On Forbes on Fox, host David Asman falsely claimed that President Barack Obama "once pledged to ban all earmarks." In fact, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending, not eliminate earmarks altogether.
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During the March 15 edition of Fox News' Forbes on Fox, host David Asman falsely claimed that President Barack Obama "once pledged to ban all earmarks." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending, not eliminate earmarks altogether. Indeed, as NBC News White House correspondent John Yang noted during the March 11 edition of MSNBC Live, "[T]he president has never said he wants to eliminate earmarks."
From the 11 a.m. ET hour of the March 11 edition of MSNBC Live:
YANG: Now, the president has never said he wants to eliminate earmarks. He's opposed the outright elimination of earmarks. He says they do -- he has said in the past that they do serve a valid purpose of directing money back to worthwhile projects in lawmakers' home districts. But he wants to make sure that in addition to the transparency that Congress itself has put in place -- people have to identify by name the earmarks, put their names on the earmarks -- they want to make sure that these are worthy projects and it's not wasted spending.
Addressing claims that Obama campaigned on a promise to end earmarks, PolitiFact.com similarly wrote: "That's incorrect. Obama did not promise to end earmarking, only to 'reform' it, and eliminate 'screwy' or wasteful earmarks."
From the March 15 edition of Fox News' Forbes on Fox:
OBAMA [video clip]: Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts. And that's why I've opposed their outright elimination.
ASMAN: Well, he once pledged to ban all earmarks. Now the president says, eh, they're not so bad. And someone here says the president is right. Hi, everybody, I'm David Asman, welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let's get to our "Flipside" with Steve Forbes, Victoria Barrett, and Bill Baldwin, along with Neil Weinberg, Elizabeth MacDonald, and Jack Gage. Jack, of all the people in the world, I would not have expected you to defend earmarks.
JACK GAGE (Forbes magazine associate editor): Look, I think we have to separate two things. One, Barack Obama's contradiction of what he said before about how he feels about earmarks. But the second thing, I believe there's a fundamental case to be made for earmarks as part of the fabric of representative government.