Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer has urged Republican presidential candidates to campaign on the claim that President Obama "apologizes for America," saying "it's a line of attack that Republicans can easily use on the president and ought to use on the president." In fact, the claim has been called "ridiculous" and "not borne out by the facts," and Republicans have been criticized for trying to "invent a storyline that does not appear to exist."
Krauthammer: GOP Candidates Should Use Apology Tour Falsehood In Attacks On Obama
Krauthammer: "It's A Line Of Attack That Republicans Can Easily Use On The President And Ought To Use On The President." On Fox News' Special Report, panelists discussed a speech by Mitt Romney, in which he said of Obama, "Have we ever had a president who was so eager to address the world with an apology on his lips?" From the segment:
SHANNON BREAM (guest host): And you mentioned that he talked about the president today. [In] part of his speech, he said: "Have we ever had a president who was so eager to address the world with an apology on his lips and a doubt in his heart?" Charles, is it time for him to spend more time focused on the president than it is [Rick] Perry for now?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I think both in the general and in the Republican campaign, that line is going to succeed. I think one of the things that the president has done when he -- especially when he goes abroad and apologizes for America, it's extremely unpopular.
And look, in relation to what we spoke about earlier about Guantánamo. He went abroad and attacked and denounced Guantánamo as a stain on America. And yet he, himself, has kept it open. So it isn't exactly consistent, and I think it's a line of attack that Republicans can easily use on the president and ought to use on the president. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 8/30/11]
In Fact, The Apology Tour Attack Is "Ridiculous" And "Not Borne Out By The Facts"
Associated Press: "Obama Has Not Apologized For America." In June, the Associated Press rejected a similar claim by Romney that Obama "traveled around the globe to apologize for America." The AP wrote that Romney "criticized the president for issuing apologies to the world that were never made," and added:
ROMNEY: "A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America."
THE FACTS: Obama has not apologized for America. What he has done, in travels early in his presidency and since, is to make clear his belief that the U.S. is not beyond reproach. He has told foreigners that the U.S. at times acted "contrary to our traditions and ideals" in its treatment of terrorist suspects, that "America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy," that the U.S. "certainly shares blame" for international economic turmoil and has sometimes shown arrogance toward allies. Obama, whose criticisms of America's past were typically balanced by praise, was in most cases taking issue with policies or the record of the previous administration, not an unusual approach for a new president -- or a presidential candidate. Romney's actual point seems to be that Obama has been too critical of his country.
But there has been no formal -- or informal -- apology. No saying "sorry" on behalf of America. [Associated Press, 6/3/11]
PolitiFact: "It's A Ridiculous Charge" That Obama Has Apologized For America. PolitiFact twice investigated Romney's claims that Obama "apologized" for America and "traveled around the globe to apologize for America." The website found both statements to be false. [PolitiFact, 3/15/10, 6/3/11]
Wash. Post Fact Checker: "The Apology Tour Never Happened." The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler gave the repeated charge that Obama has apologized for America its worst rating of "Four Pinocchios":
The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.
Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush's approach to fighting terrorism.
In other cases, Obama's quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama's handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist.
Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened. [The Washington Post, The Fact Checker, 2/22/11]