Conservatives are ribbing President Obama for adding factoids about himself to the end of presidential biographies on the White House website and for past statements ranking his administration among the greatest in U.S. history.
A new web video by the pro-Republican super PAC American Crossroads playfully tweaks Obama for the moves, clearly suggesting that he does not deserve to be held in such high esteem.
Over a soundtrack of grandiose, Baroque music, a British-accented narrator mockingly heralds “another great moment in presidential history.”
“America has seen its share of great presidents with historic accomplishments. But did you know that Barack Obama is SO great his name has been added to the bottom of biographies of 13 presidents? It’s right there on his White House website,” he says.
A clip of Obama from a December 2011 “60 Minutes” interview then appears inside a gold-trimmed frame with the placard “Undisputed Debt King”: “I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln,” Obama told CBS’ Steve Kroft.
(Obama at the time did qualify his comment by saying that he had more work to do on improving the economy and had “five more years of stuff to do.”)
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Vice President Joe Biden, both praised publicly by Obama as historic figures, are also mentioned in the video.
“America’s fourth greatest president, second greatest treasury secretary and 47th greatest vice president. Together, only they could raise the debt limit to 16 trillion and keep 13 million Americans out of work,” the narrator says, highlighting what has been the focus of Republicans’ case against a second Obama term.
There is no mention of the role George W. Bush played in contributing to mounting debt and deficits with two wars and massive tax cuts, or his presiding over the start of the 2008 financial crisis.
White House sources have said the additions to presidential biography pages, which include hyperlinks to other Obama-related content, are common practice on the internet to direct traffic to other pages on the site. They also note that the references to not alter the historical bios but are simply innocuous, related factoids.
Crossroads, a group co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, also launched a $25 million TV ad campaign against President Obama earlier this week, attacking him for “broken promises” during his first term.