CNN's Amy Holmes falsely asserted that in first debate, Obama said "he would sacrifice ... energy policy"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

CNN's Amy Holmes falsely suggested that during the first presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama "said the first thing he would sacrifice is energy policy," when he was asked what he would sacrifice in his "spending plans." In fact, Obama cited "energy independence" as the first example in a list of "things" that he said "have to be done."

On the October 15 edition of CNN's Debate Night in America, political contributor Amy Holmes falsely asserted that during the first presidential debate on September 26, Sen. Barack Obama "said the first thing he would sacrifice is energy policy" when he was asked what he would sacrifice in his "spending plans." In fact, during the debate, Obama cited "energy independence" as the first example in a list of "things" that he said "have to be done."

During the newscast, when anchor Campbell Brown said to CNN political contributor Paul Begala, "Barack Obama has not answered ... the question of 'sacrifice,' what he intends to give up," Holmes responded: "[H]e was asked when he said -- [h]e said the first thing he would sacrifice is energy policy," adding, "When he said that, I was shocked. He said, 'Well, I'll have to look around at my energy policy and energy independence.' " Brown interjected, "That's not what he said." Holmes then stated, "That was in the first debate -- in the first debate," to which Brown replied, "He didn't say he was going to sacrifice his energy policy." Holmes responded: "He did. In terms of spending plans, he did."

In fact, during that debate, Obama indicated that energy independence was a high priority. Responding to moderator Jim Lehrer's question, "[W]hat are you going to have to give up, in terms of the priorities that you would bring as president of the United States, as a result of having to pay for the financial rescue plan?" Obama replied, "There are some things that I think have to be done," and cited specifically, as his first example, "energy independence."

From the debate:

LEHRER: All right. All right, speaking of things that both of you want, new -- another lead question, and it has to do with the rescue -- the financial rescue thing that we started -- started asking about.

And what -- and your -- first answer is to you, Senator Obama. As president, as a result of whatever financial rescue plan comes about and the billion, $700 billion, whatever it is it's going to cost, what are you going to have to give up, in terms of the priorities that you would bring as president of the United States, as a result of having to pay for the financial rescue plan?

OBAMA: Well, there are a range of things that are probably going to have to be delayed. We don't yet know what our tax revenues are going to be. The economy is slowing down, so it's hard to anticipate right now what the budget is going to look like next year.

But there's no doubt that we're not going to be able to do everything that I think needs to be done. There are some things that I think have to be done. We have to have energy independence, so I've put forward a plan to make sure that, in 10 years' time, we have freed ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil by increasing production at home, but most importantly, by starting to invest in alternative energy -- solar, wind, biodiesel -- making sure that we're developing the fuel-efficient cars of the future right here in the United States, in Ohio and Michigan, instead of Japan and South Korea.

We have to fix our health care system, which is putting an enormous burden on families. Just -- a report just came out that the average deductible went up 30 percent on American families. They are getting crushed, and many of them are going bankrupt as a consequence of health care. I'm meeting folks all over the country. We have to do that now, because it'll actually make our businesses and our families better off.

The third thing we have to do is we've got to make sure that we're competing in education. We've got to invest in science and technology. China had a space launch and a space walk. We've got to make sure that our children are keeping pace in math and in science, and one of the things I think we have to do is make sure that college is affordable for every young person in America.

And I also think that we're going to have to rebuild our infrastructure, which is falling behind, our roads, our bridges, but also broadband lines that reach into rural communities -- also making sure that we have a new electricity grid to get the alternative energy to population centers that are using them.

So there are some -- some things that we've got to do structurally to make sure that we can compete in this global economy. We can't shortchange those things. We've got to eliminate programs that don't work, and we've got to make sure that the programs that we do have are more efficient and cost less.

From the October 15 edition of CNN's Debate Night in America:

BROWN: Hold on, let me -- let me just ask Paul, because Barack Obama has not answered that question, either, the question of "sacrifice" --

BEGALA: Right.

BROWN: -- what he intends to give up.

BEGALA: But he's winning.

BROWN: He's been asked -- so he doesn't have to.

BEGALA: He's winning.

BROWN: That's a fair point. He hasn't addressed it.

HOLMES: And he was asked when he said --

BROWN: He's been asked four times.

HOLMES: He said the first thing he would sacrifice is energy policy. When he said that, I was shocked. He said, "Well, I'll have to look around at my energy policy and energy independence" --

DAVID GERGEN (CNN political analyst): No, no, no. That's not what --

BROWN: That's not what he said.

HOLMES: That was in the first debate -- in the first debate.

BROWN: He didn't say he was going to sacrifice his energy policy.

HOLMES: He did. In terms of spending plans, he did.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Energy
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Amy Holmes
Show/Publication
Debate Night in America
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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