Bill O'Reilly deleted almost the entire tenure of George W. Bush to falsely allege that President Obama has borrowed more money than all past presidents combined.
During his Fox News program, O'Reilly criticized Obama over the size of the national debt and claimed, "It is hard to believe, but in the last four years, the Obama administration has borrowed more money than every other president combined." Yet O'Reilly then described that time frame as being "from George Washington through the first five months of Bush the younger's administration."
Perhaps O'Reilly chose to exclude the majority of Bush's presidency to avoid acknowledging that the national debt nearly doubled during Bush's two terms. According to the Treasury Department's daily debt calculator, when Bush took office on January 20, 2001, total debt stood at $5.728 trillion. The national debt on January 20, 2009, Bush's last day in office, was $10.627 trillion.
O'Reilly claims Obama "borrowed more money than every other president combined"; if this were true, Obama would have added more than $10.627 trillion to the debt during his tenure. But as of publishing, the Treasury Department calculator states the debt is $16.338 trillion -- which means it increased less than six trillion dollars under Obama.
O'Reilly also aired an exchange with Fox contributor Charles Krauthammer that distorted how federal money is being spent. Krauthammer claimed that the government is spending money, in part, on "giving Sandra Fluke free contraceptives that she can't afford." He added, "The fact that Obama's own HHS is trying to loosen the rules, the work rules for welfare, so we go back to the old system of people living forever on the dole -- that's where they want to spend the money."
Krauthammer's claims are disingenuous. Women's health advocate Sandra Fluke did not ask the government to give women free contraceptives; the Affordable Care Act provision for which she advocated requires private health insurance policies, for which most women already pay a premium, to cover women's preventive health care services. While Krauthammer suggested the administration wants people to "live forever on the dole," most food stamp recipients participate in the SNAP program for less than one year. And Health and Human Services did not loosen welfare work requirements, but instead granted states more flexibility in complying with existing rules.
From the December 3 edition of Current's Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller:
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From the November 30 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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With the Republican witch hunt against Ambassador Susan Rice showing no signs of abating as they try to derail her possible nomination as Secretary of State, let's consider some additional context surrounding the attacks and examine how Charles Krauthammer has altered his view on the central issue.
This is from a Washington Post column he wrote in January 2005, expressing dismay that Democrats were raising doubts about Condoleezza Rice's qualifications to be Secretary of State, in the wake of her role in marketing the Iraq War [emphasis added]:
Mark Dayton of Minnesota accused her of lying in order to persuade the American people to go to war -- a charge that is not just false but that most Americans don't believe. Rice was not a generator of intelligence. She was a consumer -- of a highly defective product.
Note the very specific point Krauthammer made as he tried to minimize Rice's central role in the unpopular invasion. The columnist and Fox News talker stressed that Rice didn't generate the intelligence about Iraq, which turned out to be "high defective," she merely consumed it.
And because she had merely consumed, and then marketed, bad intelligence about Iraq ("We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud"), Condoleezza Rice wasn't really culpable, which according to Krauthammer meant Democrats were misguided in their criticism of her.
Of course, that conservative spin now seems entirely disingenuous given the fact that a legion of right-wing pundits, including most of the Fox News on-air staff, are waging a war against Susan Rice not for being a "generator" of defective intelligence about the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but for consuming it.
On November 14, appearing on Fox, Krauthammer expressed indignation over Rice's public comments about Benghazi:
It was clearly defensive and it was also a stonewall. I mean, after all, what she said was absolutely and completely misleading. Either inadvertently, in which case it's complete incompetence, or on purpose, in which case it's deception.
Meanwhile, On Fox & Friends this week, Brian Kilmeade demanded to know what kind of would-be Secretary of State simply relies on talking points given to her by the intelligence community?
Today, Rice's sin in the eyes of Krauthammer and Fox News is that she relayed what the intelligence community told her about Benghazi. For that, she's guilty of incompetence or being misleading, in the words of Krauthammer. But in 2005, Krauthammer stressed that Condoleezza Rice should not be held responsible for relaying what the intelligence community told her about Iraq because she didn't generate it.
Conservative media have been facilitating a witch hunt against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming that her public statements regarding the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, were untruthful and misleading. In fact, Rice was using talking points that had been approved by the CIA, and she repeatedly emphasized that the information was preliminary.
From the November 27 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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Fox News figures attacked President Obama's defense of Ambassador Susan Rice during a press conference, claiming his statement that critics of Rice "should go after me" was "absurd and chauvinistic." Fox has a history of attacking Obama and Rice, most recently by invoking Libya smears in order to derail Rice's potential nomination as secretary of state.
