Brooks: Hey, Obama told me shovel-ready jobs didn’t exist last year

posted at 5:15 pm on October 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

And of course, this wouldn’t have been news all the time while Barack Obama kept claiming that these “shovel ready jobs” had prosperity just around the corner, right?  Brooks says that the admission came in an off-the-record session with the President, which kept him from reporting it.  I wonder if Brooks or anyone else would have been that particular had George Bush admitted “off the record” that he knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in 2003 or 2004, while continuing to make the argument that the war was necessary because of them.  What happened to sourcing as “a senior administration official”?  Did it not occur to Brooks that Obama was lying about these jobs over the past year to defend his economic policies, and that Brooks might have had a responsibility to make that known?  Good to know that the New York Times prints all the news that fits — its agenda.

Click on the image to watch the RCP video:

DAVID BROOKS, NYT: Yes. Well, I shouldn’t have confessed this. He said this to me off the record about a year ago. But it hasn’t…

JIM LEHRER: Off the record? So, then you can’t talk about it.

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, because Peter Baker is a better journalist than I am, because I couldn’t get him to go on the record with that thing.

JIM LEHRER: He said this to you a year ago?

DAVID BROOKS: It was obvious. I mean, you are trying to build a stimulus package. And when they were trying to build it, believe me, they would have loved to have filled it with infrastructure jobs. But the projects just didn’t exist. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t find them.

When can we expect the media to run with “Obama lied and the economy died”?  The Boss Emeritus has more thoughts on this as well.

By the way, here’s the administration still claiming progress through shovel-ready jobs on June 17, 2010, and on the first anniversary of Porkulus.  In December 2009, Obama insisted that he was ensuring that shovel-ready jobs were actually shovel-ready:

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.  Please be seated.  We want to make sure we get in as much discussion as possible in the remaining time that we have.

I hope everybody enjoyed the breakout sessions.  I had the opportunity to attend two of them for quite some time and enjoyed some terrific conversation and some great ideas.

I heard a great deal of challenges this afternoon about — or a great deal this afternoon about the challenges that we’re all facing, for businesses large and small, when it comes to trying to create jobs.  There’s no question that it is difficult out there right now.  But we also heard some exciting ideas and proposals for how we can spur hiring today and lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth in the future.  In other words, ideas that help us in the short term but also point us in the direction of rebuilding the country.

I attended two of the sessions — one on infrastructure, where there was broad agreement that the infrastructure in America is not where it needs to be and we’ve got enormous investments to make.  We got some good, hardheaded feedback from people like Doug Holtz-Eakin and others about how we have to do this more effectively — how can we measure the costs and benefits of infrastructure investment; how can we make sure that shovel ready actually means shovel ready; how can there be more effective coordination between federal, state, and local governments in order to maximize the benefits of our infrastructure spending.  And there was considerable amount of discussion about how we can leverage the private sector to boost our infrastructure spending.

Sounds as though Brooks’ information shows that the administration has lied all along.  But at the Times, that’s not news.

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To bad that Brooks and the rest of the NY Slime couldn’t take a long walk off a short pier.

hawkman on October 16, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Brooks couldn’t break his “off the record” promise, or no source would ever trust him again. His mistake was in going off the record in the first place. It’s one thing for sensitive national security briefings, but the only purpose here was to keep the stuff Obama didn’t want known to the public secret.

Not that most modern journalists have a clue, either – they are all just propagandists now. I don’t believe a word any of them reports until I see it verified independently.

The money, naturally, went to Obama’s union thug cronies, and to states so they wouldn’t have to make the tough budget choices right away (because that would mean layoffs, including unionized employees).

Hang ’em all, I say – after a fair and impartial trial, of course.

Adjoran on October 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Obama lied. David Brooks knew it was a lie for over a year and said nothing. What else are they lying about? Liars in perfectly creased pants are still liars. Neither can be trusted.

TN Mom on October 16, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Moving forward – any coverage in the Slimes Sunday?

