Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama Dodges Questions Regarding AIG Campaign Contributions

Jonathon Karl of ABC News noted today that Barack Obama had received over $23,000 in campaign contributions from AIG executives after the insurance company received its first $85 billion in federal bailout funds late last year. [Obama collected a total of $130,000 from AIG in 2008]

Mr. Karl asks: "Was any bailout money used to make political contributions? And will the politicians who received AIG cash give the money back?"

Truth be told, at a White House news conference on Wednesday, a reporter asked Obama what he planned to do with AIG's campaign contributions, but Obama craftily ignored that question and went on to answer a different question.
Q: Mr. President you received $100,000 from AIG during the campaign. How do you feel about those contributions today? Do you plan to do anything about it? And at least one member of Congress has now called for your Secretary of the Treasury to resign. Your thoughts.
Obama replied that he had full confidence in Geithner, and that Geithner was "making all the right moves", but he completely ignored the first two questions.

However, to be fair, Obama probably found it difficult to answer those questions before he even had a chance to express his outrage over the money he had received.

Though, on the flip side, the reporter first asked the president: "How do you feel about those contributions?" and then asked him if he planned "to do anyting about it." Obama could have simply said: "I feel a deep sense of outrage for taking the money, and hopefully, I won't do it again."

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