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In our opinion: Stop misrepresenting positions to score cheap political points

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  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 24, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    It is a sad day indeed when the LDS-owned newspaper has to print an editorial calling for both candidates to "Stop Misrepresenting Positions" when one of those candidates is an LDS member!

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 24, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    "Both sides do this"... that is true.

    But only one of the candidates is an LDS member, an ex-bishop and an ex-stake president. I don't recall ever hearing anything at church saying it's okay to suspend your morals if others around you suspend theirs. But that seems to be the argument most are making here when they point out the Democratic party taking things out of context, etc.

    I, for one, think Mitt has shown his true colors and I am ashamed of him.

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    July 22, 2012 1:04 a.m.

    Nice sentiment, but Obama's speech was poorly written, and the delivery was poor. It was easy to take it out of context. Besides, he was trying to justify a tax increase, which is something ill-advised when running for re-election. The last time a presidential candidate said that we would raise taxes when running only won his home state and DC. Not a well-advised speech at all.

    Yes, not a high percentage of people earn above 250,000 per year. But he who has the gold makes the rules. Something we all have to live with.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    Re: "It's pretty clear in the broader context that's the president's not claiming to have built Papa John's Pizza."

    It's also pretty clear that the President believes that people only succeed in life because of government redistribution of wealth.

    Whether you're willing to give him the more charitable interpretation of his inarguably ambiguous statement, or not, the liberal talking point he was trying to make is that successful people -- who have already paid their fair share, and more, of the taxes that bought the roads and bridges and teachers he cites -- are now in debt to the government for even MORE of their hard-earned success, to finance Democrats' deranged vote-buying scams.

    Either context is un-American. Both are scary.

  • LRB NY, NY
    July 21, 2012 7:28 p.m.

    A newspaper that puts both sides' quotes into context! Very impressive. And all too rare. Well done.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    July 21, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    Both sides, unfortunately, do this. Politics is a dirty game played for high stakes. From as far back as Lee Atwater, and later Karl Rove, the Republicans have becomes masters at this technique of character assassination and deceit. So if the Democrats are catching up, then who is really to blame for the mess our political landscape has become?

    Romney and his surrogates call Obama "unAmerican" and "foreign"; Obama calls Romney a liar and a cheat. So what? One side hopes the other side will collapse while the American public just gets more frustrated. However, it is wise to remember to the winner goes the spoils. In this case, power and money until the next election cycle.

    If Romney can't deliver on his promises, will he be held to the same standard and subject to equal vilification as our current President? Or will Republican strategists come up with another lame excuse like they did to cover for the Bush II administrations failings.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 21, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    re:Redstatepride

    Chaffetz (R-UT) Requested $95 Million In Stimulus Money. All of Utah’s Republicans in Congress voted against the Stimulus and all of them then used congressional stationary to nab stimulus cash for the state. Sen. Hatch, Reps. Bishop and Chaffetz sent the Interior Department a letter on behalf of the Provo River Water Users Association seeking $95 million in funds.

    Eric Cantor (R-VA) Held A Job Fair Where Nearly Half The 30 Organizations Received Stimulus Funds; Cantor Also Supported Using Stimulus Funds To Build A Washington To Richmond Rail.

    Rep. Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) Took Credit For $35 Million In Stimulus Highway Funds

    Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) Issued Pres Releases Bragging About Bringing Stimulus Jobs To His District

    Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) Claimed Credit For Stimulus Grants In His District.

    Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Claimed Credit For Highway Stimulus Funds He Voted Against.

    Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) Praised $127.5 million in Stimulus Funds to Sacramento As a Solution To “Energy, Environmental and National Security Issues.”

    Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) Hands Out Giant Stimulus Check In Georgia.

    Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Praised Stimulus Funding For Local Courthouse.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 21, 2012 4:13 p.m.

    @atl134 .. in inflation adjusted dollars the Golden Gate Bridge cost 530 million dollars. So if we spent 40 billion then according to my calculations we could have built 80 bridges equivalent to the Golden Gate Bridge. How many did we build? Zero point zero. I don't know if we even built a bridge across a ditch. In fact, the only thing I know of that was "built" was about half a million signs saying "this project brought to you by the American Reinvestment Act" or whatever those silly orange signs said.
    @Eric Samuelson- don't listen to the rhetoric- look at the policy and as I pointed out before- the policy doesn't involve any investment in infrastructure. The policy is about investing in dependency.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 21, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    Let's not play games here...
    Mitt Romney is now beholden to more people than we can count. Must we list them all?
    Just wait and see what will occur, what he must do, and to whom he must cater to should he become President.
    I think a certain Supreme Court decision should explain this to you.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    July 21, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    Why are we viewing MSNBC and the Romney campaign as equivalents? One is part of a profit making organization beholden to its stockholders. The other is run directly by the candidate and his staff. They are not the same thing.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 21, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    The problem with is that truth and reality are mostly pretty boring. They make for lousy TV/video and worse soundbites.

