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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Obama Earns Rare Upside-Down Pinocchio From Washington Post's The Fact Checker

By Susan Duclos

The Washington Post's The Fact Checker explains that an upside-down Pinocchio is rarely given and signifies "a major-league flip-flop," and gives one to Barack Obama for public statements, one from 2006 and one from 2013.

The statements:

“I think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult, and budgets in this town are always difficult.”
— President Obama, news conference, Jan. 14, 2013
 “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
— Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

 The Pinocchio Test

This is why many Americans hate politics.

The young senator from Illinois presumably did not want to buck the rest of his party establishment in voting for increasing the debt limit — not when there were just enough Republicans willing to support a president from their own party. But Obama would be on much more solid ground today if he had given a speech back in 2006 that sounded more like his news conference in 2013.

 For making an argument that the president now decries as politics, he earns the upside-down Pinocchio, signifying a major-league flip-flop. (We have rarely given this ruling, but are eager for other examples from readers.)

Read the whole thing for the details of their ruling and some other interesting flip-flopping quotes from Obama.