbusters has the partial transcript:
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Here's what upset me last night, this playing fast and loose with facts. And the President Obama cites the op-ed piece that Romney wrote about Detroit, “Let them go bankrupt, let them go bankrupt,” and last night he brings it up again. “Oh, no, Governor, you said let them go bankrupt, blah blah blah, let them go bankrupt.” And Mitt said, “No, no, check the thing, check the thing, check the thing.” Now, I don't care whether you're Republican or Democrat, you want your president to be telling the truth; you want the contender to be lying. And so what we found out today or soon thereafter that, in fact, the President Obama was not telling the truth about what was excerpted from that op-ed piece. I felt discouraged.
RACHEL MADDOW: Because the "Let Detroit go bankrupt" headline you feel like was inappropriate?
LETTERMAN: Well, the fact the President is invoking it and swearing that he was right and that Romney was wrong and I thought, well, he's the president of course he's right. Well, it turned out no, he was taking liberties with that.
The untruth that attracted Letterman's attention was just one of a litany of false statements from the president in the third presidential debate: He was wrong about keeping troops in Iraq, wrong on his role in slapping Iran with tough sanctions, and, of course wrong on the auto bailout dispute. One other significant statement was the president's assertion that the defense sequestration cuts "will not happen." In an attempt to contextualize and deflect Romney's criticism about deep defense cuts, Obama claimed that the sequestration concept was Congress' idea. Even left-leaning Politifact couldn't abide that blame-shift, rating the claim "mostly false:"
Obama said that the sequester -- and the defense cuts that would result from it -- was not his proposition. "It is something that Congress has proposed," he said in the debate. But it was Obama’s negotiating team that came up with the idea for defense cuts in 2011, though they were intended to prod Congress to come up with a better deal for reining in the deficit, not as an effort to make those cuts reality. Meanwhile, members of both parties in Congress voted for the legislation that set up the possibility of sequestration. Obama’s position is that Congress should now act to avoid those across-the-board cuts. Obama can’t rightly say the sequester isn’t his, but he did need cooperation from Congress to get to this point. We rate the statement Mostly False.
The Heritage Foundation produced a short, useful video about the defense sequester:
If Letterman examined Obama's rhetoric more thoroughly, his despair would only deepen. For his own sake, maybe he should stick to comedy bits like "will it float?" President Obama appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, and has a hard-hitting interview with MTV slated for tomorrow.
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