The Billings, Montana, Gazette, the biggest newspaper in a region that includes portions of North Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho, is admitting its endorsement of Barack Obama for president in 2008 was a mistake.
“Sometimes, you have to admit you’re wrong,” the newspaper said in an unbylined editorial June 27. “And, we were wrong.”
It listed a series of scandals and controversies generated by the Obama administration and the lack of progress on real issues.
“These are all signs – none of them definitive on their own, necessarily. However, when taken in completely, these demonstrate a disturbing trend of incompetence and failure. It’s not just that Americans are in a sour mood about national politics. That’s probably part of it. Instead, Obama has become another in a line of presidents long on rhetoric and hopelessly short on action,” the paper said.
“Obama’s hope and change have left liberals and conservatives alike hoping for real change, not just more lofty rhetoric.”
The Washington Examiner noted the change of heart with a headline “That bad, huh? Newspaper so disappointed in Obama it apologizes for 2008 endorsement.”
The Examiner said, “Better late than never.”
The Gazette explained that in the 2008 election, it believed that “things couldn’t get much worse after the sub par presidency of George W. Bush.”
“But,” the paper wrote, “President Barack Obama’s administration has us yearning for the good ol’ days when we were at least winning battles in Iraq.”
It listed the number of “bungled or blown policies” by Obama, “which lead us to believe Obama has earned every bit of an abysmal approval rating.”
The issues, all of which have been covered extensively on the pages of WND over the last six years, include the National Security Agency program to spy on Americas, the crackdown by Obama on coal-fired power plants, Iraq, the Bowe Bergdahl exchange in which Obama released five feared terrorist leaders, the Veterans Administration scandal, stem cell technology, Obama’s crackdown on journalists and, “finally, Obamacare has become synonymous with boondoggle.”
The criticisms were pointed.
“The administration as done nearly nothing to safeguard civil liberties or put in safeguards to protect our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms,” the paper wrote about the NSA spying scandal.
On Bergdahl, the paper said: “What should have been an easy public relations victory for bringing a lost soldier home turned into a public relations nightmare, and continued to erode public confidence, leading some to wonder if Obama’s team can’t even get something as important as bringing home a captive soldier correct, what can it be successful at?”
The VA debacle “was another black eye for the administration which appeared to look incompetent when it comes to taking care of wounded, or in-need veterans.”
On Obamacare, it said, “One thing is certain: The public presentation and roll-out of the program was so riddled with technical glitches and problems, it greatly undermined the public’s confidence in the system.”
The Western Journalism Center pointed out that the newspaper did not endorse Obama again in 2012.
At the time, the paper said: “At this extremely challenging time, America needs a uniter, not a divider. In this economic turmoil, America needs a thoughtful, cool-headed optimist who envisions a bright future for all citizens. … Our great nation needs a new leader who can inspire confidence at home and aboard. Obama is that leader.”