Crowley falsely claimed Obama "stole" Ahmadinejad's campaign slogan

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On The Laura Ingraham Show, Monica Crowley claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "lifted his campaign line 'Yes, we can' from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Crowley claimed that Ahmadinejad used the slogan "We can." In fact, Obama reportedly used the phrase "Yes, we can" during his 2004 Senate campaign -- a full year before Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005.

Guest-hosting the June 27 broadcast of The Laura Ingraham Show, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "steals a lot of stuff" and that "Obama lifted his campaign line 'Yes, we can' from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Crowley claimed that Ahmadinejad used the slogan "We can," and added, "So, no wonder Senator Obama is so eager to race to go over there and talk to him. He wants to thank him for a winning slogan." In fact, Obama reportedly used the phrase "Yes, we can" during his 2004 Senate campaign -- a full year before Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005. Moreover, Ahmadinejad's slogan during his presidential campaign, according to Time, was "We can do it" -- not "We can," as Crowley claimed. According to a June 28, 2005, Slate.com article, Ahmadinejad's campaign "motto" was, "It's possible and we can do it."

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on November 3, 2004 -- the day after Obama was elected to the Senate -- that "Yes, we can" was Obama's "campaign refrain":

As for Obama, he has consistently downplayed the role of luck, arguing that he ran a positive campaign that spoke to the issues voters cared about -- jobs, education and health care. To those who doubted he could keep his promises, Obama last night led the crowd in his campaign refrain:

"Yes, we can."

But Obama also nodded to his good fortune.

"We've had some good breaks in this campaign," he said Tuesday night. "There is no doubt about it. And I am under no illusion that we come out of this assuming that all people throughout the state of Illinois agree with me on every single position. But I think what we've shown is that all of us can disagree without being disagreeable."

And as Media Matters for America has noted, "Sí, se puede/Yes, we can" is the motto of the United Farm Workers.

From the June 27 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show:

CROWLEY: Research on Barack Obama and his campaign slogans, and what I found was very interesting. You know Barack Obama's big campaign line "Yes, we can"? "Sí, se puede"? Or, he tried to translate it into Latin over the last week and toy with the presidential seal? Well, "Yes, we can" -- you know, those are three really powerful words, right? "Yes," is positive, it's affirmative. "We" is -- is all about togetherness, it's collective, it's everybody as one. And "can" is action-oriented, it's doers, not talkers. "Yes, we can." Three of the most powerful words -- powerful words that you can use, especially in politics, with the exception of "free," of course. But "Yes, we can" probably mobilize people, especially in politics, more than any other words you can use.

Well, it turns out that Barack Obama actually stole that campaign line. You know, he steals a lot of stuff. But he stole that campaign line. And you recall a couple of months ago there was a controversy because Obama stole some of his other campaign stock lines from the Massachusetts governor, and his friend, Deval Patrick. Well, he didn't steal "yes you can" from Deval Patrick, but he did steal it from somebody else. You'll never guess -- can you guess? You'll never guess. I'd better tell you. Here's a hint -- knowing Barack Obama and his predilection to wanting to talk to terrorists, you might be able to guess this. Can you? No. All right, I'd better tell you.

Obama lifted his campaign line "Yes, we can" from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The shrimp in the windbreaker? The shrimp in the windbreaker actually ran several years ago on the slogan -- on the very slogan "We can." "We can." "We can stick our fingers in the -- in the eyes of the United States. We can go nuclear. We can export terror. We can wreak havoc in Iraq. We can do all of those things." That was the campaign slogan of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So, no wonder Senator Obama is so eager to race to go over there and talk to him. He wants to thank him for a winning slogan. "Sí, se puede." "Yes, we can."

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