From the November 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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In response to President Obama's re-election, conservative media have declared that the president does not have a mandate to pursue his policies and said Republicans have a mandate to obstruct them. In Obama's first term, Republicans engaged in historic levels of obstruction against Obama's agenda.
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer pushed a claim debunked by the Post's own fact-checker to bash President Obama for supposedly having an un-American agenda.
Krauthammer asserted in his November 1 column that an "Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment -- the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance -- continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state." He also claimed: "Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one's life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract."
To back up his argument, Krauthammer wrote that during his first term, Obama "enacted liberalism's holy grail: the nationalization of health care." But as the Post's fact-checker Glenn Kessler has explained, "the core of the health system in the United States will remain the existing private insurance market. So it in no way resembles the government-run health systems used in most industralized countries in the world." Other fact-checkers agree with Kessler, and Politifact even labeled the related claim that Obama enacted "a government takeover of health care" its 2010 Lie of the Year.
As Politifact pointed out,
[T]he law Congress passed, parts of which have already gone into effect, relies largely on the free market:
• Employers will continue to provide health insurance to the majority of Americans through private insurance companies.
• Contrary to the claim, more people will get private health coverage. The law sets up "exchanges" where private insurers will compete to provide coverage to people who don't have it.
• The government will not seize control of hospitals or nationalize doctors.
• The law does not include the public option, a government-run insurance plan that would have competed with private insurers.
• The law gives tax credits to people who have difficulty affording insurance, so they can buy their coverage from private providers on the exchange. But here too, the approach relies on a free market with regulations, not socialized medicine.
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer defended two of Mitt Romney's attacks against Obama from the third presidential debate, even though the claims have repeatedly been debunked by the Post's own fact-checker.
In his column, Krauthammer laid out and defended Romney's claim that the Navy has shrunk to a size not seen since World War I and his claim that Obama has gone on an apology tour:
When Romney made a perfectly reasonable case to rebuild a shrinking Navy, Obama condescended: "You mentioned . . . that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed."
Such that naval vessels are as obsolete as horse cavalry?
Liberal pundits got a great guffaw out of this, but the underlying argument is quite stupid. As if the ships being retired are dinghies, skipjacks and three-masted schooners. As if an entire branch of the armed forces -- the principal projector of American power abroad -- is itself some kind of anachronism.
"We have these things called aircraft carriers," continued the schoolmaster, "where planes land on them."
This is Obama's case for fewer vessels? Does he think carriers patrol alone? He doesn't know that for every one carrier, 10 times as many ships sail in a phalanx of escorts?
Obama may blithely dismiss the need for more ships, but the Navy wants at least 310 and the latest Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel report says that defending America's vital interests requires 346 ships (vs. 287 today). Does anyone doubt that if we continue as we are headed, down to fewer than 230, the casualty will be entire carrier battle groups, precisely the kind of high-tech force multipliers that Obama pretends our national security requires?
But he did have the moment of the night when he took after Obama's post-inauguration world apology tour. Obama, falling back on his base, flailingly countered that "every fact checker and every reporter" says otherwise.
Oh yeah? What about Obama declaring that America had "dictated" to other nations?
But Glenn Kessler, who writes for the Post's fact-checking blog, has repeatedly written that both of these claims are false. Most recently, Kessler debunked the claim about the Navy in a Thursday morning post:
[T]he makeup of the Navy was so different that it's really a case of apples and oranges, or rather, comparing gunboats to aircraft carriers. As the current Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, put it earlier this year: "It's like comparing the telegraph to the smart phone. They're just not comparable."
Furthermore, Krauthammer even misstated the number of ships Obama is planning for. Krauthammer suggested that Obama plans to decrease the number of ships "to fewer than 230." Actually, as PolitiFact has noted, the number of ships is higher in the Obama administration than it was in the Bush administration. Further, as Factcheck.org has noted, Obama's budget calls for 300 ships, not 230.
From Fox News' October 22 post-debate coverage:
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Since the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Fox News has regularly criticized President Obama over semantics and taken his words out of context, creating a fictional version of Obama's handling of the attack.
TransCanada Corp. recently announced that it has temporarily shut down the existing portion of its Keystone pipeline due to safety concerns. Fox News figures previously attacked the Obama administration for delaying a decision on the Keystone pipeline extension because of environmental and safety concerns, claiming that the project posed no such threats.
Media outlets have continued to suggest that the Obama administration lied when it said that an anti-Islam video served as a catalyst for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, The New York Times reports that the attackers said they were motivated by the video.