As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Says Jefferson and Adams Were Nasty Campaigners Too

President Obama Monday compared his relentless negative campaigning to that of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, suggesting the accusations lobbed back and forth in the 1800 campaign justified his own resort to the low road.

Speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday in New York City, Obama indicated the attacks on Mitt Romney, which independent observers have branded as in some cases false, were in the grand American tradition of politics.

And this phase of the campaign I think you’re seeing a lot of negative ads and a lot of contrast ads — although when people start saying how terrible it is I just have to remind them that take a look at what Jefferson and Adams had to say about each other, and democracy has always been pretty rough and pretty messy.

Indeed, there were some scurrilous accusations made in the campaign of 1800, in which Jefferson defeated Adams, the incumbent president.

But many of the attacks often cited are either unproven to have occurred or were not necessarily directed by the candidates, although Jefferson did condone some of them. Obama is presiding over a centralized attack machine aimed at Romney.

That nasty campaigns have been conducted before hardly justifies dishonest, mean spirited campaigning today.

What’s more, Obama has presented himself as someone who wants to bring “civility” to politics, specifically criticizing negative campaigning and creating an image of himself as a new kind of politician who was above such tactics.

Obama’s invoking of two of America’s founding fathers to describe his own actions is of apiece with his previous efforts to liken himself to Lincoln and and Martin Luther King.

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29 Responses to Obama Says Jefferson and Adams Were Nasty Campaigners Too

  1. Well said, Keith ! Yes, his civility speech made him rise in the polls once but I don´t think it would be a good idea to try that trick again.

  2. The hubris of this guy is unbelievable. He’ll use any means necessary to justify his actions and squeal like a stuck pig when Romney throws it back at him.

  3. There is nothing this “president” would not stoop to hold onto power.

    Power hunger, and desperation is thy name. Good luck with that.

  4. I’m fairly certain, Adams and Jefferson didn’t speak to each other for a dozen or so years after the election.
    In other words, Obama is willing to not speak to the other side after this election.

    what ever happened to reaching across the aisle?

  5. Sounds like Axelrod & Co. are grasping at straws again…it’s a sure bet Obama has never picked up a biography of Jefferson or Adams. Seems like just yesterday that the Composite-in-Chief was campaigning on being a ‘transformational’ president in the model of Ronald Reagan. What we are seeing now is the ‘real’ Barry Soetoro – Chicago gangsta street thug.

    • Don’t believe the polls. Most pollsters are using some strategy that oversamples Democrats 10 to 1 and they do not sample likely voters. Rasmussen is the most reliable pollster.

      • You are absolutely correct Susan.
        They have Obama ahead or even in Ohio.
        Every poll should come with the sampling percentage.
        Some polls have only sampled 500 people, and who knows whether they actually know what’s going on.?
        Mark Twain stated that there are 3 types of lies:
        Lies, damn lies, and statistics.
        The polls fall in there somewhere.

      • Susan’s correct about the polls. Mots of them are trying to make news and influence voters, rather than reflect the current voter sentiment. Rasmussen is indeed the most accurate and reliable. In any case, I actually WANT all the polls to be giving the Dems the edge and a false sense of hope. I would love nothing more than all the polls and talking heads to go into this election thinking the O has it in the bag and then watch them all cry on election night when Romney wins in a landslide.

  6. What I’ve been hearing from one faction of Obots is that our founders were nothing but a bunch of racist old white men who built this country on the backs of slaves. Then King Kardashian turns around and uses our founders as a justification for his negative campaigning. Guess he’s trying to have it both ways…

    By the way, Jefferson and Adams were great friends, despite their differing political philosophies. When Adams appointed political enemies of Jefferson as payback for losing the election, they parted ways. A fellow signer to the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush, brokered a reconciliation years later. The Adams-Jefferson letters that resulted from that reconciliation gives us all a view into the history of our founding. Amazingly, these two great men died on the same day, July 4th, 1826 – 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

    There is no comparison of the political battle between two patriots of our founding to today’s political climate. Adams and Jefferson both loved America, they just had different political philosophies. Obama is no patriot and he has made it very clear that he doesn’t love this country as founded.

  7. After the above remarks to the NY money interest, he made an appearance on Sesame Street to talk with some kindergarten kids. Here’s a little of what he related there.

    Obama: OK kids, today’s letter is: C. Do you know words that start with the letter C? Here are some examples that I use daily and are worth remembering. Let me help you with your lesson. C = Chicago thugs; Cheap shots; Cabal; Coarse; Cockiest; Creep; Crackbrain; Criminal; and Constipated.

    Kid: President Obummer? Doesn’t Civility begin with a C?

    Obama: No Johnny. The One has removed inoperable words and changed definitions to suit The One’s purposes. Now sit down and complete your vote by mail form.

  8. Jefferson? Adams? Whats next? Does he challenge Romney to a duel? Wearing a powdered wig? He better go back to using the teleprompter quickly. At least TOTUS stopped him from sounding like a mental case.

    • Unbelievable ~ couldn’t believe even Harry Reid would stoop so low when I heard this today. But, then, things are going to get even uglier between now and November.

  9. As far as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, this past July 4th, I watched the clip of President Reagan’s July 4, 1986 speech. Near the end of his speech, he discussed these two founding fathers:

    http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/70486c.htm

    All through our history, our Presidents and leaders have spoken of national unity and warned us that the real obstacle to moving forward the boundaries of freedom, the only permanent danger to the hope that is America, comes from within. It’s easy enough to dismiss this as a kind of familiar exhortation. Yet the truth is that even two of our greatest Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once learned this lesson late in life. They’d worked so closely together in Philadelphia for independence. But once that was gained and a government was formed, something called partisan politics began to get in the way. After a bitter and divisive campaign, Jefferson defeated Adams for the Presidency in 1800. And the night before Jefferson’s inauguration, Adams slipped away to Boston, disappointed, brokenhearted, and bitter.

    For years their estrangement lasted. But then when both had retired, Jefferson at 68 to Monticello and Adams at 76 to Quincy, they began through their letters to speak again to each other. Letters that discussed almost every conceivable subject: gardening, horseback riding, even sneezing as a cure for hiccups; but other subjects as well: the loss of loved ones, the mystery of grief and sorrow, the importance of religion, and of course the last thoughts, the final hopes of two old men, two great patriarchs, for the country that they had helped to found and loved so deeply. “It carries me back,” Jefferson wrote about correspondence with his cosigner of the Declaration of Independence, “to the times when, beset with difficulties and dangers, we were fellow laborers in the same cause, struggling for what is most valuable to man, his right to self-government. Laboring always at the same oar, with some wave ever ahead threatening to overwhelm us and yet passing harmless . . . we rowed through the storm with heart and hand . . . .” It was their last gift to us, this lesson in brotherhood, in tolerance for each other, this insight into America’s strength as a nation. And when both died on the same day within hours of each other, that date was July 4th, 50 years exactly after that first gift to us, the Declaration of Independence.

    My fellow Americans, it falls to us to keep faith with them and all the great Americans of our past. Believe me, if there’s one impression I carry with me after the privilege of holding for 5\1/2\ years the office held by Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln, it is this: that the things that unite us — America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country — these things far outweigh what little divides us. And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and gentile, we are one nation under God; that black and white, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world.

    My fellow Americans, we’re known around the world as a confident and a happy people. Tonight there’s much to celebrate and many blessings to be grateful for. So while it’s good to talk about serious things, it’s just as important and just as American to have some fun. Now, let’s have some fun — let the celebration begin!