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Fox News Claims That US Government Rigged The 2012 Election For Obama
Fox News has invented a new reason why Mitt Romney lost the election. They are claiming that government bureaucrats unfairly tilted the playing field for Obama in the 2012 election.
Video courtesy of Media Matters:
On Fox and Friends Stuart Varney said, “It’s bigger than the IRS. There’s a suspicion here that the machinery of government has been used to suppress conservatives. That the election in fact was not a level playing field. There was a tilt, and it was orchestrated by government bureaucrats. You just mentioned the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, almost always when liberal groups apply for a waiver of document fees, they were granted that waiver. Conservative groups had to pay. Now that’s a form of financial pressure on conservative groups. Then you’ve got disaster relief funds. Four states, red states run by Republican governors, were denied disaster relief funds. Then you’ve got the IRS. It’s not just the tax exempt office. Conservative supporters, supporters of conservative groups, they were audited. Republican donors, audited. And there’s a consistent pattern here. So Republicans, conservatives are looking back over the last four years and saying there is a pattern. There is a pattern of going after conservatives which affected the election. The government bureaucracy was used as a hammer in a way that it was not supposed to be used.”
Brian Kilmeade claimed that it was hard to argue with these examples because there are actual living breathing people that have proof of it.
It is really easy to argue with Varney’s examples, because they are either not true or come from dubious sources. The claims about the EPA come from the Koch and Scaife funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). CEI’s mission is to shill for some of the biggest polluters in the country through climate change denial. In the 1990′s CEI was funded by the tobacco industry, and spearheaded tobacco disinformation campaigns. CEI opposes automobile fuel efficiency standards. CEI is anti-regulation, and is also funded by corporate giants like Ford and Coca-Cola. The source on Fox’s claims of EPA right wing persecution has a definite political agenda.
The claim that four red states have been denied disaster relief funds is dubious at best. These states were denied a disaster relief declaration but they received aid and support from FEMA in other ways. To make it sound as if they got nothing because they were conservative is not true. It is likely that the IRS audited or questioned more conservative donors, because conservative groups that received non-profit status outnumbered liberal ones 34 to 1. The odds of Republicans being audited are also higher because Republicans/conservative groups have a smaller donor base. Republicans rely on a few wealthy individuals to fund the majority of their activities. These individuals were donating heavily to dark money groups, which raised the suspicion of the IRS.
This was another example of Fox News trying to make excuses for Mitt Romney’s loss while building their factless case for Obama impeachment. Mitt Romney didn’t lose because Barack Obama used the government to rig the election. Romney lost because he was a terrible candidate who alienated everyone who wasn’t a conservative with his 47% comments.
Obama didn’t cheat to win reelection. He won despite numerous Republican efforts rig the election by suppressing the vote in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Fox News knows how to tap into their audience’s paranoia, and that’s exactly what they were doing here. Paranoia about government oppression is almost as old as American conservatism itself. Republicans can never accept the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency, so they continue to invent reasons for their defeat.
With this latest claim that the 2012 election was not fair, it is clear that Fox News is trying to build the Republican case for Obama impeachment.