Wasteful Spending Spin vs Fact
Recently Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter posted a video to Attack Watch responding to the new Americans for Prosperity ad, “Wasteful Spending.” This video is a desperate campaign tactic trying to divert and deflect from the truth: President Obama wasted billions in taxpayer dollars on “green energy” boondoggles in foreign countries.
This attempted rebuttal is really just a series of half-truths and outright lies in which Ms. Cutter equivocates and obfuscates Obama’s record. This video was doomed to fail by relying heavily on Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler, who wrote a piece that criticizes the ad, calling it “over-the-top.” The problem is, the Post offers zero substantive refutation of the facts used in “Wasteful Spending,” and was fully exposed as a pro-Obama puff piece.
Spin: “AFP claims the administration gave Fisker millions to build cars in Finland. Um, no.”
Fact: Um, yes! Fisker was given American taxpayer dollars to subsidize production of a luxury sports car which is assembled in Finland and costs $102,000. While some of the parts are manufactured in the U.S., that’s hardly justification to pretend Americans aren’t subsidizing jobs in Finland. By the way, these cars have been catching on fire lately, leading to hundreds of recalls.
Spin: “Fisker is employing 700 workers in California.”
Fact: It didn’t take Neil Munro of the Daily Caller long to figure out that number was off by 40%.
Spin: “Fisker is planning on building a plant in Delaware.”
Fact: If Fisker was planning on building a plant before, that’s not likely happening now. Back in 2009, Joe Biden announced Fisker would be given $529 million from the Department of Energy to take over the old General Motors Boxwood Road plant outside Wilmington, Delaware.
At that time Biden promised, “This is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars in good new jobs.” From there, the story plays out much like Solyndra. Fisker has since fired most of the Delaware workers, and now there are only a few caretakers at the plant. As ABC News reports, “two years after the loan was announced, the company’s manufacturing jobs are still limited to the assembly of the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car in Finland.”
Spin: “AFP claims we gave tens of millions to build traffic lights in China. That’s wrong again. The traffic lights were assembled here, in this country.”
Fact: Another half-truth from Ms. Cutter. As the Tribune-Review describes, the “energy efficient” traffic lights were assembled here, after using taxpayer money to buy tens of millions of dollars in parts built in China. More taxpayer money being sent overseas.
Spin: “AFP said we gave money to a company building a solar plant in Mexico. Nope wrong again.”
Fact: This is just an outright lie. “Green energy” company SunPower was given a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee a few weeks after announcing it was building a new plant in Mexico. SunPower also had a plant in California, which doesn’t change a single thing. American taxpayers were being forced to subsidize a solar company who was investing in other countries. Ready for another big surprise? SunPower is owned by a French oil company.
Spin: “They will literally say anything. They oppose expanding clean energy, they oppose higher fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, so we’re going to call their B.S. when we see it.”
Fact: Call it whatever you want Ms. Cutter. You and your terrible “fact checker” ally at Washington Post are pumping out fact-warping campaign rhetoric as fast as you can, without regard for the truth. Fortunately, the American people live in the real economy and see things for what they are, not through the rose-colored reelection campaign goggles you’re currently wearing.
Bonus Spin: “Obama has helped create hundreds of thousands of clean-energy jobs, projects in all 50 states.”
Fact: Obama tried making these bogus claims in his previous ad attacking AFP, only then he claimed to have created 2.7 million clean energy jobs during his first term as president, citing the Brookings Institution article written last year.
After that claim was thoroughly debunked by ABC News, Obama is now only claiming to have created hundreds of thousands. The truth is in the fine print of the Brookings Institution article; only 500,000 jobs were created during 2003-2010. Fun fact, Obama did not become president until the year 2009, and only 125,000 jobs were created in 2009-2010. So only 4.6% of the jobs Obama claims responsibility for creating were actually created, and still far short of the “hundreds of thousands” number now being used.
The Brookings report also showed that clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide (despite the out-of-control spending allocated to it). The New York Times highlighted the issue in August: “Number Of Green Jobs Fails To Live Up To Promises.