Fact-shaming Michelle Obama’s DNC speech

It must be nice being adored by the media, who will never challenge former first lady Michelle Obama no matter what she says. But someone should, just to set the record straight. 

In her emotion-driven speech to the virtual Democratic National Convention, Obama made several claims that are at best misleading. She may believe them, but that doesn’t make them true. For example:

“When my husband left office with Joe Biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation.” Obama-Biden did add jobs, 8.9 million by the end of December, 2016. But The Balance ranked that ninth among job-creating presidents. Even Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, with only one term, added more jobs than Obama-Biden. Needless to say, “We’re number nine!” doesn’t sound like the best campaign slogan.

Yes, it was a long stretch of job creation, but only because job growth was so slow. Obama-Biden oversaw the slowest economic recovery since World War II, according to CNN — an average of 2 percent a year as compared to the average annual economic growth of 4 percent. Think of it as the “turtle recovery.” It kept moving forward but at a very slow pace. 

“We’d secured the right to health care for 20,000,000 people.” On the other hand, millions of Americans — including my wife — lost their health coverage because of ObamaCare. In fact, so many Americans were seeing their coverage canceled that President Obama apologized to the American people on Nov. 7, 2013, essentially conceding that his (in)famous pledge “If you like your health plan you can keep your health plan” was a lie. Indeed, Politifact ranked it the 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

But there is another point that the left, including Michelle Obama, has never acknowledged: Having access to health insurance is not the same as having access to health care. While the Affordable Care Act did expand Medicaid coverage in states that agreed to it, and some uninsured individuals with a preexisting medical condition were able to get coverage, many major health care providers, such as the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center, will not accept ObamaCare — because it’s such bad coverage.

That denial of care is only a preview of what we will see as Biden-Harris move us toward Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) dream of a government-run health care system

“We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change.” If by “respected” Obama means that countries knew they could walk all over us and get us to open our wallet, then, yes, we were respected. 

President Obama started his tenure with a Middle East apology tour. Let me just say that authoritarians, dictators and strongmen do not respect guilt-ridden leaders who come seeking forgiveness. 

Remember when President Obama handed the Iranians $1.8 billion? No doubt those state sponsors of terror appreciated the president, but respected him?

Obama also mentions climate change. In the Paris Agreement, President Obama and the developed economies promised to hand the developing economies $100 billion as penance for our sin of being the economic engines of the world. Respect shouldn’t cost so much.

Four years later, more than 150,000 people have died, and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long.” In just over two months after the first COVID-19 case appeared in the United States, Congress passed and the president signed the CARES Act, on March 27, which appropriated more than $2 trillion. Never has Congress spent so much money in so short a time — and with so little debate.

But handling pandemics isn’t a federal responsibility; that belongs to the states. It was the governors who shut down their economies — resulting in her economic “shambles” — and it’s mostly Democratic governors who imposed the harshest restrictions and have been the slowest to reopen their states. 

They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages.” Yes, we all saw pictures of those cages with crying children. The left was livid and denounced the heartless Donald Trump. Then it turned out that some of those pictures were taken during the Obama presidency, and the media immediately dropped the issue.

“And pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protesters for a photo-op.” There were peaceful demonstrations in many cities after the tragic death of George Floyd. But many of the protests have turned into violent riots. 

The New York Post reported June 8 that 700 police officers had been injured in George Floyd protests. That number is surely significantly higher now, after weeks of riots in Portland, Seattle, Chicago and several other cities. 

And ABC News reports a 28 percent surge in police officers being killed this year. 

“Peaceful protesters” don’t throw Molotov cocktails, they don’t burn and loot buildings and businesses, and they don’t physically assault individuals and the police. 

Michelle Obama, like virtually every other prominent Democrat, refuses to acknowledge or denounce radical groups such as antifa that have often co-opted the peaceful protests. 

If the media won’t do its job in pointing out these contradictions, others have to. 

Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @MerrillMatthews.

Tags 2020 Democratic convention 2020 presidential campaign Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Jimmy Carter Joe Biden md anderson Michelle Obama ObamaCare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Vice presidency of Joe Biden

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