During CNN debate, John King falsely claimed Obama "refused" to disclose earmarks

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

During the February 21 Democratic presidential debate, CNN's John King cited a report stating that Sen. Barack Obama was "responsible for $91 million in earmarks" in the 2008 fiscal year, and asked Obama: "And you have refused to say where the money went, what it's for. Why?" In fact, Obama disclosed his "earmarks" for the 2008 fiscal year in a June 2007 press release.

During the February 21 CNN Democratic presidential debate, CNN senior national correspondent John King cited a recent Taxpayers for Common Sense report in noting that Sen. Barack Obama was "responsible for $91 million in earmarks" in the 2008 fiscal year, and asked Obama: "And you have refused to say where the money went, what it's for. Why?" In fact, Obama disclosed his "earmarks" for the 2008 fiscal year in a June 2007 press release titled "Obama Announces FY08 Federal Funding Requests." Indeed, Obama responded to King's question by saying: "No, that's not true. We've actually disclosed, John, all our earmarks. And so, you know, we'll be happy to provide you with that information, because I believe very strongly in transparency."

According to data compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, Obama secured $91,421,220 in "earmarks" in the 2008 fiscal year. Taxpayers for Common Sense defined "earmarks" as "legislative provisions that set aside funds within an account for a specific program, project, activity, institution, or location. These measures normally circumvent merit-based or competitive allocation processes and appear in spending, authorization, tax, and tariff bills."

From the February 21 CNN Democratic presidential debate:

KING: Both of you have been harshly critical of the Bush administration for its secrecy, what you consider overuse of secrecy and executive power. Tonight, Senator Obama, you've talked about more transparency. You also at one point criticized earmarks.

And yet, a recent report came out that identified you -- lower on the list in terms how much money senators seek and sneak into the budget for these pork-barrel spending projects, but it still said you were responsible for $91 million in earmarks. And you have refused to say where the money went, what it's for. Why?

OBAMA: No, that's not true. We've actually disclosed, John, all our earmarks. And so, you know, we'll be happy to provide you with that information, because I believe very strongly in transparency.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
John King
Show/Publication
Anderson Cooper 360
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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