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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Obama Campaign Deceit Machine Rolls On - And the Washington Post Fact Checker Agrees!

First, let me start by saying that I think I have found the "secret sauce" of the Obama campaign. The plan seems to be simple:

1. Roll out deceitful, misleading ads
2. Allow the liberal mainstream media surrogates to propagate these ads
3. Repeat misleading information in as many speeches as possible
4. Get the American people to blindly believe and repeat whatever misleading information you say
5. Relax knowing that since the liberal mainstream media outnumbers the conservative mainstream media, it will take a long time for the GOP to respond to correct the lies, rendering any attempts at truthfulness to be “too little, too late”
6. Win in November no matter how badly you're doing as President

Simple enough, right?

It all starts with the first part of the plan: Roll out deceitful, misleading ads. I wrote about this 12 days ago (see: this post). In that post, I highlight the 4 key arguments the Obama campaign is currently making (3 of them about Mitt Romney specifically), and I used examples to show how each of these arguments is misleading. With the most recent ads, it appears that the Obama campaign has stepped up its efforts, giving itself a violent shove from "misleading" to flat out lying.

Case in point: The Obama campaign has released a new ad that accuses Mitt Romney of repeatedly shipping jobs overseas while he was the head of Bain Capital. It's not a surprise that left-leaning news outlet ABC News would publish this in its "Political Punch" segment without even stopping to consider the facts (video of the Iowa ad is seen here): ABC News Article. Additionally, Team Obama has added this to its "Romney Economics" campaign and created lovely map seen below. The map cites some of the companies you will read about in the following analysis.

Let's review the brief history of the ad: On Thursday, June 21, Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post published an anti-Romney article titled, "Romney's Bain Capital Invested in Companies that Moved Jobs Overseas." (see it here: Tom Hamburger, 6/21/12 - Washington Post). He gets right into the thick of it in the second paragraph:

     - "During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

Pioneers! Wow! Don't worry; the Obama campaign has grabbed this term, and Obama himself has used it at his speeches. Hamburger continued:

     - "Bain played several roles in helping these outsourcing companies, such as investing venture capital so they could grow and providing management and strategic business advice as they navigated this rapidly developing field. 

     Over the past two decades, American companies have dramatically expanded their overseas operations and supply networks, especially in Asia, while shrinking their workforces at home. McKinsey Global Institute estimated in 2006 that $18.4 billion in global information technology work and $11.4 billion in business-process services have been moved abroad." 

Of course, the second paragraph is misleading. It provides no context of the claim "$18.4 billion in global information..." Was this during the year 2006? Was this done by Bain Capital in 2006 which is well after Mitt’s tenure? Was it done by Bain at all? Is this for all American companies? All these answers are left out, and the reader has no frame of reference for the argument Hamburger is making.

Hamburger then attempts to back his claims by citing some companies under Bain's management that claims shipped jobs overseas:

     - "The corporate merger that created Stream also gave birth to another, related business known as Modus Media Inc., which specialized in helping companies outsource their manufacturing. Modus Media was a subsidiary of Stream that became an independent company in early 1998. Bain was the largest shareholder, SEC filings show.

     Modus Media grew rapidly. In December 1997, it announced it had contracted with Microsoft to produce software and training products at a center in Australia. Modus Media said it was already serving Microsoft from Asian locations in Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and in Europe and the United States.

     Two years later, Modus Media told the SEC it was performing outsource packaging and hardware assembly for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. The filing disclosed that Modus had operations on four continents, including Asian facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea, and European facilities in Ireland and France, and a center in Australia.

     According to a news release issued by Modus Media in 1997, its expansion of outsourcing services took place in close consultation with Bain. Terry Leahy, Modus’s chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the release as saying he would be “working closely with Bain on strategic expansion.” At the time, three Bain directors sat on the corporate board of Modus."

Hamburger then goes on to indict Romney and Bain Capital over its ownership of California bicycle company GT: 

     - "One of those was a California bicycle manufacturer called GT Bicycle Inc. that Bain bought in 1993. The growing company relied on Asian labor, according to SEC filings. Two years later, with the company continuing to expand, Bain helped take it public. In 1998, when Bain owned 22 percent of GT’s stock and had three members on the board, the bicycle maker was sold to Schwinn, which had also moved much of its manufacturing offshore as part of a wider trend in the bicycle industry of turning to Chinese labor."

