Palin clings to false claim that Obama received the most BP PAC money

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

On Facebook, Sarah Palin falsely claimed it is an "undisputed fact that Barack Obama was BP's top recipient of both PAC and individual money for the last 20 years." In fact, President Obama received no PAC money from BP during his presidential campaign, and only $1,000 during his 2004 Senate campaign.

Palin falsely claimed "Obama was BP's top recipient of both PAC and individual money for the last 20 years"

Palin: It is an "undisputed fact that Barack Obama was BP's top recipient of both PAC and individual money for the last 20 years." In a responding to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' criticism of her suggestion on the May 23 edition of Fox News Sunday that there is a connection between "contributions made to President Obama" by oil companies and administration's response to oil spill, Palin wrote on her Facebook page that it is an "undisputed fact that Barack Obama was BP's top recipient of both PAC and individual money":

I pointed out that the media was rather silent on asking if there was a connection between the White House's hands-off response to the spill and the undisputed fact that Barack Obama was BP's top recipient of both PAC and individual money for the last 20 years. Please note that I never claimed there was a conspiratorial connection; rather, I was saying that it's odd that so few in the media have asked that question. In fact, I believe Major Garrett is one of the few reporters to pursue the issue. You can be sure that if this were a Republican administration, at the very least the media would be asking that question nonstop.

Obama received no PAC money from BP during his presidential campaign. As Media Matters noted, while Obama received $71,051 in BP-linked contributions during his presidential campaign -- more BP money than any other candidate received -- all of that money came from BP employees, not from BP's PAC or from the company itself. A spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics confirmed that "the $71,051 that Obama received during the 2008 election cycle was entirely from BP employees." The CRP spokesman also stated that "Obama did not accept contributions from political action committees, so none of this money is from BP's PAC. And corporations themselves are prohibited from donating directly to candidates from their corporate treasuries."

Obama took only $1,000 of PAC money from BP during his Senate campaign, less than 21 other Senate candidates that year. Obama received $1,000 from BP's PAC during his 2004 Senate campaign. Twenty-one Senate candidates received more from BP's PAC during that election cycle alone.

Donations from BP or its employees represents just .01 percent of Obama's total fundraising. As Media Matters senior fellow Jamison Foser has noted, Obama has raised more than $799 million for his campaigns. The $77,051 he has received from BP's PAC and employees accounts for less than 0.01 percent of Obama's total campaign contributions.

Scherer: "People who run for President raise much more money, and received much more money from BP interests -- and just about every other interest." In a May 5 Swampland post, Time's Michael Scherer cited CRP's data and noted that "[i]t is true that ... Obama received slightly more money from BP's PAC and employees since 1990 than anyone else." Scherer went on to explain:

But there is a major a reason for that, which the story fails to mention: People who run for President raise much more money, and received much more money from BP interests -- and just about every other interest. The fourth highest recipient of BP money in the same time period is George W. Bush. The fifth highest recipient is John McCain. In the 2000 and 2004 cycles, Bush got the most money, albeit less than Obama received in 2008. But then one could adjust these numbers for campaign inflation: campaigns overall raised much less money in the 2000 and 2004 cycles than the record-smashing 2008 cycle.

Palin says Garrett is "one of the few reporters to pursue" her claims, doesn't note he knocked them down

Palin: Fox's Garrett "one of the few reporters to pursue the issue." In her Facebook posting, Palin stated: "Please note that I never claimed there was a conspiratorial connection; rather, I was saying that it's odd that so few in the media have asked that question. In fact, I believe Major Garrett is one of the few reporters to pursue the issue."

Garrett noted the oil industry gives far more to Republicans than Democrats. On the May 24 edition of Fox News' America Live, Garrett reported that while Obama received more BP-linked money then any other candidate in 2008, the oil industry has historically contributed far more to Rebublicans than Democrats:

GARRETT: Quickly, Megyn, just wrapping up that point that Sarah Palin made: Yes, indeed, candidate Obama received the most BP money, but as far as industry contributions, Republicans historically have received far more from the oil and gas industry than Democrats, about 75-25 percent. That's going back many, many years.

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Sarah Palin
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