Karl Rove’s new ad is a mish-mash of boldfaced, audacious lies and pandering to racism utilized by Republicans in their out-of-touch effort to paint the president as a “lazy, shiftless black man” in service to the GOP’s famous ‘Southern Strategy’.
Elsewhere, Bob Cesca awesomely debunks the ad, leading up to it with a discussion of the Romney Campaign’s use of the Southern Strategy since April 2012:
In conjunction with the April roll-out of the campaign’s first major foray into the Southern Strategy, Romney said, “I must say I scratch my head at the capacity of the president to take four hours off on such a regular basis to go golfing. I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years, particularly when the American people are out of work.” He continued, “I know prior Presidents have gone to Camp David and have been able to get a little rest and get away from the demands of Washington, bring some of their key advisers there and focus on solving tough issues. I would not be jetting around the world and using four years in office to see the world, but instead I would consider the four to eight years in office as a time to get America back on track.”
Romney, who famously capped off his dismal nominating convention by cruising around on his yacht for a long weekend, spoke those words on the Bill Cunningham radio show. You might recall Cunningham from 2008 when he spoke at a McCain event and repeatedly emphasized the president’s middle name — another shameless use of Southern Strategy politics. To his credit, McCain repudiated Cunningham and never invited him back.
Elsewhere, conservatives have taken to calling the president a “vacationer-in-chief.” Even golf enthusiast John Boehner once said, “This is the biggest job in the world and I’ve never seen a president make it smaller.”
Cesca then goes on to slay the specifics of Rove’s (American Crossroads) new ad with a discussion of presidential vacations:
act: during his first 31 months in office, Rove’s former boss spent 180 days on vacation. President Obama, on the other hand, only spent 61 days on vacation in his first 31 months. By the way, it’s important to note what was happening during Bush’s first 31 months: two wars of his own choosing, a catastrophic terrorist attack, corporate scandals and a recession. Yet Bush enjoyed three times as many vacation days as the current president. According to his presidential library, Bush took a total of 1,021 days off during his eight years as president. That’s nearly as many days as JFK’s entire presidency, which lasted 1,036 days. FDR took 958 days off, but he was president for 12 years. In 2005, with three more years left in his presidency, Bush surpassed Reagan for total vacation days. Stacked end-to-end that’s nearly three years out of eight for Bush 43. Of the last seven presidents, Obama, Clinton and Carter spent the fewest days on vacation, with Clinton winning the workaholic competition.
On the intelligence briefings issue:
Now, what about this intelligence briefing issue that Rove brought up in the Crossroads commercial (also noted recently by Breitbart.com and Marc Thiessen)? Specifically, the ad repeats the notion that the president deliberately “skipped” nearly half of all the Presidential Daily Briefs (PDB). You know, because he’s so lazy and irresponsible.
Dana Milbank via Steve Benen debunked that one, “In reality, Obama didn’t ‘attend’ these meetings, because there were no meetings to attend: The oral briefings had been mostly replaced by daily exchanges in which Obama reads the materials and poses written questions and comments to intelligence officials. This is how it was done in the Clinton administration, before Bush decided he would prefer to read less. Bush’s results — Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and the failure to find Osama bin Laden — suggest this was not an obvious improvement.”
So it came down to Bush being too lazy to read stuff. Instead, Bush asked his intelligence people to read the PDBs to him. It’s frankly shocking that Rove would continue to open this can of worms knowing the ineptitude and incompetency of his former boss.