President Barack Obama didn't need to directly order IRS agents to target conservative groups to be given extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status, William Bennett tells Newsmax. The president had been publicly calling for something to be done about them.
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"He didn't need a telephone," Bennett said, "he had a megaphone."
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Obama gave speeches in 2012 about "these shady groups, these nefarious groups, these anti-Democrat groups, 'Can't something be done about this?" said Bennett, former Education Secretary and drug czar. "The president's complaining about all these groups, we know who he's talking about. I can tell you this from Washington, when the boss makes that kind of continued complaint, the underlings go to work."
Bennett tells Newsmax he finds it hard to believe Obama knew nothing of the scandal before, as he has said, he heard it on the news. The chief of staff and White House counsel knew, but the president reportedly was not told.
"That's just nonsense," Bennett said. "I did work in the White House; I did hold two Cabinet level positions. You always tell the boss."
Bennett says midterm election candidates should focus on the GOP's vision, including standing for tax reform. It is the perfect time, he said to make the case for tax reform and shrinking the IRS.
Whether the Benghazi scandal will hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential chances remains to be seen, Bennett said.
"Certainly there's a shadow there. There are questions that have to be answered," he said. "The Republicans blew the first hearing with her. I don’t know if they'll get another chance."
Still, he urged Republicans to keep digging. "Don't talk about impeachment. Don’t talk about getting rid of the president. Just go for the truth on all of these (scandals), and there are at least three, and there may be more to come."
Governing will be difficult in Obama's second term as a result of the scandals, Bennett predicted. "It will be extremely difficult if the press continues to stay on him."
Bennett says he's not seen a president as protected by the mainstream media as Obama has been. For the moment, however, they seem to have turned on him because of the stories of the press being targeted.
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"If this mainstream media stays against him, he's not going to get out of this problem," Bennet said.
Bennett is co-author of the recent book "Is College Worth It? A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education." He also hosts the syndicated radio show "Bill Bennett's Morning in America."
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