The Leader Board

Critics Agree 'The President Overplayed His Hand,' Say Admin Sequester Claims 'Went From Alarming To Flat-Out Inaccurate'


WH 'Strategy To Exaggerate The Immediate Impact Of The Cuts Has Backfired'

BILL KELLER, New York Times: "The White House spent last week in full campaign hysteria, blitzing online followers with the message that heartless Republicans are prepared to transform America into 'Les Misérables'…" (Bill Keller, "Obama's Fault," The New York Times, 3/3/13)

GLENN KESSLER, Washington Post: "…there is no reason to hype the statistics — or to make scary pronouncements on pink slips being issued based on misinformation. Indeed, Duncan's lack of seriousness about being scrupulously factual undercuts the administration's claim that the cuts are a serious problem. Duncan made this claim not once, not twice, but three times. Let this be a teachable moment for him: Next time, before going on television, check your facts. Four Pinocchios." ("4 Pinocchios For Arne Duncan's False Claim Of 'Pink Slips' For Teachers," The Washington Post, 2/27/13)

JOE SCARBOROUGH: 'Mr. Obama seems to be the one who has overplayed his hand' "Alan Jackson need not begin to tune his guitar to ask us all again where we were when the world stopped turning… Mr. Obama seems to be the one who has overplayed his hand." (Joe Scarborough, "Singing The Sequester Soap Opera," The New York Times, 3/1/13)

BEN SMITH, BuzzFeed: "…they're trying - the White House in particular - is trying to get people scared." (MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown," 3/4/13)

THE NATIONAL JOURNAL: "The White House's strategy to exaggerate the immediate impact of the cuts has backfired…" ("President Obama's Losing Hand On The Sequester Fight," The National Journal, 2/28/13)

STEVE HUNTLEY, Chicago Sun-Times: "Obama Caught Crying Wolf" ("Obama Caught Crying Wolf," Chicago Sun-Times, 3/1/13)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC: White House 'claims went from alarming to flat-out inaccurate.' MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "As the budget cuts kicked in effect on Friday, some claims went from alarming to flat-out inaccurate." PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Starting tomorrow, everybody here, all the folks cleaning the floors at the Capitol, they're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they got to figure out how to manage that. That's real." JOE SCARBOROUGH: "That's not really the fact. In fact, the office that manages the janitorial staff told the Washington Post said, quote, the president's statement was not true. The security offices confirmed the same: no furloughs or pay cuts this year, the president's statement, which earned him the highest marks on the Washington Pinocchio Meter, was the latest in the administrations poetic license regarding the effects of the sequester." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 3/4/13)

POLITICO: "For all the hype, spin and blame exchanged over the across-the-board cuts, the reality is they don't mean the sudden economic collapse of America." ("Sequestration: So Now What?," Politico, 3/1/13)

AP: "President Barack Obama and his officials are doing their best to drum up public concern over the shock wave of spending cuts that could strike the government in just days. So it's a good time to be alert for sky-is-falling hype. … For most Americans, though, it's far from certain they will have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day if the budget-shredder known as the sequester comes to pass." ("SPIN METER: It's Prime Time For Sky-Is-Falling Hype As Budget Crisis Gets Ready To Bite," AP, 2/26/13)

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC: "[Republicans] think, frankly, the president overplayed his hand when he laid out sequester scenarios, especially, for example, what's getting a lot of play over the weekend and today, this claim that Capitol Hill janitors will have to take a pay cut, which the Washington Post says is not true. What about the accusation that the president and democrats in general are overplaying this and have overplayed their hand?" (MSNBC's "Jansing & Co.," 3/4/13)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN: "When we return, did the Obama administration exaggerate the impact of forced spending cuts?" (CNN's "State Of The Union," 3/3/13)

DAVID GREGORY, NBC: "So did the president exaggerate the case to try to win enough political pressure on Republicans that he didn't get it in?" (NBC's "Meet The Press," 3/3/13)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC News: "So how do you respond to critics who say the administration is engaging in scare tactics?" (ABC's "This Week," 3/3/13)