Politico: Obama lied about survey

posted at 8:05 am on March 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Politico has caught Barack Obama in another misstatement about his past, and this one goes right to the heart of his posing as a New Politics candidate. Working on a tip from opposition sources, Kenneth Vogel found a survey with Obama’s handwriting that he had previously denied handling. It shows that Obama himself established much more liberal positions on gun control, abortion, and other issues than he has admitted in his campaign:

During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion– positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he’s projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize(d) his position.”

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago non-profit group that issued it. And it found that Obama – the day after sitting for the interview – filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes adding to one answer.

In 1996, Obama ran as a political unknown, although one with friends in high places — friends like Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Bernadette Dohrn. He wanted the endorsement of Independent Voters of Illinois, a group in which he and his campaign manager had worked in the past. The survey was an important part of IVI’s vetting process, and Obama needed to make sure that it had the answers he needed for the endorsement.

So what were Obama’s positions in 1996, according to the questionnaire that bears his handwriting?

  • Opposed to parental notification on abortions. He amended this to say that he might possibly support it for 12- or 13-year-olds, but no older.
  • Flatly opposed the death penalty, a position he denied ever having.
  • Supported bans on the sale, possession, and manufacture of guns, again a position he denied ever taking.

Those positions won’t even fly with a large number of Democrats, let alone in a general election. The Hillary Clinton campaign has already begun making the argument to superdelegates that Obama holds extremist views so out of touch with the American electorate that he can’t possibly win in November. The questionnaire will bolster that argument, especially on guns, where the Democrats had tried to soften their stance since Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000.

The Obama campaign’s response to Politico has to be read to be believed:

Through an aide, Obama, who won the group’s endorsement as well as the statehouse seat, did not dispute that the handwriting was his. But he contended it doesn’t prove he completed, approved – or even read – the latter questionnaire.

“Sen. Obama didn’t fill out these state Senate questionnaires – a staffer did – and there are several answers that didn’t reflect his views then or now,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign, in an emailed statement. “He may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire at the meeting, but that doesn’t change the fact that some answers didn’t reflect his views. His eleven years in public office do.”

This makes no sense at all. If Obama’s handwriting is on the survey, then he filled it out. If the answers didn’t reflect his views, why didn’t he change them when he “jotted some notes” on it? If the answers were wrong, Obama would have “jotted some notes” to that effect, rather than allow such mistakes to get transmitted to IVI. And the “eleven years in public office” defense might make sense if Obama hadn’t spent much of that time voting “present” instead of taking actual stands.

Once again, we have more evidence that Obama represents nothing more than the political winds. He has zero credibility, zero experience, and a penchant for telling people what they want to hear rather than any truth about what he actually believes. Either he lied to IVI or he’s lying now. In either case, it’s hardly the New Politics Obama has promised.

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This suit is not only empty, it’s transparent.

ReubenJCogburn on March 31, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Or, this empty suit is getting more and more transparent.

Liberal yard signs of 2008. Make your own, too:

“Hillary lies, no one dies”

“Obama lies, owl wise”

“Michelle Obama & Condi Rice hate America”

Entelechy on March 31, 2008 at 4:23 PM


About the only safe topic for the softball questions the MSM “moderators” at the debates would be able to ask him is “boxers, briefs or commando”. That is if he gets nominated-sorry, the jury is still out on that one regardless of what anyone says.

Of course by then there would have been 3 or 4 ad campaigns highlighting things like this on top of the blogosphere doing actual journalism (as opposed to the MSM propaganda) so most everyone would know anyway.

Nahanni on March 31, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Just heard on Rush, Hollywood has a thought… Hillary, step aside and we will push for your appointment to the Supreme Court. Oh, my…

TheCulturalist on March 31, 2008 at 12:12 PM

5 Supreme Court Justices are 68 or older. How many do you think would retire so that they could be replaced with another liberal Justice?

If you want a nightmare, imaginge Hillary, Bill, and John Edwards being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Red Pill on March 31, 2008 at 5:41 PM

Obama, gonna take away your guns!

Chakra Hammer on March 31, 2008 at 6:01 PM

Just another run of the mill politician.

Even the democrats don’t want their guns taken away.

All kinds of things coming out about the messiah. Not very good things and at the top of the list is Liar.

I’ll bet if this nasty business with the reverend had come out a couple of months ago, he wouldn’t be in the position he is now. Wait till this latest gets out, especially about the guns!

waterfall on March 31, 2008 at 6:07 PM

The longer this goes on the closer to “toast” Obama is. He has no chance in the general election and should act as such.

duff65 on March 31, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Obama’s liberal positions on military spending are much more dangerous than his liberal social positions- bad as some may think they are. His plans to gut defense spending during a time of war will not lead to peace; it will lead to defeat.

His plan to save money by eliminating research on missile defense systems “that do not work” is begging the question of whether further research will make them workable. Missile defense is not agressive nor does it make agressive war safe because no defense system is perfect. What it does is save perhaps millions of innocent lives and reduce the chance of being successfully blackmailed or taken out by a preemptive strike.

When you compare the cost of missile defense against the cost of property destruction, economic ruin and the value of lives lost by even a limited nuclear strike by a minor nuclear power, the cost to benefit should be fantastically positve unless the system does not work even moderately well. So far, progress on the various components of a layered missile defense seem to be suggesting that a relatively effective missile defense system is not only possible but may not be that far away.

Obama’s spending plans are also more dangerous than his liberal social agenda. He wants to create very expensive programs on education, health care etc. at the same time he does nothing to address the financial crisis facing current government spending programs like medicare and social security. Runaway spending eventually leads to runaway taxes or runaway deficits and stagflation that will blight our economic future.

KW64 on March 31, 2008 at 9:07 PM

KW64 amen

funky chicken on March 31, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Obama is nothing more than a con man …

jcarl4283 on April 1, 2008 at 5:32 PM