Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they aren’t entitled to their own “facts”. Yesterday in a discussion someone mentioned to me that Obama promised to eliminate earmarks. I attempted to tell the person otherwise but he was insistent because Rush and Hannity said so.
If one wants to criticize Obama it should at least be for something he actually said or did.
Discussing the 2009 omnibus spending bill on the March 11 edition of CNBC’s Squawk Box, co-host Joe Kernen falsely claimed that President Obama “promised … no more earmarks.” Kernen’s colleague, Maria Bartiromo, host of CNBC’s Closing Bell, similarly asserted on March 11 that “during the campaign, [Obama] said he would eliminate” earmarks. In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending, not eliminate earmarks altogether. Indeed, NBC News White House correspondent John Yang noted during the March 11 edition of MSNBC Live that “the president has never said he wants to eliminate earmarks.”
From the 11 a.m. ET hour of the March 11 edition of MSNBC Live:
YANG: Now, the president has never said he wants to eliminate earmarks. He’s opposed the outright elimination of earmarks. He says they do — he has said in the past that they do serve a valid purpose of directing money back to worthwhile projects in lawmakers’ home districts. But he wants to make sure that in addition to the transparency that Congress itself has put in place — people have to identify by name the earmarks, put their names on the earmarks — they want to make sure that these are worthy projects and it’s not wasted spending.
Addressing claims that Obama campaigned on a promise to end earmarks, PolitiFact.com similarly wrote: “That’s incorrect. Obama did not promise to end earmarking, only to ‘reform’ it, and eliminate ‘screwy’ or wasteful earmarks.”
On Closing Bell, Bartiromo claimed Obama “said he would eliminate” earmarks despite airing an excerpt of Obama’s March 11 speech on earmark reform in which he stated that he has “opposed [the] outright elimination” of earmarks.
Numerous media figures have similarly misrepresented Obama’s statements regarding earmarks to accuse him of breaking a promise.