Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump is why people don’t trust politicians, says the man once responsible for PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year.”

“We have gone through a presidency that disregarded a whole host of basic institutional norms, expectations we had for a president that had been observed by Republicans and Democrats previously,” former President Barack Obama told CBS News’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes.”

“And maybe most importantly, and most disconcertingly, what we’ve seen is what some people call truth decay, something that’s been accelerated by outgoing President Trump, the sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn’t even matter,” said Obama.

Obama’s claim that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” under Obamacare was named “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by the political “fact-checking” site PolitiFact.

For all of these reasons, PolitiFact has named ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,’ the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice.

As PolitiFact explained:

For four of the past five years, PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year has revolved around the health care law, which has been subject to more erroneous attacks than any other piece of legislation PolitiFact has fact-checked.

Obama’s ideas on health care were first offered as general outlines then grew into specific legislation over the course of his presidency. Yet Obama never adjusted his rhetoric to give people a more accurate sense of the law’s real-world repercussions, even as fact-checkers flagged his statements as exaggerated at best.

Instead, he fought back against inaccurate attacks with his own oversimplifications, which he repeated even as it became clear his promise was too sweeping.

And while Obama claims it is Trump who introduced “truth decay” to the presidency, at the time PolitiFact noted nearly half of Americans viewed Obama as dishonest, writing:

A Pew Research/USA Today poll conducted Dec. 3-8 found the percentage of people viewing Obama as “not trustworthy” has risen 15 points over the course of the year, from 30 percent to 45 percent.

Political prognosticator Larry Sabato told USA Today that Obama had his work cut out for him if he wanted to rebuild public trust.

“A whole series of presidents developed credibility gaps, because people didn’t trust what they were saying anymore. And that’s Obama’s real problem,” he said. “Once you lose the trust of a substantial part of the American public, how do you get it back?”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com.


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