Thursday, July 23, 2009

J.P. Freire: ‘I Can’t Remember Anyone Saying’ The Bear Market Was Obama’s Fault


Today, ThinkProgress Editor-in-Chief Faiz Shakir appeared on MSNBC opposite the Washington Examiner’s J.P. Freire to discuss President Obama’s handling of the economy. During the segment, Faiz brought up the fact that many conservative pundits have a habit of blaming stock market downturns on President Obama, a charge which Friere said was “made up”:

FAIZ: Remember back in October, November, December, January of this year, when Karl Rove and so many Republican pundits were going on TV and saying the market is failing because of President Obama? That the market was reacting because President Obama was now in office? What happened to that? Have their memories just completely been forgotten here?

FREIRE: I think that’s a brilliant strawman you made up. I can’t remember anyone saying that.

FAIZ: Are you kidding me?

The set reacted with uproarious laughter to Friere’s convenient memory loss. “I can’t believe JP doesn’t remember that,” said MSBNC’s Tamron Hall. “People were tracking the stock market and how many days Obama had been in office and comparing the two.” Co-host David Shuster chided Freire’s “selective amnesia.” Watch it:

For J.P.’s benefit, here’s a reminder of some right-wing rhetoric regarding Obama and the stock market:

KARL ROVE: “How much of it is the market saying, ‘You know what? The economy is not in a good place and we’re looking at the future, and how much confidence should we have in the team that’s coming to make the economy better?’” [Fox News, 11/20/08]

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Yesterday the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The dismaying message here is that President Obama’s policies have become part of the economy’s problem.” [3/9/09]

LOU DOBBS: “[T]he stock market has lost 20 percent since this president was sworn in. He has his own bear market. That’s the definition of a bear market, a 20 percent decline. This is now the Obama bear market.” [CNN, 3/9/09]

SEAN HANNITY: “Obama, since he’s elected, has tanked the markets.” [Fox News, 3/10/09]

A slew of Fox News pundits, in fact, had blamed stock market downturns on Obama. Today, the Dow closed above 9,000 for the first time since early January. We’re eagerly awaiting conservative proclamations of the Obama bull market. The GOP’s more recent efforts to blame job losses on Obama ring as hollow as the “Obama bear market” attacks did.

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