In a recent campaign-trail speech, President Obama delivered a line that was widely construed as a jab at Mitt Romney. But it turns out part of what crystallized that portrayal appears to be a fabrication.This was the "silver spoon" quote that sparked such righteous indignation from the hedge fund candidate's campaign last week. As it turns out, the fact of what President Obama actually said mattered little to those media outlets with a vested interest in seeing him placed in an unflattering light.
Here is the actual quote, from the official transcript:
Investing in a community college, just like investing in a new road or a new highway or broadband lines that go into rural communities, these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth. They’ve been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations because they benefit all of us. That's what leads to strong, durable economic growth. That's how America became an economic superpower. That's how we built the Transcontinental Railroad. That's why we’ve got the best universities and colleges in the world. That's why we have cutting-edge research that takes place here, and that then gets translated into new jobs and new businesses, because somebody did the groundwork. We created a foundation for those of us to prosper.The "silver spoon" quote was then twisted and misquoted by a Fox News poseur named Steve Doocy, who:
Somebody gave me an education. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance -- just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.
When you take classes at a community college like this one and you learn the skills that you need to get a job right away, that does not just benefit you; it benefits the company that ends up hiring and profiting from your skills. It makes the entire region stronger economically. It makes this country stronger economically.
while interviewing Romney on live TV Thursday, quoted Obama as saying, “Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”It was then picked up by more reputable media and disseminated as if Doocy's version were accurate.
But Obama never prefaced his statement with the words “unlike some people,” as evident in the video of the speech (9:22 minute mark). The words do not appear in the official transcript either.
Here is Doocy lying about what the President said, ten seconds into the clip, below:
After President Obama took a not-so-subtle jab at his Republican opponent Mitt Romney by saying, “unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Romney on Thursday accused the president of “attacking people” when he should be “attacking problems".Here is the New York Post, parroting the Doocy liar:
"Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Obama said.Both of these editorial outlets used the same version of the quotation as that used by this Fox News anchor to launch or provide a platform for indignant rebuttals on behalf of Romney, much as Doocy used the false quote to provide Romney with a nice softball to swat after doubtlessly preparing him for the pitch.
That’s not just snotty — it’s woefully ignorant of the American spirit.
As noted in Talking Points Memo's article:
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the remark had nothing to do with Romney. Nor is the phrase new: Obama used the words “silver spoon” in a similar context during a March 2009 speech about the importance of education and opportunity.The phrase was never intended to be about Romney. But to Fox News and its ilk, it had to be be. It couldn't be possible that the President was simply making a more universal point, about lack of opportunity. For Fox News, of course, that's a universe it doesn't want its viewers to even contemplate.
A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Doubtless because they're too busy working on their next lie.
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