Media Blog

Obama’s Phony Chamber of Commerce Outrage

A round-up of the debunking of Obama’s lie on how the Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money into Republican campaigns:

Brit Hume:

“The attacks by President Obama and the Democratic Party on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others say as much as any poll about the plight of the Democrats this fall,” Hume said. “The claim of foreign money flowing into Republican coffers is so transparently without proof that even organs of the mainstream media are saying so.

New York Times:

But a closer examination shows that there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents.

In fact, the controversy over the Chamber of Commerce financing may say more about the Washington spin cycle — where an Internet blog posting can be quickly picked up by like-minded groups and become political fodder for the president himself — than it does about the vagaries of campaign finance.

Organizations from both ends of the political spectrum, from liberal ones like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the Sierra Club to conservative groups like the National Rifle Association, have international affiliations and get money from foreign entities while at the same time pushing political causes in the United States.

Jake Tapper, ABC:

TAPPER: But what do you say to people who argue you are demonizing an organization for a charge that nobody knows if it’s true or not?

AXELROD: Well I’m not demonizing the Chamber of Commerce. I’m simply suggesting to them that they disclose the source of the $75 million that they are spending in campaigns and put to rest, put to rest the questions that have been, that have been raised.

TAPPER: Isn’t that like the whackjobs that tell the president he needs to show them his full long-form birth certificate so he can put to rest the questions that have been raised?

AXELROD: The president’s birth certificate has been available to people.

TAPPER: The long form?

Bob Schieffer, CBS:

CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday mocked President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod for echoing last week’s unsubstantiated charge by a liberal website that the Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money to support Republican candidates.

“The New York Times looked into the Chamber specifically and said the Chamber really isn’t putting foreign money into the campaign,” said the Face the Nation host.

“This part about foreign money, that appears to be peanuts,” chided Schieffer.

Ed Gillespie:

In their latest attempt to distract voters from their job-killing policies, President Obama, his White House and senior Democrats in Congress have added to their long list of bogeymen the outside groups that seek to help elect Republicans in November. They threaten congressional investigations, discuss private tax information and level baseless accusations of criminal activity against those who have been public in seeking to defeat Democratic candidates and their liberal agenda. Without a trace of irony, powerful Democratic officeholders lament that many who support these groups wish to remain anonymous.

None of these Democrats expressed concern about such outside spending in 2008, when more than $400 million was spent to help elect Barack Obama, much of it from undisclosed donors. The liberal groups and Democrats who supported the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which established the legal framework for this new campaign spending, were much faster to adapt to its contours than the Republicans and conservative groups that largely opposed it, and liberal outside groups massively outspent Republicans in the past two election cycles.

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