    Lying and misrepresentation by contrast are an endless supply of gaffes and stupidities that play well on TV or YouTube and make for awesome bumper stickers as well.

    I wonder which one the candidates will go with?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 21, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    The pronoun "that" is singular. Therefore when the president used the word "that" its antecedent is the person's business that he built (singular). If, as you said, the president's antecedent had been "the roads, bridges, and unbelievable American system" then the pronoun word should have been "those." So, unless Obama doesn't know the difference between "that" and "those" Romney is perfectly right in criticizing what Pres. Obama said. And my high school English teacher would be so proud of me!

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Fair enough. Claims of being "self-made" and "I put myself through college," etc. are incredibly inaccurate and the height of ingratitude.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    July 21, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    Big thumbs up to the Deseret News editorial board for being willing to call out the Republicans on this.

    If you listen to the entire speech, compare it to other speeches he's given on the same topic, and compare it to what he's written in his books, it is indisputable that Obama's point was that successful entrepreneurs couldn't be successful without the help of the society and the government. Romney doesn't dispute Obama's actual point. In fact, he's been hijacking it this last week, juxtaposing the reasonableness of the position that Obama has been saying all along with the way the right-wing has been painting Obama this week.

    The context of this is Obama's belief that the government needs more tax revenue, and that it is fair and necessary for the people who have benefited the most from our society to pay a little bit more in taxes.

    If Romney disagrees with Obama's actual point about the government needing more revenue and who ought to pony up, then he should specifically say what he'd do to balance the budget.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    If preserving your ideology matters more to you than thinking hard about real-world, objective, testable evidence, then this editorial isn't going to make a dent in your thinking.

    If you're given a choice between a comforting lie that supports your belief, and a painful truth that reveals your belief to be false, which do you choose?

    If there were a way to rigorously test your beliefs to find out if they were true or false, would you? Would you make the effort to see if what you think is true really is?

    Or would you reject the objective tests in order to preserve your beliefs?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 21, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    From the same speech:    

    "its central idea is the idea that in this country, if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to take responsibility, you can make it if you try.  That you can find a job that supports a family and find a home you can make your own; that you won’t go bankrupt when you get sick.  That maybe you can take a little vacation with your family once in a while..to spend with those you love...That your kids can get a great education, and if they’re willing to work hard, then they can achieve things that you wouldn’t have even imagined achieving.  And then you can maybe retire with some dignity and some respect, and be part of a community and give something back. 

    That’s the idea of America.  It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from.  It doesn’t matter what
    your last name is.  You can live out the American Dream.  That’s what binds us all together."

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    July 21, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    re: one old man 9:02 a.m. July 21, 2012

    Confucius once said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

    The 1st two steps IMO in the journey are; 1) Stop voting for Ivy Leaguers, & 2) End the Fed

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    July 21, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    In other words, it would be very nice if political advertising stopped being political advertising.
    I would love it if the focus on both sides was on policy. That isn't the case, and never has been, at least since the days when Jefferson was being called an atheist who had children by one of his slaves, and Adams was accused of high treason for supporting the Jay treaty.
    Politics is rough business. The best approach is to have some humor about it, laugh at the human folly displayed on all sides, and then carefully sort out where they stand on policy.

  • Soul Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    If you've got a business, you didn't build that [i.e the roads, bridges, and unbelievable American system.] Somebody else made that happen."

    OR

    If you've got a business, you didn't build that [i.e your small business.] Somebody else made that happen."

    I think BO is correct, he did not become a millionaire community organizer on his own, someone else made that happen.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    Very poor comparison DNews in one case MSNBC tried and did misrepresent the intent of the speaker. In the case of Mr. Obama his intent was to show that private enterprise builders were not "private" or "independent", but were the benefactors of government supported others. Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Romney and others were correct in their description of the intent and the context your article provides clearly shows this. Here is the question from where did the revenues come to build the roads, the"Hoover Dams", bridges, the support for broad based public education? How would this President answer this question, how would the editorial writer answer the question, how would the founder of Papa John's or Mitt Romney answer the question. And, how you and I answer this question and which answerers are in the majority come November will determine whether liberty prevails or tyranny triumphs and ends for now and perhaps the future the American "myth" on which the dreams of the modern world were built and sustained.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 21, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Agree. Good points.

    Re:Brentbot
    Ahh come'on.
    One of the first ads Romney aired was a cut and paste job.

    The ad, which Romey played during the primaries last year, Obama is heard saying "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose."
    But when Mr. Obama made that statement, he was actually quoting an aide to John McCain, his 2008 rival for the presidency.
    "Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," Mr. Obama said.

    In an email to Politico, the Romney camp said it used the out-of-context quote "intentionally."

    Romney also wrote a book falsely accusing Obama of apologizing for America, when it could be easily said Obama touted America's strengths.

    It's too bad we voters allow this crap and just feed into what has become a colossal waste of money called a presidential campaign.

