HOUSTON, Tx., November 17, 2011—There were three reasons to write this article:
1) Obama didn’t call Americans lazy;
2) Obama didn’t grow up privileged;
3) Um, um…I don’t know, oops.
Wednesday was a ‘two-for’ for Governor Rick Perry. Not only was he able to release a campaign ad distorting President Obama’s “lazy” comment, but he was interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News and claimed that Obama grew up privileged.
The first is a distortion of context, and the second is a blatant lie.
Clearing the air on this “Obama called Americans lazy” claim, let’s look at the actual question and answer that took place at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Honolulu this past Saturday.
Question: “I think one related question, looking at the world from the Chinese side, is what they would characterize as impediments to investment in the United States. And so that discussion I’m sure will be part of whatever dialogue you have. And so how are you thinking about that?”
Obama: “This is an issue, generally. I think it’s important to remember that the United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity - our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture. But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted - well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America. And so one of things that my administration has done is set up something called Select USA that organizes all the government agencies to work with state and local governments where they’re seeking assistance from us, to go out there and make it easier for foreign investors to build a plant in the United States and put outstanding U.S. workers back to work in the United States of America…”
Yet Perry released an ad that starts off with Obama saying, “We’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades.” Then Perry comes in with: “Can you believe that? That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That’s pathetic.”
Taking the President’s words out of context is a poor attempt to fire up his campaign. Rather than strengthening his skill set, actually learning how to debate and remembering his own talking points, Perry took the lazy way out.
Clearly Obama wasn’t calling Americans lazy, rather, that businesses should find ways to attract foreign investors which would strengthen our economy by creating jobs. In fact, Obama commented on the United States’ success by saying, “…[we are] still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity - our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture.”
To top things off, Perry went on Hannity last night and continued to be a fountain of misinformation. He theorized that the upbringing of Obama causes him to be distant from the American people: “He grew up in a privileged way,” Perry said, “He never had to really work for anything, he never had to go through what Americans are going through. This president has never felt that angst that they felt in their heart…,” referring to the nation’s 14 million unemployed.
Let’s look at the “privileged” upbringing that Obama was given.
As a child, Barack Obama’s family was abandoned by his father, (talk about being born with a silver spoon in his mouth), but the privileges Obama was handed in his youth doesn’t stop there. He was raised by his mother and grandparents, none of whom were wealthy; in fact his mother had to use food stamps from time to time. He was given a scholarship for the exclusive Punahou High School in Honolulu where he struggled with his identity as one of the few African-American students.
Obama’s biography states:
“With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.”
Good grief, it sure does sound like he grew up in the Trump household with all of the “privileges” he was handed and how he never earned or worked for anything.
The truth is, Obama didn’t call Americans lazy and he didn’t grow up privileged. It’s one thing to be against the man’s policies, but this distortion of facts and blatant lies are as desperate as the birthers were when they had their charade in the spot light.
Perry has used the space around him to spread rumors out of desperation because of his foundering campaign due to his gaffes and lacking skill sets in the debates. Nearly every poll has Perry at the bottom of the race. For Perry to spread false rumors about President Obama to get his numbers up is PATHETIC.
Carter Lee is the author of, When Jonathan Cried for Me, a professional speaker, and President of Innovative Social Dynamics LLC., and is a professional speaker. To learn more about his book click here. For a personal appearance or speaking engagement click here.
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