During his presidency, Barack Obama was able to claim such whoppers as “If you like your doctor, you can keep him.”
In his post-presidency, the streak continued with his claim to a “scandal-free” administration.
Now, in a rare show of support for his former vice president’s White House bid, the 44th president is trotting out his latest historical revisionism.
Presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden got an assist from Obama in a new campaign video attacking incumbent President Donald Trump.
The 15-minute video, which was posted online Thursday, purported to show the dissociative duo’s first in-person meeting since the coronavirus outbreak began.
It marked the desperate Biden campaign’s latest effort to get the former president more involved as they try to rebuild Obama’s winning coalition while banking on amnesiac voters’ nostalgic recollections of the relatively stable Obama years.
Of course, much of the acrimony and instability in the intervening years has been wrought by Trump’s opponents for the express purpose of undermining him and damaging his political prospects.
Notwithstanding, the pair saw an opportunity to draw comparisons between their administration and Trump’s response to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Mainstream media have long resisted such a comparison to this point since it underscores the disproportionate panic-mongering that wrecked one of the most robust economies in US history last March.
But with virus fatigue, paired with ongoing race riots, appearing to wear on Trump’s approval rating, the Fake News now has the all-clear to spin away.
The video appeared to be a spoof of the famous “Frost + Nixon” interviews in which the Watergate president reflected on his tenure in office. However, in this case both participants fittingly assumed the Nixon role.
The two men are shown wearing masks while arriving at an office, then sitting down well apart from each other to observe social distancing for an unmasked chat.
“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying, ‘It’s not my responsibility, I take no responsibility’?” Biden said, offering a line of attack similar to his recent campaign speeches when he asserted that Trump “quit” on the country and has “waved the white flag” in the pandemic.
“Those words didn’t come out of our mouths while we were in office,” Obama replied.
In fact, what the Obama administration was responsible for allowing the H1N1 virus, also known as the “swine flu,” to spread for months during his first term before he meaningfully addressed it.
As of July 22, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that only 36 children below age 15 had died from COVID-related illness. Most—if not all—had pre-existing underlying conditions.
By contrast, roughly a thousand children died during the swine flu outbreak without any discussion of closing down schools.
Meanwhile, despite the data showing that elderly citizens are particularly vulnerable for coronavirus—with more than 40 percent of nationwide deaths coming out of nursing-home facilities—blue-state leaders have forced infected residents to co-mingle with healthy ones.
And the recent uptick in the virus appears to have only weeks after Democrats openly encouraged minorities and young activists to participate in mass gatherings to protest social injustice, with many of the new cases coming from younger patients.
Serendipitously for the Obama–Biden administration—and for the country at the time—the H1N1 virus evolved independently of any efforts they made (or lack thereof) to ‘flatten the curve.’
However, when faced with a new challenge during the Ebola outbreak—a far less contagious but more terrifying virus—the veteran pandemic-handlers had a new tactic: blame the Republican congress.
He did so with aplomb, accusing his political opponents of delaying his massive expenditures which sought relief not only for the U.S. but the entire globe.
Despite receiving such funding, the administration still failed to replenish the national stockpiles of crucial protective equipment such as respirators.
Trump’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the new video, but the Republican National Committee issued a scathing assessment of “slickly produced, substance-free love fests,” dubbing the effort “Biden and Obama’s fiction.”
In other exchanges, Obama and Biden blasted Trump’s view of American society, and Obama praised Biden as possessing empathy that he said Trump lacks.
“He ran by deliberately dividing people from the moment he came down that escalator, and I think people are now going, ‘I don’t want my kid growing up that way,’” Biden said, recalling Trump’s 2016 campaign launch.
Obama has privately expressed reservations about Biden and has been reluctant to embrace his gaffe-beleaguered campaign.
Last November, he told Democrats that Biden lacked the same “magic” that his campaign had. But he appeared, yet again, to reverse himself on that trivial detail.
In the video, he claimed he had confidence in Biden’s “heart and your character.”
Governing, the former president said, “starts with being able to relate. If you can sit down with a family and see your own family in them … then you’re going to work hard for them, and that’s always what’s motivated you.”
Obama has promised an active role on the campaign trail this fall.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press