  • Tulip West Jordan, UT
    July 21, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    This type of rhetoric is never going to end. The American people need to do their own homework and come to their own conclusions. For me, it's mostly about the economy. President O'bama may have inherited a crisis but his policies have only made it worse. I started with a small company in 2008 that had 70 employees. We are down to 25 with more cuts coming. Do I believe Romney can turn it around? Don't know. But I do know O'bama can't. America has surely seen better days regarding growth and surplus. How about we go back to those policies!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 21, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    The editorial writers are putting words in Obama's mouth. You logic just doesn't add up. Inserting words into his qoute to support your position is total supposition and reminds me of the MSNBC freaks and their rhetorical stretches and lies. Yes the government has its place and does some good things in the past and will again in the future, the problem is that Obama believes that the government is the be all and end all. Your editorial sounds like the late Rodney King when he said, "can't we all just get along?".

    I'm going to use my own rhetorical stretch when I quote Revelations 3:16-"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
    The editorial writers need to quit trying to hog the middle of the road.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 21, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    Misrepresentation. Lies. Money. Power. More Power.

    Isn't that what politics is all about?

    The big question is how can that be changed?

  • E & EE PROVO, UT
    July 21, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    If you read the entire context around the quote in question it is very obvious that Obama's critics are right: he believes that business owners can take little to no credit for any of their success. Apparently he forgets that business owners pay taxes and therefore did build "that".

    To Baron Scarpia: anyone who has studied history and economics has found that business (and the economy) has done best when government gets out of the way. You're right that government has had a major hand in business for a long time. That hand has been mostly destructive and counter productive. If you ever get a chance, read "Free to Choose" by Milton Friedman and you'll see just how much better life would be if government stayed out of the way more.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 21, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    BrentBot,
    Did you miss the part of the editorial where they showed Republicans lying about Obama?

    Here's a few quick examples of conservative political lies repeated often to sway public opinion:

    Obama's birth certificate (surprise! he's American!)
    Suggesting Obama is a Muslim (He just goes to a Christian church to throw everyone off)
    Accusing Obama of being a Communist (please read about what Communism actually is)
    Government takeover of healthcare
    Government getting between you and your doctor
    Obama will take your guns (I'll bet you still have them)
    Obama hates America
    Obama is waging class warfare
    Obama hates success (he's a self-made millionaire)
    Karl Rove's political tactics
    Michelle Bachmann's frequent erroneous accusations
    Just about anything Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh say
    Swift Boat Veteran campaign in 2004 (lying helped turn an election in that one)

    Please, feel free to make a similar list of liberal political lies. They're out there. Between the two of us we can probably show just how ruined our political dialogue is in America.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    Great editorial that is much needed.

    @red state pride
    Only about 40 billion of it was allocated for infrastructure. The Dems wanted 80 billion but Republicans forced cuts or else they'd just filibuster it (at the tiem there were 41 Republicans).

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    It is not surprising that "Professor Obama", who taught a class at the University of Chicago on the Saul Alinsky Method, employs the Saul Alinsky method. This tactic says "repeat a lie frequently enough, and be out with it first, and the majority of the people will believe you"

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 21, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    Great editorial, and very balanced. But from some of the posts already appearing here, you can tell it isn't sinking in with a lot of people. The sooner that each of us figures out that our own preferred political party lies compulsively to win public favor and elections, the sooner we can demand that this obnoxious cherry-picking of quotes stop.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 21, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    “When we invested in the Hoover Dam or the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Internet, sending a man to the moon — all those things benefited everybody. And so that’s the vision that I want to carry forward.”- President Obama from the same speech

    “You will never see another federal dam.” - Deanna Archuleta, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior in a speech to an environmentalist group in Nevada

    I don't think this man is truly interested in "infrastructure". After half a trillion spent on "shovel-ready" projects exactly what do we have to show for it?
    Let's also consider how much business succeeds in America in spite of things someone else built e.g. - a convoluted mess of a tax code, regulations for days etc etc

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 21, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    Context gets removed so often when statements are repeated that I seldom believe the message anymore.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    Also, what is this newpaper's position about releasing tax returns. That would be an important opinion.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    July 21, 2012 6:59 a.m.

    The biggest myth I see coming from GOP rhetoric in recent years is that government is evil.

    Anyone who has studied business knows that government has always had a major hand in entrepreneurship and business development. From public education to research and development to the roads, bridges, and Internet connections, government has built the foundation of business and economic prosperity. Indeed, had the government NOT built the Internet and had Al Gore NOT sponsored legislation in 1992 allowing businesses to operate on the Internet, you'd not have Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay today.

    The GOP may be the political party for business, but it does a disservice to its core constituents by promoting the idea that government is evil. Yes, government has waste, but to literally proclaim that ALL government regulation and investment in future technology and projects are wasteful simply denies what made America the greatest nation on earth.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Yes, fire Karl Rove.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    July 21, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    I think it is pretty clear what Obama meant. Any body who runs a business knows that Gov. is out there daily trying to shut you down.

  • USA Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2012 5:59 a.m.

    Well said.