Obama “Forward” video mischaracterizes Obama’s first three years in office

“The Obama 2012 campaign released it’s official campaign kick-off video – “Forward” –  this morning on YouTube.

In the 7:16 minute video, the Obama campaign re-imagines The President’s last three years in office using half truths and creative editing to paint a  rosy picture of America’s economic decline under Obama.

The video sets the stage for Obama’s hero-like entry by recalling the economic recession of 2008 with daunting music, a plunging red timeline and grainy pictures of Obama’s predecessor, then-President George W. Bush in the background. But then, just when Americans had lost all hope, Obama saves the day (enter Obama to music that sounds like it was ripped straight from The Dark Knight). 

Deconstructing the entire narrative of the well-crafted video would take hours, so here are a few of the major claims the video makes and the facts the video conveniently ignores.

Claims: The President’s “auto rescue” “saved 1.1 million jobs.”

Reality: Attempting to call rebrand the auto bailout as an auto rescue is a disigenous attempt  to sidestep the possibility that few to no jobs would have been lost had the government let the free market regulate itself. The incredibly long video also fails to mention bailouts of GM, Chrysler and other companies cost US taxpayers $23.6 billion.


Claim: 4.1 new private sector jobs have been created under Obama.

Reality: That number is referring to the number of of new private sector jobs created since February 2010. A closer look at the jobs numbers since Obama took office shows that even with the 4.1 million private sector jobs that private businesses created in the last two years, private businesses would need to create an additional 5.2 million jobs to go backward to the total number of jobs on the market in January 2008 before Obama was elected.


Claim: Obama took on the Wall Street banks “fighting for tough new reforms to make sure they never again wreck our economy.”

Reality: This attempt by the Obama campaign to pander to supporters of Occupy Wall Street is referring to the 2010 Dodd-Frank bill, which accomplished neither of the Obama’s videos claims. In fact, the “Great Wallstreet Cashout” as coined by The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney only helped “the government officials who wrote and implemented the law before cashing out as lobbyists or consultants for Wall Street, hedge funds and big banks.

Claim: By 2016 32 million more Americans will finally have health coverage.

Reality: Putting aside the fact that Obama’s health care reform legislation could be overturned by the Supreme Court this June, Obama’s video disregards the years worth of facts and figures that show the majority of uninsured Americans could have purchased insurance if they wanted to before Obamacare was passed. They either chose not to or could not afford to.

And Obamacare doesn’t even solve these issues. Americans who don’t want to purchase healthcare insurance can choose to pay a fine rather than opt into Obama’s system. Furthermore, Obamacare does nothing to control the rising costs of health care and healthcare insurance.

The video then goes on to launch an attack on Republican obstruction of every policy Obama has ever tried to pass – a comical pivot from Obama’s many policy “accomplishments” in the first section. (If Republicans “just said no” to everything Obama proposed, how on earth did Obama get anything done?!). What’s his party’s excuse for not passing a federal budget in the Democratic held Senate for the third year in a row?

And it wouldn’t be a campaign video if Obama didn’t remind viewers that he was personally responsible for killing Osama Bin Laden!

The Obama video concludes with a clip of Obama saying everyone he believes the country “succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules.” But after watching the video, it’s clear that what the Obama campaign really means is that the President will only agree the country is succeeding if Americans – and Republicans specifically – agree to play by his rules.