Hamburger lists other companies, of course, but as you will see, the truth in this write-up is slim, at best. It seems he intentionally clouds the "facts" behind his examples knowing good and well that few Americans will dig deeper into his case. Someone has, however: His own newspaper…

Now comes the fun part. As stated in the title of this analysis, the Washington Post's own Fact Checker gave the Obama campaign 4 Pinocchios for creating the Mitt Romney "Outsourcer-in-Chief" ad! Since Team Obama used Tom Hamburger's article as the basis for its ad, in a sense, the Post fact checked its own writer and found Hamburger's (and, of course, Team Obama's) case to be a big lie. Does this surprise anyone? Why is this significant? Imagine if Nancy Pelosi made a statement in a press conference that was rebuked by Harry Reid 3 hours later. This internal game of "Fact-Checkers" (:-P) is quite comical.

In his tenacious rebuttal (seen here: Glenn Kessler's Fact Checker), Kessler states that the WaPo's Fact Checker has warned against using the "Mitt Romney outsourcing" claim as well as any other attempts to paint Mitt Romney in a bad light for his time at the private equity firm. Heck, even Bill Clinton agrees: (see it here: WaPo article and video). Kessler cites and links several examples of his warnings (as well as other Obama campaign fact checks from previous analyses) and goes on with his rebuttal: 
     - "Regarding the outsourcing claims, we have frowned on these before. The Obama campaign rests its case on three examples of Bain-controlled companies sending jobs overseas. But only one of the examples — involving Holson Burns Group — took place when Romney was actively managing Bain Capital.

Regarding the other claims, concerning Canadian electronics maker SMTC Manufacturing and customer service firm Modus Media, the Obama campaign tries to take advantage of a gray area in which Romney had stepped down from Bain — to manage the Salt Lake City Olympics — but had not sold his shares in the firm. We had previously given the Obama campaign Three Pinocchios for such tactics.

The Modus Media case is also not an example of shipping jobs overseas. The company closed one plant in California and transferred the jobs to North Carolina, Washington and Utah. At the same time, it opened an unrelated plant in Mexico. The Obama campaign once trumpeted the fact that we had dinged a conservative Super PAC for making the same leap in logic."

Kessler then continues:

     - “Upon hearing this ad was under consideration for a tough rating, the Obama campaign supplied reams of additional SEC documents regarding Romney’s ownership in Bain after he left for the Olympics, most of which we had examined previously when we first looked at this question. The campaign also supplied SEC documents showing that two of these companies, Modus and SMTC, as well as one called Stream International (a predecessor of Modus), earned money in part by helping other companies subcontract work overseas. Some of this business predated Romney’s departure from Bain, but thus far it seems a slim case for this particular ad.”

These same SEC filings also show that the aforementioned GT bicycles had overseas suppliers and manufacturers well before Bain invested in the company. You wouldn’t know that from Tom Hamburger’s article.

In Kessler’s summary section, he concludes:

     - “The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of “corporate raider” to its examples of alleged outsourcing.  Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct” and awards the Obama ad 4 Pinocchios.

Why does all this matter especially when it’s one WaPo’s writer’s word against another’s? For starters, the Obama campaign immediately jumped on this issue and began using it against Mitt Romney. Secondly, Kessler’s remarks are a direct rebuttal to Hamburger’s. Hamburger is the one making the claims and citing his “facts” but Kessler provides evidence that Hamburger’s claims are full of holes. It’s not the other way around. And finally, this isn’t the only time this has been done by the Obama campaign. As I pointed out in the first link in this analysis, it seems the MO of Team Obama is to simply put forth some misleading information, hope it sticks in people’s minds, and sway the electorate with half-truths and misrepresented information. To me, the sad thing is… it’s going from misrepresentation to complete lies.

What do you think? Am I way off? Are you noticing this yourself? Please don’t forget to rate the article and share your opinions below. 


