Obama Ratings Sink As Trustworthiness Comes Into Question
by Alan Greenblatt
November 02, 2013 8:00 AM
Barack Obama has been subjected to as many personal attacks as any modern president.
Terrorist. Traitor. Hater of America. Secret Muslim.
Unusually for a politician, however, the one thing he hasn't been called much is a liar, except by his most adamant critics.
That's all changed now. Obama is being widely called out for having claimed, repeatedly, that under the Affordable Care Act, people who liked their health insurance plans could keep them.
This was a key selling point. Yet it has turned out not to be true for everyone in the individual insurance market. There have been a number of reports that personnel in the White House knew this would be the case.
That leaves Obama in a terrible position — having Americans trying to decide whether he lied intentionally, or wasn't well informed enough to tell the truth.
It's a common presidential predicament, but it never looks good when a president's aides rush to defend him from accusations of lying by saying he was unaware of all the circumstances.
"When you've got a choice between being duplicitous or out of touch, out of touch is probably better, but it's a bad choice for presidents," says Mary Stuckey, a Georgia State University professor who has written several books about presidential rhetoric.
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