On the December 18 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, Fox News political analyst Dick Morris falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has "never introduced a bill" in Congress. In fact, according to the Library of Congress' THOMAS legislative database, Obama was the primary sponsor of 152 bills and resolutions introduced in the last Congress, including a bill (S.2125) that passed Congress on December 8, 2006, "to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," which he introduced on December 16, 2005. The bill is awaiting action by the president. In addition, three nonbinding resolutions sponsored by Obama have passed the Senate, and 14 bills that he has co-sponsored have become law.
Obama has also introduced numerous other pieces of legislation in the U.S. Senate. For example:
- Introduced a bill (S.1194) directing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to establish guidelines for tracking spent fuel rods.
- Introduced a bill (S.1426) extending provisions in the Safe Drinking Water Act that relate to preventing and detecting contamination.
- Introduced a bill (S.1920) amending the Clean Air Act to establish a renewable diesel standard.
- Introduced a bill (S.3988) improving benefits and services for members of the armed forces and veterans.
Neither Morris nor host John Gibson mentioned that since Obama took office, the Republican Party has been the majority party in the Senate and thus has controlled the legislative agenda. In such a situation, the opportunities for a bill sponsored by a member of the minority party to see legislative action are limited.
Also during the segment, Morris claimed that Obama has "no foreign policy experience," despite the fact that Obama has served on the Senate Foreign Relations committee for the past two years.
From the December 18 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:
GIBSON: Well, what is it that -- why is she [Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)] reacting so hard to Obama?
MORRIS: Well, because she's -- because Obama's coming on strong and developing a lot of momentum, and she doesn't want to lose her star quality. But I have a theory. I think that Barack Obama is the best thing that's ever happened to Hillary Clinton. Because there's a vacuum of the anti-Hillary. It's got to be filled by somebody. Better a candidate where you spend five minutes thinking about him and you realize he can't be president than a real contender like [former Vice President Al] Gore or [former Sen. John] Edwards [D-NC] or even [Sen. John] Kerry [D-MA] or [Sen. Joe] Biden [D-DE] or [Sen. Evan] Bayh [D-IN].
Because anybody who thinks about Obama for five minutes knows the guy's never introduced a bill. He's never been important. He's spent 100 weeks in the Senate. He's basically a -- no foreign policy experience. And she'll knock him apart.
And it's just like in 1996. You're too young to remember this, John, but in '96, [Sen. Richard] Lugar [R] from Indiana, head of the Foreign Relations Committee, and [Sen.] Lamar Alexander [R] from Tennessee were trying to develop some traction to take on [former Sen.] Bob Dole [R-KS]. And Colin Powell [then a retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] said, "I may run for president," and he went on a book tour and he had thousands of people, just like Obama.
And by the time he announced he wasn't running for president, it was too late for Alexander or Lugar to get traction. So the only opponent that Dole had was [businessman] Steve Forbes, because he could write a check any time he wanted. And if there was one guy who was less attractive than Dole, it was Forbes.
And I think that Obama is performing a similar function, inadvertently, for Hillary.