I think not or buried in the tombs in the Sunday edition.

seesalrun on October 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM

better yet…….KneePad Republicans!!
PappyD61 on October 16, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Ah come on, he just didn’t want to lose his head position as a Commander in Obama’s Kneepad Brigade!

DSchoen on October 16, 2010 at 9:21 PM

What do you expect from a guy who has the audacity to say he believes his own bullshet?

Judging from the hyperpatisan way Obama “governs” with non-stop campaign style attacks on his political opponents and over half the country, you can easily conclude that Obama’s 2004 Democrat convention speech was total bullcrap.

Also, judging by the way Obama deliberately creates racial tension by pitting Blacks against Whites for his own political gain, you can easily conclude that his “speech on race relations” was total bullcrap. At the time I said it was nothing but a cynical attempt by Obama to get himself out of a precarious situation caused by his long, close friendship to an America hating Black racist, and that’s exactly what it was.

OxyCon on October 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM


ronsfi on October 16, 2010 at 9:28 PM

BTW, speaking of RINO Traitors to the Republic…..

…..don’t look now but the DOTUS has enlisted CONDI RICE to start the “OCTOBER SUPRISES” to try and buy back his “moderate” cred with the vaunted “Independents”.

Sorry Condi… were just a pro-choice Ruling Class token for the Bush Family and the GOP. You might be a great intellect, and a wonderful person but you’re just RULING CLASS all the way and all you clowns protect one another.

That is why before the 11/2 elections you could have ‘W’ or Bush 41 and speak well of OBAMA. Hells Bells,Laura Bush has pretty already said repeatedly that she thinks BHO is doing a fine job (yeah, if you’re a protected ruling class elitist, it’s all just Kennebunkport swell).

THESE PEOPLE…..IN BOTH PARTIES……is this what it felt like before the start of the Cromwell parties in Great Britain in the 1600’s? Is this what it felt like in France in the 1780’s?……starting to look like it more everyday as the gulf between our rulers and we the peons grows wider.

PappyD61 on October 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM

there’s a big “shovel ready” dung pile in the USA and we need millions of workers for a 10 minute job on Nov 2, 2010

maineconservative on October 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Thank you maineconservative…….THREAD WINNER!!!!

PappyD61 on October 16, 2010 at 9:36 PM

i’ll 2nd pappy’s vote for thread winner.

ted c on October 16, 2010 at 10:05 PM

I saw a facebook message asking for stories about how the stimulus and specially the infrastructure funding improved their life, it was asking for videos. original message came from Obama. fishing expedition? seems very lame if you have to go searching on facebook for stories to support your cause. i wonder how many will be made up and not real.

Ed Laskie on October 16, 2010 at 10:21 PM

Content Encoding Error
and cannot view the page because it uses an invalid form of compression and to contact the website owner. I’ve never had this happen before so I figure it is related. Thanks for any info about this.
silvernana on October 16, 2010 at 5:40 PM

FireFox won’t support a “java” script.
You might want to try “Flock”

DSchoen on October 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Wait a sec… the best part was when Brooks said ‘the thing that you have to love about this administration is that they can be honest and have debate…’ kinda what he said. And to that I call “BULL SH*T”.

He just got done admitting that they were lying through their teeth to get the stim passed… A*hole.

RalphyBoy on October 16, 2010 at 10:23 PM

Brooks… Lies of omission and lies of comission?

That seemed to be the motto of the entire press corpse during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Fallon on October 16, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Go to hell Brooks you worthless tool!

WisCon on October 16, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Brooks’ defense for sitting on this lie for a year: “It was obviously a lie, so I didn’t need to report that he admitted it was!”

And they think they are part of a respectable profession.

rwenger43 on October 16, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Brooks’ defense for sitting on this lie for a year: “It was obviously a lie, so I didn’t need to report that he admitted it was!”