  1. Great article. RTed!

  2. "First, let me start by saying that I think I have found the "secret sauce" of the Obama campaign. The plan seems to be simple:

    1. Roll out deceitful, misleading ads
    2. Allow the liberal mainstream media surrogates to propagate these ads
    3. Repeat misleading information in as many speeches as possible
    4. Get the American people to blindly believe and repeat whatever misleading information you say
    5. Relax knowing that since the liberal mainstream media outnumbers the conservative mainstream media, it will take a long time for the GOP to respond to correct the lies, rendering any attempts at truthfulness to be “too little, too late”
    6. Win in November no matter how badly you're doing as President"

    Seriously I love how you say that as if it has not been the normal plan for both parties the last 10 years. They are both fabricating things and drilling them into peoples heads until people don't even care about the truth because they are more obsessed with their version of it. Sad to see both campaigns have decided to head down this path yet again.

    1. Loyal -

      I tend to agree with you here. I find it despicable that, in politics today, the people (the bosses) are being lied to. Problem is that they all do it (in fact, the outline LME did in his article is what I generally refer to as Rove tactics). Rove, as far as I'm concerned (could be due to my age (39) and the elections I've been a part of) invented that (yellow cake ring any bells). It's a system built on saying it the most and saying it the loudest. That's how W got re-elected.

      Personally, I don't and won't pay attention to these two clowns (Obama and Romney) until they begin to debate. However, the debates, as far as I'm concerned, are generally meaningless as I've pretty much decided to write in Ron Paul. I'm sick of the shit, two party choices we're given. Isn't there anyone in this country who a) has conviction, b) has the backbone to show it, and c) who actually cares about their country and ALL of those inhabiting it???

  3. Loyal Watcher - good afternoon.

    I'm not sure what the issue is here. Sometimes you present a case and back it with links, sometimes you don't. Here, I'm not sure what the case is. I'm not trying to be facetious, but in trying to get me to understand what your point of view is, it would help to show it.

    I put forth my opinion. I highlighted how I believe the Obama campaign is now running itself. I then focused on the top bullet point: misleading/untrue campaign ads. I gave an example of my analysis on 4 other Obama points from a previous post, and then I give another example here. To further my case, I show how usual prominent pro-Obama outlets have even questioned this (I cited WaPo and Bill Clinton, but could have also mentioned Cory Booker and other democrats). I showed how the newest Obama ad is misleading by giving an analysis that was done on this. It's not even my analysis, and I'm showing how Kessler's analysis (again, from the often pro-Obama Washington Post) refutes Obama's ad. That was the point of the write up. My thesis: the Obama campaign (not the Mitt Romney campaign) is lying. My backing... you have it there.

    For your counter-point, you don't even refute my opinion and its subsequent write up. You seem to side deflect to something I don't even talk about. Even though you went off course, I will still play your game. Here is your chance to back what you say. What is an example (since I gave a specific Obama ad) of a specific Romney ad that is untruthful? Do you have any? This is, in my opinion, how insightful debates should work. In my opinion, you came on here, and chanted without bringing any analysis to this.

    1. I was not arguing against your statement that the add was deceptive, I am just simply stating i find it amusing when you say things like this:

      "First, let me start by saying that I think I have found the "secret sauce" of the Obama campaign. The plan seems to be simple"

      The tactics you listed were being used prior to president obama running in office. They are not unique, new or even notable. They are common and out of control

      we sall this last election when things got so bad that mccain had to actually stand up for obama and let people know they were being lied to in a town hall meeting.

      I look forward to your right-ups on how republicans are doing the same things in the months to come. I know this election will keep you extremely busy, assuming you dont just focus on the other party and keep your fingers in your ears and refuse to hear any foul talk about your own.

    2. These are your opinions and that's fine. Just like you said, it doesn't erase the fact that:

      - the Obama campaign is being incredibly deceitful.
      - it seems to be getting worse.
      - Most American's know nothing about private equity and how it works, and they'll continue to believe and regurgitate whatever Obama tells them

      The fact that lies and deceit being used prior to Obama's campaign is relevant. It's still being used (quite heavily, as I have pointed out), by the campaign, and it seems to be getting worse. I tend to focus on the now and going forward instead of looking back to what McCain did.

      Now, again, for about the 7th time. You made a claim: "I look forward to your right-ups on how republicans are doing the same things in the months to come."

