In the words of my friend Jim Geraghty of National Review, every single Obama statement has an expiration date.
2008: The Export Import Bank is “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
“But for some reason, right now the House Republicans have decided that we shouldn’t do this, which means that when American companies go overseas and they’re trying to close a sale on selling Boeing planes, for example, or a GE turbine or some other American product that has all kinds of subcontractors behind it and is creating all kinds of jobs and all of sorts of small businesses depend on that sale, and that American company’s going up against a German company or a Chinese company, and the Chinese and the American — the German company are providing financing and the American company isn’t, we may lose that sale,” Obama argued.
“Why — when did that become something that Republicans opposed? It’d be like me having a car dealership for Ford, and the Toyota dealership offers somebody financing and I don’t. We will lose business, and we’ll lose jobs if we don’t pass it,” Obama continued.
I could ask the same question in reverse. “Why, uhhhh, when did that become something that President Obama supported?” Indeed, some conservatives oppose it for some reason. What could that reason be? It could be the exact reason Obama claimed to object to it in 2008.
I’m genuinely curious about something like this. There are so very many incidents like this—shameless, complete 180s, most of which completely disregard the fact he ever held another position. And, now such declarations are separated by so much more time. Do you think he remembers saying this in 2008? Or, was it just one of the thousand reasonable sounding positions Favs wrote down in a giant list for him, ready to be called forth flanked by a phalanx of straw men at any moment. Do you think he has any idea what his own position on Ex-Im Bank is beyond position-that-plausibly-allows-mockery-of-slim-majority-of-Republicans-on-national-stage?
Lesser figures— you know, like Republicans running for state senate and stuff—are required to know and adhere to various policy positions and explain when they don’t. A spokesperson at the White House has, at least, had to clarify their change in position once on this, thanks to the Washington Post. It’s just a restatement of the new position without explaining the change beyond, “because recession.” His 2008 remarks came about a week after the initial crash of the markets and implosion of banking that led to TARP in October. At that time, eliminating the Ex-Im’s “corporate welfare,” as he himself termed it, was still part of his vision for “Reforming Washington.”
Since the President took office, the Ex-Im bank has served an important role in helping firms access financing when private sources of finance dried up as a result of the recession in the beginning of the administration. Since then, the Ex-Im bank has been a vital source for these firms, and is key to helping us achieve our export goals and supporting thousands of businesses across the country large and small. We urge Congress to act to reauthorize the bank
When asked by the Post, the White House added, “Reagan did it.” (paraphrased)