On Wednesday, at a speech in Charlottesville, VA, President Obama made this statement:
And they were asked about it and they said -- one of their campaign people said, we won't have the fact-checkers dictate our campaign. (Laughter.) We will not let the truth get in the way. (Laughter.)
This is a reference to comments made Tuesday by Romney pollster Neil Newhouse to Buzzfeed regarding Obama's gutting of welfare reform; more specifically, the perhaps vehement media reactions to one ad cut by Romney attacking said gutting. Newhouse stated:
"Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers," he said. The fact-checkers — whose institutional rise has been a feature of the cycle — have "jumped the shark," he added after the panel.
So where did the Obama administration get the second half of that statement? Good question, which the New York Times almost kind of, sort of, came close to hinting that it was maybe an issue that needed to be addressed: "Mr. Newhouse did not say, 'We will not let the truth get in the way.'" Which is a burying-the-lede that both Mark Hemingway and I truly marvel at. One might think that the Times would be more courageous in calling the President a liar; one might also think that someone in our vaunted news media establishment would have checked by now to see whether the quote was even accurate.
Either way, President Obama needs to provide a source for that quote. Or else he needs to both retract that statement, and apologize to Neil Newhouse. Personally.
Moe Lane (crosspost)