President Barack Obama netted three of the 10 “biggest Pinocchios of 2013” as judged by The Washington Post's Fact Checker, including the assertion that “If you like your health care, you can keep it.” The other misleading statements from the president were over the Benghazi terrorist attack and the sequester.
In this Dec. 4, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
The Post listed the health care assertion first among all the other statements deemed as false, giving it four Pinocchios, the highest ranking under the system.
“This memorable promise by President Obama backfired on him when the Affordable Care Act went into effect and millions of Americans started receiving cancellation notices,” the Post said of the keeping your insurance pledge. “As we explained, part of the reason for so many cancellations is because of an unusually early (March 23, 2010) cut-off date for grandfathering plans — and because of tight regulations written by the administration.”
The oft-repeated “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" also received Politifact's "Lie of the Year."
In another Obama falsehood, the president said when the sequester cuts kicked in that “the Capitol Hill janitors just got a pay cut.”
“President Obama offered an evocative image at a news conference when the sequester struck janitors sweeping the empty halls of the Capitol, laboring for less pay,” the Post wrote. “But it turned out that he was completely wrong. Janitorial staff did not face a pay cut — and Capitol Hill administrative officials even issued a statement saying the president’s remarks were 'not true.' Then the White House tried to argue that janitors at least faced a loss of overtime. That was not correct either. The episode was emblematic of the administration’s sequester rhetoric.”
And finally, in another scandal that has plagued the administration for most of 2013, the Post slapped down the president's assertion that “the day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”
“President Obama did refer to an 'act of terror' in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack, but in vague terms, wrapped in a patriotic fervor,” the Post wrote. “He never affirmatively stated that the American ambassador died because of an 'act of terror.' Then, over a period of two weeks, given three opportunities in interviews to affirmatively agree that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack, the president obfuscated or ducked the question. So this is a case of taking revisionist history too far for political reasons.”
The Post also nailed Republicans, calling out Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) whose committee is investigating the administration's handling of security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi. Issa charged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied security for Libyan personnel with her signature on a cable.
“The issue became a political flash point after four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, were killed at two U.S. compounds in Benghazi,” the Post said. “But the claim that Clinton signed the cable was absurd, as every cable, even the most mundane, bears the secretary’s 'signature,' because it is automatically added by the communications center. There is no evidence Clinton was even aware of the request.”
You can see the entire list of Pinocchios at The Washington Post.