Barack Obama

Obama Plagiarizes Own Debate Promises From 2008


I've never seen him look so sour

Did you find yourself thinking, while watching last night's presidential debate, that some of Barack Obama's talking points sounded eerily familiar? That's maybe because they were.

Check out some of the similarities between President Obama's first 2012 debate performance, and candidate Obama's initial 2008 effort:


2012: I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States.

2008: Let's just be clear. What I do is I close corporate loopholes, stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas so that we're giving tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States.


2012: And so the question here tonight is not where we've been but where we're going. Governor Romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy, and roll back regulations that we'll be better off. […]

Are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess, or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says, America does best when the middle class does best? And I'm looking forward to having that debate.

2008: Now, we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down.

It hasn't worked. And I think that the fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake. That's why I'm running for president, and that's what I hope we're going to be talking about tonight.


2012: Now, I've identified areas where we can, right away, make a change that I believe would actually help the economy. The—the oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. Basically, they get deductions that those small businesses that Governor Romney refers to, they don't get. Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money when they're making money every time you go to the pump? Why wouldn't we want to eliminate that?

2008: And if we want to talk about oil company profits, under your tax plan, John—this is undeniable—oil companies would get an additional $4 billion in tax breaks. Now, look, we all would love to lower taxes on everybody. But here's the problem: If we are giving them to oil companies, then that means that there are those who are not going to be getting them.


2012: [W]e've got to boost American energy production. And oil and natural gas production are higher than they've been in years. But I also believe that we've got to look at the energy source of the future, like wind and solar and biofuels, and make those investments.

2008: We have to have energy independence, so I've put forward a plan to make sure that, in 10 years'time, we have freed ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil by increasing production at home, but most importantly by starting to invest in alternative energy, solar, wind, biodiesel, making sure that we're developing the fuel-efficient cars of the future right here in the United States[.]


Previously at Reason: The 6 Biggest Debate Promises Obama Failed to Keep.

NEXT: General Says Criticizing Warplane's Faults Killed His Career

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  1. Did he promise Hope and Change from the failed policies of the past eight years?

  2. So he’s saying he’s going to do those things that he promised to do four years ago. Which is a tacit admission that he either can’t get them done or has no intention of getting them done. Or he’s just a fucking lazy moron who can’t come up with anything new. Or he thinks his fan base is so bonecrushingly stupid that they won’t notice he’s promising the same shit over again (and they are that stupid).

    Or all of the above. I think it’s that one.

    1. The man only had four years to turn around Bush. We need to elect him again so he can fulfill is legacy…

      *said with Gauntlet fist raised into the air with explosions in the background*

    2. You don’t get it. The question is not “where we’ve been” (after 4 years of an Obama presidency), but where we’re going! Give him the opportunity, and he’s totes gonna make good on all these promises.

      1. I already knew Obamatrons were stupid, but today’s reactions, with their epic delusion, lurid fantasies, pure denial, and salty ham tears, really drove home just how fucking jarringly, stunningly dumb they are. It’s kind of scary, since, as I said in another thread: they walk among us.

        1. Dude, the Obama fluffers are just upset that now they have work a little more to keep him camera-ready.

        2. Oh yeah. Lots of “it’s a rope-a-dope strategy!” “It was just style over substance!” “Romney’s lies will be exposed!” “Just wait until next time!”

        3. It’s starting to sound a little like Saturday morning cartoons.

          “You haven’t won, Romtimus Prime! When the next phase of our plan is complete, you will be destroyed!”

          “Romtimus! Megalomaniatron, Tardscream, and the other Decepticrats are getting away! Shouldn’t we follow them?”

          “Let them go, Hot Ryan. If they ever try to attack Earth again, we’ll be there to defeat them. Romneybots, roll out!”

          1. You misspelled “Tardshriek”.

      2. You don’t get it. The question is not “where we’ve been” (after 4 years of an Obama presidency), but where we’re going!

        FORWARD, comrade!

    3. Or he’s just a fucking lazy moron who can’t come up with anything new.

      I’m going with this one. Obama does not want the job of POTUS, just the title and toys. The man has never had a job for which he was held accountable before; kinda tough to expect him to be able to that at 50.

    4. If only the Democrats had controlled both houses of Congress, all these things would have happened.

  3. “You’d probably HOPEd I’d CHANGE my rhetoric by now…”

  4. The last few weeks, or months, Obama has consistently sounded like a guy who has not been President already for the past few years.

    Even if his rhetoric wasn’t just a regurgitation of 2008, it’s still ludicrous for a President who has seen middle class incomes drop 7% in real terms, on his watch, and continue to drop, to say, “I have a plan for the middle class!”

    1. But he does have a plan for the middle class: eliminate it. You can’t “fundamentally transform the United States” with a large bourgeois middle class. You have to have a bi-polar society with a few super rich and a large proletariat class that can be easily demagogued before you can create a perfect worker’s paradise.

      1. yup – there is that statement that the left steadfastly ignores: fundamentally transform. What the hell did they think that meant when applied to the place that by most metrics is #1?

  5. Mr. Obama, exactly what are these “tax breaks” for companies that move jobs overseas?

    Does Exxon Mobile need to make anymore money? As a shareholder, I say HELL YES. I’m sure that the Ohio Teachers Pension Plan, who has a large investment in the same company, would agree.

    1. as best I can tell, there are some deductions for moving though I don’t know if the tax code differentiates between moving across town, across country, or around the globe.

      1. In other words – you get to deduct the cost of an employee whether he works in the US or abroad.

    2. Obviously, Obama thinks a corporation is a person.

      Otherwise he might recognize that, if companies like ExxonMobil go bust, those teachers eat dog food when they retire.

  6. I feel bad for Matt that he had to pay that much attention.


  8. Obama’s debate notepad. “JIM DO SOMETHING!!! FUCK”

  9. So while there were two Romneys there was only one Obama. I haz a confuse.

    1. I lost it at Bert and Ernie.

      1. I lost it at the Gangnam dance at 1:54.

    2. RFLMAO! Thanks for that, that is classic.

  10. If you think THAT’S bad plagiarism, just wait until the Vice-Presidential debates…

  11. Fucking. Empty. Suit.

    1. Say it again! Say it again I dare you!

  12. Fucking. Empty. Suit.

  13. Quick… get that man a teleprompter!

  14. So, politicians don’t deliver on their promises? Color me shocked!

  15. Look, the country was in such bad shape after Bush that it’s going to take some time to fix it. Even 4 more years might not be enough. Maybe Obama will need to be elected 2 or 3 or 7 more times. Eventually he will get us out of this hole, though. And it’s not like anyone else could do it faster.

  16. One thing is for sure, he is totally lost without his precious teleprompter, and NO I am no Romney fan, I think they both suck.

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