In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze on Tuesday, Dinesh D’Souza, creator of “2016: Obama’s America,” said President Barack Obama and his campaign are now attacking him because they are “scared” of his documentary and what it reveals.
It’s true that with the 2012 presidential election just around the corner, Obama and his campaign can’t be happy to see that D’Souza’s anti-Obama documentary is now the second biggest political documentary of all time, surpassing popular liberal productions like Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”
That may be why Obama’s so-called “Truth Team” attacked D’Souza and his film openly and aggressively on BarackObama.com last week, calling it a “deliberate distortion of President Obama and his worldview” and D’Souza a “right-wing” author peddling conspiracy theories. Or perhaps “2016” has grown so popular that the Obama campaign can’t ignore it any longer.
Regardless, it is clear that D’Souza’s film has caught the attention of the White House and its inhabitant.
D’Souza sat down with TheBlaze to respond to allegations coming from the Obama campaign that his documentary provides a “distorted” and dishonest view of Obama and his past.
Point-by-point D’Souza seemingly debunked the Obama team’s attacks, some based on topics that were not even mentioned in “2016: Obama’s America” and are found in his best-selling book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” which the film is based on.
“I think they are scared — and they have a reason to be scared,” D’Souza told TheBlaze. “But I certainly welcome the Obama team getting into this because it seems like the old strategy has completely failed, you know: Ignore it, pray really hard and hope it goes away.”
For argument’s sake, D’Souza addressed the Obama campaign’s attacks one by one:
1. D’Souza falsely claimed that President Obama said he didn’t believe in American exceptionalism—when in fact the President has repeatedly praised America’s exceptional identity and core values.
“First of all, the documentary doesn’t claim that,” D’Souza said. “But I do claim that in an earlier book called ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage,’ that he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. I say that based upon the fact that Obama was asked about that specifically in 2009 and he said we are no more exceptional than the Brits and the Greeks, everybody thinks they are exceptional. And so the meaning of Obama’s response is, if everyone believes they are exceptional, no one really is.”
2. D’Souza falsely asserted that President Obama funded $2 billion in Brazilian oil exploration even though numerous fact checkers and reporters have noted that President Obama had “nothing to do with the loan.”
D’Souza said not only is that true, but he actually “understated the case.”
“Well, the Obama administration has not only approved the $2 billion in subsidies to Brazil, but after that the Obama administration has given billions of dollars to Mexico and Columbia to drill for oil, so I actually understated the case,” he told TheBlaze.
The money was approved by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which handles these types of transactions, D’Souza explained, but the bank falls under the Obama administration, leaving the president ultimately responsible.
“So this is a case where the Obama administration is refusing to take responsibility for its own actions,” he added.
3. D’Souza falsely charged that President Obama backed Scotland’s release of the Lockerbie bomber only weeks after the Obama administration had put out a statement opposing Scotland’s decision to return Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to Libya and sent a letter to the Scottish government raising the administration’s strong objection.
Firstly, there is no reference to the Lockerbie bomber in “2016,” according to D’Souza.
“This is a recycled White House attack on my book, ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage,’ in which I refer to a memo that was sent by the Obama administration telling the Scottish government that if they were going to release the Lockerbie bomber, Obama would prefer that he be kept in Scotland and not sent back to Libya,” the best-selling author said.
He continued: “So basically, Scottish officials understood that to mean that the Obama administration was giving them the green light to release the guy as long as they kept an eye on him… that’s how the Scottish government read Obama’s memo. So my original report was correct, and in any case, that has nothing to do with the film.”
4. D’Souza even claimed that President Obama passed the bank bailouts when the facts clearly show that it was President Bush who signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law in October 2008.
D’Souza says he never claimed that President Obama was alone in passing the bank bailouts, however, for President Obama to argue he did not approve of the action is “disingenuous.”
“That is true but a technicality,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, Obama was included in those discussions, he approved of them. He said publicly that he supported the bailout and subsequently the stimulus. For Obama now to disclaim responsibility for things that he has signed off on seems a bit disingenuous.”
The fact that the Obama White House is annoyed with the success of “2016” only shows that they are “worried,” D’Souza told TheBlaze.
“They have succeeded in keeping these facts off the public menu all this time and now they feel like they have to work really hard to prevent people from seeing the film,” he said, taking a deep breath before continuing.
“We are asking one fundamental question: who is Barack Obama? We are investigating the president’s background, his ideology and the implications of his ideology for the future. We are a truth telling team ourselves and I guess his truth telling team is trying to prevent us from getting our message out.”
D’Souza attributes the documentary’s overwhelming success to the nation’s desire to know more factual information about Obama. Even pro-Obama people have seen the movie and marveled at how much they learned about Obama that they didn’t know before, he explained.
“I think that the film goes into territory that has been previously unexplored. In fact, it even goes into territory that the Romney campaign won’t touch,” he added.
D’Souza told Deadline that the producers of “2016: Obama’s America” are trying to find a network to air the documentary before the November elections. He expressed his frustration over the mainstream media ignoring the film.