And they think they are part of a respectable profession.

rwenger43 on October 16, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Sorry for my ignorance but am not a journalist:

Can an interview subject just say anything but just first say “off the record” and no one can print it? For example, Pres Obama can say “my doctors say I have lung cancer from all my smoking” and they can’t say a word about it? (No, I do not want him to have lung cancer; this is an example of a newsworthy thing that the President might want hushed up)

And…why would you, being interviewed, open yourself up like that to a reporter if you DIDN’T want it in print?

I don’t get it.

inviolet on October 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

FireFox won’t support a “java” script.
You might want to try “Flock”

DSchoen on October 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Thanks much!

silvernana on October 17, 2010 at 12:42 AM

This reminds me of the time my ex and I answered one of those “Black Angus” bulk meat purchase ads. The ad said something awesome like 250 lbs of beef… Steaks out the whazu… Ground beef… Lion cuts… and as a bonus… 25 lbs of Chicken, and 25 lbs of Pork Chops. All for like $220.00!!!

After a hard sell in the front, that did not include the awesome price per pound but more like double that… we slowly moved into the freezer and after another hard sell of about 5 minutes at 10 below zero we were told point blank…. “That deal doesn’t exist…”

That’s been the level of honesty and salesmanship by the Barry Show. Lying Marxist Bast*rd.

RalphyBoy on October 17, 2010 at 1:20 AM

Deep down even the far left knew that:
Shovel-ready jobs = snake oil.

philly_PA on October 17, 2010 at 8:03 AM

The backlash against the old media will be a sight to see. Some say we are already witnessing it with rating falling through the floor and financial losses that can not be sustained. I don’t think so, as I believe financial losses and shrinking audiences were inevitable due to the new media. I think the real backlash is going to be at the hands of the citizens and will include investigations and prosecutions. David Brooks on one human piece of waste product. His place of employment is full of human waste disguised as humans.

Keemo on October 17, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Even Biden must be amazed by Obama’s verbal incontinence at this point.

Sowell Disciple on October 17, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Deep down even the far left knew that:
Shovel-ready jobs = snake oil.

philly_PA on October 17, 2010 at 8:03 AM

Hey my PA brother (or sister) I just sent in my last absentee ballot for the general as a PA resident. I’ll be voting next year as an NC resident after I retire. How is it looking up there?

PS, no offense but I used to kid when I mailed it in years past that I was cancelling one of the ten votes some union guy in Philly was getting.

hawkdriver on October 17, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Brooks is just like every other so called news person. They want to be in the know, on the inside and they know more than anybody else on secret stuff kinda people. It must give them a momentary high like drugs do. The only problem with this scenario is that it has hurt the country and oh, yeah, he gets to be seen on TV shows and write a book.

Kissmygrits on October 17, 2010 at 9:13 AM

So, Brooks is praising Obama’s “honesty” for admitting the shovel-ready lie. How unexpectedly uncharacteristic:

“I remember distinctly an image of–we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” In the fall of 2006, two days after Obama’s The Audacity of Hope hit bookstores, Brooks published a glowing Times column. The headline was “Run, Barack, Run.”

This guy has become Olbermann-quality unwatchable.

Barnestormer on October 17, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Off the record remarks should remain forever off the record. I think the journalists allow it entirely too often, but that’s my 2 cents.

AnninCA on October 17, 2010 at 9:59 AM

The entire concept of ‘off the record’ needs to die a swift but excruciating death.

If you don’t want something to get out, DON’T SAY IT! Why is it important for a reporter to know something but ask them to do something you can’t do yourself: keep their mouth shut.

And on the other hand, if someone admits to fraud on a near trillion-dollar level, YOU REPORT IT! Congrats, Brooks…you’re now a co-conspirator.

James on October 17, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Obama’s presidency is shovel ready.

For 2012.

profitsbeard on October 17, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Next Brooks will reveal that Obama told him off the record that Obama:
– really is a Muslim at heart.
– really is a Socialist.
– never wrote his two autobiographical books; Ayers did it.
– got a total of 600 on his SAT scores.
– became a citizen of Indonesia when he was young and applied for college in California as a foreign student.
– helped write Reverend Wright’s sermons.
– says that Michelle’s nickname for him is “MC”; as in the Manchurian Candidate.
– shows him his Kenyan birth certificate.

albill on October 17, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Suppose for a moment that Brooks went public. Do you think that Barack would have ‘fessed up, given that Brooks doesn’t appear to have it on tape or video, or do you think Obama would have mounted a smear-smear campaign to discredit Brooks?

