Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Romney's "Give Me a Break / Fairy Tale" Ad is a Distortion

Former Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-MA) presidential campaign recently put out an ad commenting on former President Bill Clinton's support of President Barack Obama.
NARRATOR: “As the economy gets worse, Barack Obama calls on Bill Clinton to help his failing campaign."
TEXT: “Obama Economy Even Worse" "The Washington Times 08/23/12”
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: “It’s about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment.”
TEXT: “Obama TV Ad”
NARRATOR: “He’s a good soldier -- helping his party’s president. But what did Bill Clinton say about Barack Obama in 2008?”
TEXT: “What Did Clinton Say About Obama In 2008?”
CLINTON: “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
TEXT: “23 Million Americans Struggling For Work”
NARRATOR: “23 million Americans struggling for work.”
TEXT: “‘The Middle Class Falls Further Behind’ CNN Money, 08/22/12”
NARRATOR: “A middle class falling further behind.”
CLINTON: “Give me a break.”
MITT ROMNEY: “I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message.”
The ad makes it sound like Clinton is flip-flopping, that he is now supporting Obama's economic record despite previously deriding Obama's economic record as a "fairy tale" in 2008.

But this is a distortion. When Clinton made his "fairy tale" remark in 2008, he was talking about Obama's record of opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

Here is what Clinton said on January 8, 2008:
"It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, enumerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn’t know how you would have voted on the resolution, you said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war. And you took that speech you’re now running on off your website in 2004. And there’s no difference in your voting record and Hillary’s ever since. Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen."
Clinton was saying that it was false -- a "fairy tale" -- that Obama had a better record of opposing the war in Iraq than did Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (in 2008, Sen. Clinton was competing with Obama for the Democratic Party presidential nomination).

People can argue about the records of Obama and Sen. Clinton on the Iraq War, just like they can argue about the merits of Obama's economic policies. But it is very clear that Pres. Clinton did not say that Obama's economic policy was a "fairy tale".

Romney's ad is a distortion, unfairly making Pres. Clinton look like he's changed positions.

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