Did Obama Really Call Americans ‘Lazy’?

After President Obama suggested that U.S. companies and bureaucrats have been "a little bit lazy" trying to woo foreign investment, Rick Perry accuses Obama of calling the whole country slothful. Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

It’s amazing how at least 30% of the United States population will believe Rick Perry’s commercial and/or Mitt Romney’s proclamation that President Obama called Americans lazy.

They won’t listen pundits and fact checkers who say that Obama was not talking about the American people.  They’re looking for every excuse possible to believe the worst about the POTUS.

The Week

Best Opinion:  Outside the Beltway, Knoxville News, Slate

Republicans are pouncing on President Obama’s recent remark that America has been “a little bit lazy” in pursuing foreign investment over the last couple decades. “We’ve kind of taken for granted,” the president said, that “people will want to come here, and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business to America.” GOP presidential hopefuls sprang into action: Mitt Romney said the comment shows Obama is out of touch, while Rick Perry released an ad accusing the president of calling the whole country slothful. “Can you believe that?” Perry said. “That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy?” Obama surrogate Bill Burton insisted that Republicans are twisting the president’s meaning so badly that it’s “laughable.” Did Obama call Americans lazy or not?

Of course not: Claiming that Obama was calling Americans lazy is about as misleading and deceptive as anything we’ve seen in this pathetic GOP nomination fight, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Obama essentially said that “we as a country, businesses and government, have been complacent in promoting investment in America abroad.” There are plenty of reasons to oppose Obama, but deliberately making it appear that he said something he didn’t is “stupid and sophomoric.”
“Republicans say Obama called Americans ‘lazy,’ except he didn’t”

Obama’s meaning was clear enough: Obama’s “lazy” comment was part of a pattern, says Greg Johnson in the Knoxville (Tenn.)  NewsSentinal. Recently, he said America had gotten “a little bit soft.” If Obama really believed in American industry, he would have said U.S. companies are “far from lazy,” and pointed out that they had tripled overseas sales over the last couple of decades. Once again, his choice of words shows his “ill-concealed contempt for American businesses and American workers.”
“Obama’s ‘lazy’ comment insulting”

We can argue about what he thinks, but not what he said: “If you want to psychoanalyze the president — and who doesn’t?” — you’re free to argue that the mere use of the word “lazy” reveals contempt for Americans, says David Weigel at Slate. But if the issue is what Obama actually said, then Perry and other Republicans are taking the president’s words “completely out of context.” “The ‘lazy’ people in this reference are bureaucrats, not average Americans.”
“No, President Obama didn’t ‘call Americans lazy'”

Bachmann Predicted The World Would End In 2006: ‘We Are In The Last Days’

It seems the crazy has encapsulated Michelle Bachmann for years!

Think Progress

As GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) surges in the polls, more information is coming to light about her past that reveal the depths of her political and religious extremism. The Bachmanns’ counseling clinic practices discredited and damagingex-gay therapy to “cure” homosexuality.

Slate’s Dave Weigel has reported an audio recording of Bachmann praying for the notoriously anti-gay ministryYou Can Run But You Can’t Hide, run by the radical preacher Bradlee Dean. Bachmann offered the prayer in 2006 (though the recording was uploaded in 2008). In it, Bachmann predicts, “We are in the last days,” and says, “The harvest is at hand” — a Biblical allusion to the Rapture when some believe God will take saved Christians from the earth and leave the non-believers to face several years of torment and tribulation before the second coming of Christ:

BACHMANN: Lord, the day is at hand. We are in the last days. You are a Jehovah God. We know that the times are in your hands. And we give them to you…The day is at hand, Lord, when your return will come nigh. Nothing is more important than bringing sheep into the fold. Than bringing new life into the kingdom…You have weeded that garden. The harvest is at hand.

Listen here:   

As Weigel noted, it’s not terribly surprising that Bachmann is among those evangelical Christians who believe the end of the world is imminent. But it’s still disconcerting that someone campaigning to lead America into the future believes that its days are numbered and millions of its citizens are doomed. Bachmann has toned down her religious rhetoric considerably since hitting the campaign trail.

Also jarring is Bachmann’s belief that “nothing is more important than” converting people before the world ends. As she weighs in on critical debates like whether or not to let the U.S. default on its obligations, it’s troubling that Bachmann is rooting for the apocalypse.

During the prayer session Bachmann asked God to expand the anti-gay ministry of Bradlee Dean. Dean has been described as “Bachmann’s Jeremiah Wright” since his radical statements pose a political problem for the candidate. Dean has repeatedly called for gays and lesbians to be put in prison and has said executing gays is “moral.” He also directs his invective at Muslims and Democrats.

The Incredibly Banal Secret Obama Tape – Dave Weigel

The big brouhaha over a hot mic during an Obama fundraiser seems quite a bit overblown in my opinion.  Apparently a few political bloggers feel the same.  Here’s Dave Weigel on the issue…

Dave Weigel – Slate

The revelation of Mark Knoller’s leak from this Obama fundraiser seems to be that the president is awake and knows how politics work right now. I’m not even sure if I hear a Kinsley gaffe in here.

I remember at one point in the negotiations, one of Boehner’s staff people pipes up and says, ‘You don’t understand, Mr. President. We’ve lost on health care. We’ve lost on the EPA. We’ve given that up. We’ve got to have something to give to our caucus.’

And I said to them, let me tell you something. I spent a year and a half getting health care passed. I had to take that issue across the country, and I paid significant political costs to get it done. The notion that I’m going to let you guys undo that in a six month spending bill? I said, you want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. But you’re not going to be able to do that by nickle-and-diming me on the budget. You think we’re stupid? And that’s going to — we’re going to see this again. We’ll see it on the debt limit vote. This will be the strategy going forward, trying to do things they can’t do legislatively under the cause of ‘cutting spending.'”

It would be deeply strange if Obama didn’t think this. A bit more interesting is the section on Paul Ryan. This is a closed door fundraiser, not a speech. In his deficit speech, Obama never attacked Ryan by name. Behind closed doors, he does, and derides him for voting for Bush era legislation that wasn’t paid for as Democrats claim the PPACA is.

Fox’s One-Man Clean-Up Crew: A History Of “Hannitization”


Hannitizing is Sean Hannity’s job over at Fox News.  Media Matters via Slate’s Dave Weigel shows how it’s done…

Media Matters

[S]late’s David Weigel proposed a new definition to the neologism “Hannitize”: “to clean up a messy situation with a softball interview.” Indeed, Hannity has become the go-to interviewer for right-wing figures following scandal or controversy.

Sarah Palin

George W. Bush

Meg Whitman

Christine O’Donnell

Rand Paul

Michael Steele

James O’Keefe