When it was reported that a Canadian company built the shells of the buses commissioned by the Secret Service and inaugurated on President Obama’s bus tour of the Midwest, the right-wing media saw an opening to attack the president.
Fox News and Fox Nation eagerly repeated the story, as did The Blaze. NewsBusters asked if Obama was “saving or creating manufacturing jobs... in Canada.” National Review Online snarked, “Well, maybe Canada is one of his 57 states?” Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey declared that “buying two buses from a Canadian company while promising to create jobs in the US is the worst kind of optics imaginable.” Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump joined in the attack.
Missing from all of this Obama-bashing: any curiosity about why the Secret Service would use Canadian-built bus shells for the two vehicles it purchased, which were bought and outfitted to Secret Service specifications by an American company. (One of the buses will be provided to the Republican presidential nominee for campaigning during the 2012 election.)
The Los Angeles Times reported that the buses have “been in the works for years” and that:
When the Secret Service decided to order custom-made buses, it wanted a particular model only available from Quebec-based manufacturer Prevost, said Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the agency.
"The vehicle had to support the weight of security and communication equipment that we had," Donovan said in an interview. "Our understanding was that that was the only model that could do it."
The Times also noted that President Bush rode on a bus from the same Canadian company for a 2004 campaign tour.
So it appears the Secret Service had a good reason for going with a Canadian-built bus, and that Obama is not the first president to have used buses from the same company. Just don’t expect to hear about that from the right-wing media.