The Corner

Passing the Buck

President Obama responds to most of his own greatest failures by blaming George W. Bush. He does it so often, and on such a range of issues, that reporters rarely actually stop to check his facts. Jake Tapper provides a notable exception today:

Asked about the Fast and Furious program at the Univision forum on Thursday, President Obama falsely claimed that the program began under President George W. Bush.


“I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration,” the president said. “When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.”


In actuality, the Fast and Furious program was started in October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency.

It’s easy to call this a lie, one of many, and perhaps it’s that simple. But in this instance as in so many others — on issues from the economy to Medicare, the auto bailout, Obamacare, and more — I think the president and his defenders really believe what they’re saying in this campaign, and that’s even worse.

Yuval Levin — Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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