"It's pretty clear to me that I'm responsible for folks who are working in the federal government," President Obama told ABC News last month. He's right. He is responsible. So let's take a quick look at how his underlings have been behaving over these last four years.
Just this week, Obama's former deputy press secretary Bill Burton launched a television advertisement against Mitt Romney accusing him of killing a former steelworker's wife in Kansas City, Mo. The ad had no basis in fact and was widely condemned by every major media outlet. Obama has steadfastly refused to condemn the ad.
As bad as that is by itself, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter made it worse. She went on CNN and denied knowing anything about Joe Soptic, the steelworker in the ad. "I don't know the facts about when Mr. Soptic's wife got sick, or the facts about his health insurance," she told John King.
It turns out she had known. Politico reported the next day that Cutter had hosted a conference call with reporters in May where Soptic discussed the facts of his case. "Thank you, Joe. We really appreciate you sharing your experiences," Cutter said at the end of the call. Cutter lied to CNN, and as of this writing she has in no way acknowledged or apologized for it.
This is not the first time the Obama administration has brazenly twisted the truth for political gain. Earlier this month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a trove of emails detailing how Obama's Energy Department restructured Solyndra's government loan before it went bankrupt last September.
When Solyndra came to DOE in October 2012, it had already blown through $440 million of taxpayer money. Solyndra desperately needed an infusion of cash to keep running. Problem is, no private investor was willing to risk its money to keep Solyndra going.
But Obama megadonor and Solyndra investor George Kaiser has a plan. He sent his minion, fellow Obama donor and Solyndra investor Steve Mitchell, to DOE to make the department an offer it couldn't refuse.
Mitchell told DOE he would find $75 million in private money to invest in Solyndra, but only if DOE agreed to subordinate the taxpayer's investment to his. In other words, if Solyndra went bankrupt, Kaiser and Mitchell would get their money first, taxpayers last.
At first, DOE turned down Mitchell's offer. It would have been illegal for the department to accept it. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, the governing statute, clearly states that the government must be repaid first in bankruptcy -- that its stake cannot be "subordinate to other financing." But after Mitchell told DOE that he would rather let Solyndra go bankrupt than invest more of his money without government protection, DOE caved and agreed to subordinate the taxpayer loan. The folks at Energy just couldn't take the political embarrassment of letting Solyndra go bankrupt.
The next day, DOE Chief Counsel Susan Richardson emailed DOE General Counsel Scott Blake Harris, writing, "We have a serious problem at Solyndra and need to brief Scott as soon as possible." The "problem" of course was the blatant illegality of how DOE had agreed to restructure the loan.
Both DOE's outside counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP, and the Office of Management and Budget later produced documents stating that the Solyndra loan restructure violated the Energy Policy Act. But on Feb. 22, 2011, Energy Secretary Steven Chu signed off on the loan anyway.
Solyndra went bankrupt on Sept. 1, 2011. U.S. taxpayers lost more than $500 million of their investment
Unfortunately, the Energy Policy Act has no citizen lawsuit provision to hold Obama accountable for breaking the law. The only way taxpayers can stop Obama and his lying, lawbreaking minions, is to vote them out of office this November.
Conn Carroll (ccarroll@washington examiner.com) is a senior editorial writer for The Washington Examiner. Follow him on Twitter at @conncarroll.