      Back it? Do you have any examples of this. I've asked you, what do you have? I'm never put truth under anything. If the GOP or the conservative media (and general conservatives) messes up, I call it out. To back what I say, here are some examples:

      My opposition (scolding) of the GOP and the conservative media for badmouthing Obama for eating dog:

      My reaction, which was contrary to the GOP's, they they shouldn't claim the SCOTUS ruling on the AZ immigration law was a victory for their cause:

      My absolute disgust with racism and the GOP exploitation of it:

      My calling out of Fox News for attacking Nancy Pelosi over a non-issue:

      So please stop the side attacks of "you're so in love with Mitt Romney" or "you are so blinded by your party" when the truth is, I'm not. I am, however, open to what people have to say. I just hope they back it. If you have it, please share an example of a deceitful Romney ad.

      Always good to debate with you, Loyal Watcher :-)

  4. Good afternoon LME.

    First, I think it is physically impossible for President 0bama to tell the truth. Second, the truth does not benefit 0bama, therefore, it will never be told (just my opinion...feel free to make it yours). Third, 0bama has no private sector experience and no business experience to brag about so he has to distort the record of the one guy that actually has a clue about business.

  5. Whatsamattausa - good afternoon! It's a lot cooler in today where I am... how's it in your neck of the woods.

    Where to start? Well, sometimes you and I agree... most of the time we don't. That's totally fine. It happens. I'm not the golden source for opinions, and I'm always up for spirited debate.

    I'm not sure what the issue is here, however. What do you mean by "Karl Rove" tactics? I have never read anything Karl Rove has written (if he has written anything), so I don't know what this means. My position is simple, and if it's Karl Rove tactics to hold a campaign accountable, I guess that's what it is. My position, I feel, is pretty clear:

    - I think the Obama campaign is being very dishonest (thesis)
    - I wrote a piece titled "Fill in the Blanks" highlighting this, and I backed it with 4 examples of how the Obama campaign is not telling the whole truth
    - The Obama campaign put forth the new "Outsourcer-in-Chief" and immediately I thought it might be sketchy
    - I believe it is sketchy (thesis)
    - I back this with a third-party analysis using a notoriously pro-Obama newspaper's fact check

    To me, I'm not sure where the hole is. Of course, I know you disagree, and that's totally fine. If there is some insight as to what I did wrong, I'd definitely love to hear it.

    All that being said, I do agree with you (I think we've talked about this, but I don't know) that with the quick flow of information in today's world, it's difficult to fall into one party. In most western democracies, leaders are elected from an amalgam of parties. Why don't we have this here? Wouldn't this best represent the people?

    All that being said, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing back from you!

    1. Good afternoon LME. We have spoken about a system of multiple parties and I truly believe it is what could save this country from becoming something other than desirable.

      Rove, to me, invented the tactic if lying but doing it so obnoxiously that it becomes 'truth'. I say 'to me', because I don't remember anyone lying as brazenly as he (and the whole administration) did. I was impressed by the ability to lie and continue to repeat it until people actually believed it. Obama's birth certificate is a great example. I'm not sure it was Rove pushing that (I don't think it was) but the tactic was/is so effective that people STILL believe he is not a US born citizen. Same with the Iraq invasion. I never believed ANY of what was being sold because it NEVER made any sense. But, Rove, Chaney and Co. just kept saying it and saying it ('it' being any of the lies told tying Iraq to 9/11 and/or yellow cake uranium). I was just making a point as to the tactic not being Obama's nor it being exclusive. I don't disagree with what you wrote necessarily, I just think it's being done by both parties and I find it disgraceful that our 'leaders' find this acceptable. But, it's easy to do when you only get 2 choices.

      My agreement with Loyal was in his take that the lying goes both ways. My Rove point is simply that I see him as the creator of the strategy you laid out.

    2. Whatsamattausa - Thank you for coming back and clarifying that for me. I totally didn't understand what you had meant, but you were saying the Obama administration is too engaging in these "Karl Rove" tactics. I thought you were saying something against what I had said, and I didn't get the connection.

      I know that you and Loyal are not fans of Mitt Romney, and that's totally cool... I'm always open to hearing examples of the right doing what Team Obama is doing. Chances are, I'd write something about it just as I wrote that it was really dumb to chastise Obama for eating dog. I never want to see the GOP go down the same path as the left.

      Thanks again for clarifying! I'm glad we're able to communicate in this way.

  6. saw it on fb. keep up the good work!