Rush Limbaugh distorted comments President Obama made at the G-20 summit in Toronto to falsely claim Obama wants “to cut the United States down to size.” In fact, Obama was referring to “the need for currencies that are market-driven” in order for countries such as China not to have an “undue advantage.”
Lost in “translat[ion]”: Limbaugh distorts Obama to claim he wants “to cut the United States down to size”
Limbaugh: “When Barack Hussein Obama says that no nation should have an advantage over another, what he means is, it's time to cut the United States down to size.” On his radio program, Limbaugh claimed that Obama said that “no nation should have an advantage over another.” Limbaugh went on to “translate” Obama's comments, saying, “What he means is, it's time to cut the United States down to size.” From the June 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: And he also said that one nation should not have -- no nation should have an advantage over another. Now, folks, can I tell you -- before we go to the break -- can I -- can I translate that for you? When Barack Hussein Obama says that no nation should have an advantage over another, what he means is, it's time to cut the United States down to size.
The United States has had an unfair advantage. We haven't earned it; we have stolen it. We have taken what the rest of the world has; we have not compensated them for it. We have used it to enrich a precious few in this country excluding minorities, and women, and the usual minority panache [sic]."
Obama made no mention of cutting “the United States down to size.” In a June 27 speech given at the G-20 summit, Obama stressed “the need for currencies that are market-driven” in order for countries such as China not to have an “undue advantage.” From the speech:
OBAMA: As I reiterated to my colleagues, after years of taking on too much debt, Americans cannot -- and will not -- borrow and buy the world's way to lasting prosperity. No nation should assume its path to prosperity is simply paved with exports to the United States. Indeed, I've made it clear that the United States will compete aggressively for the jobs and industries and markets of the future.
That's why I've set the goal of doubling our exports over the next five years -- an increase that would support millions of jobs in the United States. It's why I've launched a National Export Initiative to help meet this goal. It's why we focused earlier this week on deepening our economic cooperation with Russia -- which would benefit both of our countries -- including restarting our poultry exports, and accelerating our efforts to support Russia's entry into the WTO.
That's why I announced that my administration will work to resolve outstanding issues regarding the United States-Korea free trade agreement by the time that I visit Korea in November. This will create new jobs and opportunity for people in both our countries, and enhance America's competitiveness in the 21st century.
A strong and durable recovery also requires countries not having an undue advantage. So we also discussed the need for currencies that are market-driven. As I told President Hu yesterday, the United States welcomes China's decision to allow its currency to appreciate in response to market forces. And we will be watching closely in the months ahead.
And because a durable recovery must also include fiscal responsibility, we agreed to balance the need for continued growth in the short term and fiscal sustainability in the medium term. In the United States, I've set a goal of cutting our deficit in half by 2013. A number of our European partners are making difficult decisions, but we must recognize that our fiscal health tomorrow will rest in no small measure on our ability to create jobs and growth today.
Obama: “We can continue our relentless focus on durable growth that puts our people to work, and broadens prosperity for the world.” Not only did Obama never mention “cut[ting] the United States down to size,” but he encouraged a coordinated effort to spur “durable growth.” Obama concluded:
OBAMA: Let me conclude by saying that I know that much of the focus coming into these meetings was on whether our nations would be divided by different approaches. But as we have proven repeatedly over the last 18 months, our nations can come together through the G-20, and build on the foundation of our shared interests. Indeed, that is the purpose of these meetings. We can bridge our differences. We can coordinate our approaches. And we can continue our relentless focus on durable growth that puts our people to work, and broadens prosperity for the world.