Newspaper: We Were Wrong to Endorse Obama

Sunday, 29 Jun 2014 09:46 PM

By Greg Richter

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The Billings (Mont.) Gazette endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, but now that he's been in office 5½ years, the bloom is off the rose.

The Gazette on Friday published an editorial admitting its mistake in backing Obama and detailing the reasons it came to that conclusion.

"Sometimes, you have to admit you're wrong," the editorial began. "And, we were wrong."

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The paper said that it had believed things couldn't get much worse than they were under President George W. Bush, but "President Barack Obama's administration has us yearning for the good ol' days when we were at least winning battles in Iraq."

The editorial notes that the public is giving Obama lower ratings today than Bush received in 2006 when the Iraq war as going badly and he was stung by accusations of bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina.

The editorial said that a president should not be judged solely on approval ratings, but noted that Obama's high number of botched policies have contributed to that weak showing.

The paper lists the NSA spying scandal, the breakup of Iraq, the swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders, the VA scandal, lack of stem cell research, a lack of White House transparency, and the failed Obamacare rollout among the president's failures.

It also criticized him for his administration's clampdown on coal-fired energy plant emissions while failing to approve more innovative and cost-saving alternatives such as the Keystone XL pipeline.

"It's not just that Americans are in a sour mood about national politics," the editorial said. " Instead, Obama has become another in a line of presidents long on rhetoric and hopelessly short on action."

Billings isn't the first newspaper that supported Obama's candidacy to attack his policies, though others have been focused more on individual issues.

His hometown Chicago Tribune, which endorsed him 2008 and 2012, in October blasted him over the Affordable Care Act.

"People who have individual insurance coverage are finding that Obama's oft-repeated promise — 'if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan' — is just not true," the Tribune wrote.

The New York Times panned Obama's May speech to U.S. Military Academy graduates as weak on foreign policy, saying he "provided little new insight into how he plans to lead in the next two years."

The Washington Post in March said Obama's foreign policy is "based on fantasy."

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