Assuming, of course, that Brooks is telling the truth.

unclesmrgol on October 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM

You make a good point, but Brooks didn’t have to continue characterizing the shovel-ready strategy pursued by this President as a legitimate one, even though he (Brooks) expressed his own misgivings about the Keynesian approach.

He was continuing to sing the praises of Obama to his readers as ‘brilliant’ and his stewardship of economic recovery as “the most realistic and reasonable in Washington’, even after he had learned straight from the horse’s mouth that the President himself regarded these suicidal levels of federal stimulus spending as an utterly worthless scam.

In doing so, he not only made it easier for this President to continue to promote what they both knew to be a lie, he simultaneously aided & abetted this President, his underlings in the Administration & all their shills in Congress & in the press, to paint the critics of his bogus shovel-ready strategy not only as as irredeemably ignorant but as fundamentally anti-American & very probably racist!

leilani on October 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Can we now stop referring to Brooks as a conservative – even if the word conservative is in quotes?

Queen0fCups on October 17, 2010 at 12:22 PM

“Senator, you have been in Washington for 30 years. Did you know there was ‘no such think as shovel ready jobs’ when you voted for the Stimulus package? The President’s excuse was he was too inexperienced, what is yours?”

and a follow-up question.

“Senator, in what other areas do you now think the President is too inexperienced to lead the country?”

barnone on October 17, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Gee, do you think that Brooks is getting ready to cast of his knee pads he uses when in the presence of “teh won?”

Webrider on October 17, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Brooks is a creep and no journalist. Let him produce his alleged notes from that year old interview (sure he kept notes, even though it was off the record). We could have Brooks again noting those great pants creases that Obama has and the notes might even show saliva marks where Brooks was drooling over being granted an audience with his BFF, Obama. Where was the alleged interview done? Sure we could get building logs to show whether or not Brooks and the President were in the same location at the same time. Or would he then claim it was a phone interview? In which case I’m sure there’d be wh phone logs to show the communication as well. I doubt that Obama ever disclosed the absence of shovel ready jobs a year ago especially to a supposed repub reporter. No matter how in the tank Obama might have thought Brooks was, no sane President would let that bombshell statement go to a member of the opposition party, rather than to say, the Boston Globe or Chicago Sun Times, or the San Fran Chronicle, which would die rather than disclose that information.

eaglewingz08 on October 17, 2010 at 1:29 PM

@barnone on October 17, 2010 at 12:39 PM.

Oooh, perfect. I wonder if (fingers crossed) we get to 51, the new Senate Ethics committee will see fit to grill their Democratic colleagues in a full televised hearing on how it was they chose to pass a massive spending bill which even its primary author and their party’s leader now concedes was a reckless & wasteful scam?

Did POTUS also ever tell any of those Dems when he was cutting all those sweetheart deals in the backroom to buy their votes on this bill that the whole thing was a con job?

What did Dem Senators & Reps know & when did they know it?

Cuz enquiring minds not only want to know, these days the nation’s taxpayers are inclined to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law as well.

leilani on October 17, 2010 at 1:37 PM

But is this really a scoop? According to Mickey Kaus, Jon Alter published this same quote on page 85 of his book which came out last May.

DubiousD on October 17, 2010 at 3:46 PM


Just another old lie from the left. The only “shovel-ready jobs” are inside a Gulag, moving dirt around to build yet another water channel between two Siberian rivers…

Rookie on October 17, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Obama lied while the economy died.

Fred 2 on October 17, 2010 at 10:28 PM

And then Brooks got off his knees and Obama zipped up his trousers.

drjohn on October 18, 2010 at 5:21 PM