Fox News is once again pushing the myth that President Obama “apologized” for the United States, following a speech by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in which he vowed to “never again apologize for America.” In fact, Obama has never made such an apology.
Mitt Romney Suggested Obama “Apologized For America”
Mitt Romney: We Will “Never Again Apologize For America Abroad.” In a victory speech in New Hampshire following primary wins in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, Romney stated:
ROMNEY: In the days ahead, join me -- join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger; the help wanted signs can be dusted off; and we can start again -- and this time we'll get it right.
We will -- we will stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad. [The New York Times, 4/24/12]
In August 2011, Fox's Charles Krauthammer Urged GOP Candidates To Use Apology Falsehood To Attack Obama. On Special Report, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer stated:
KRAUTHAMMER: I think one of the things that the president has done when he -- especially when he goes abroad and apologizes for America, it's extremely unpopular.
And look, in relation to what we spoke about earlier about Guantánamo. He went abroad and attacked and denounced Guantánamo as a stain on America. And yet he, himself, has kept it open. So it isn't exactly consistent, and I think it's a line of attack that Republicans can easily use on the president and ought to use on the president. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 8/30/11]
Fox Again Seizes Opportunity To Push Bogus Apology Claim
Carl Cameron Repeated Romney's Claim That Obama “Apologiz[ed] For U.S. Foreign Policy.” On Special Report, chief political correspondent Carl Cameron uncritically reported:
CAMERON: Romney has long chastised the president for apologizing for U.S. foreign policy while not being tough enough on tyrants and terrorist allies. [Fox News, Special Report, 4/26/12]
Martha MacCallum Suggested That “The Question Of Whether Or Not President Obama Has Apologized For The United States” Is Still In Doubt. After airing Romney's comment about apologizing for America abroad, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum stated:
MacCALLUM: So you heard that from Mitt Romney a moment ago. That was a quote from the campaign trail. And that will clearly be one of the issues that comes up between these two men, the question of whether or not President Obama has apologized for the United States when he has traveled abroad, and whether or not Mitt Romney believes that the White House and America must take the lead and be in front on a number of these issues. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 4/26/12]
Sean Hannity: Romney's “Apologize” Comment Will Be A “Powerful Point Of Contrast In The Election.” Fox News host Sean Hannity said refusing to apologize for America would be a “powerful point of contrast” between Obama and Romney:
HANNITY: And think of the line that he used here. Besides saying we're never going to apologize for America again, which I think is going to be a powerful point of contrast in the election, but he also dealt head on with the issue of class warfare. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/24/12]
Eric Bolling: Obama “Apologized For The American Exceptionalism” In His “First Speech As President.” On The Five, co-host Eric Bolling said of Obama:
BOLLING: His first speech as president apologized for the American exceptionalism and the way we do business. The first one. [Fox News, The Five, 4/25/12]
Gretchen Carlson: Obama Went On “A Big Apology Tour.” On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson stated:
CARLSON: Saying sorry apparently not the hardest part for President Obama.
CARLSON: Remember the president's big apology tour? Well, Mitt Romney says he'll never apologize for America, so which is the right approach? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/25/12]
In Fact, Obama Has Never Gone On An “Apology Tour” Or “Apologized” For America
Fox News' Juan Williams: Obama “Apologizing For America” Is “A Phony Political Argument.” On The Five, co-host Juan Williams said of the apology claim: [T]alk about a phony political argument. This business that somehow President Obama goes around apologizing for America -- PolitiFact, everybody has said [it's] bogus. [Fox News, The Five, 4/25/12]
Associated Press: “Obama Has Not Apologized For America.” The Associated Press has written that Obama “never made” any apologies and added:
ROMNEY: “A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America.”
THE FACTS: Obama has not apologized for America. What he has done, in travels early in his presidency and since, is to make clear his belief that the U.S. is not beyond reproach. He has told foreigners that the U.S. at times acted “contrary to our traditions and ideals” in its treatment of terrorist suspects, that “America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy,” that the U.S. “certainly shares blame” for international economic turmoil and has sometimes shown arrogance toward allies. Obama, whose criticisms of America's past were typically balanced by praise, was in most cases taking issue with policies or the record of the previous administration, not an unusual approach for a new president -- or a presidential candidate. Romney's actual point seems to be that Obama has been too critical of his country.
But there has been no formal -- or informal -- apology. No saying “sorry” on behalf of America. [Associated Press, 6/3/11]
PolitiFact Has Repeatedly Labeled “Ridiculous” Apology Claim “False.” PolitiFact has repeatedly labeled Romney's claim that Obama “apologized” for America “false,” saying “it's a ridiculous charge.” [PolitiFact, 9/22/11, 1/20/12]
Wash. Post Fact Checker: “The Apology Tour Never Happened.” The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler gave the repeated charge that Obama has apologized for America its worst rating of “Four Pinocchios” :
The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.
Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush's approach to fighting terrorism.
In other cases, Obama's quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama's handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist.
Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened. [The Washington Post, The Fact Checker, 2/22/11]