Obama spoke earlier today about his energy policy and — while the highlight of the speech was the President comparing the Republican candidates to the "flat earth society," (which was awesome) — the real controversy came when he attacked former president and inventor of the homeless man beard, Rutherford B. Hayes…
"One of my predecessors, President Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone: 'It’s a great invention but who would ever want to use one?' That's why he's not on Mt. Rushmore.
"He's looking backwards, he's not looking forward. He's explaining why we can't do something instead of why we can do something. The point is there will always be cynics and naysayers."
First of all, is Obama implying that he will one day end up on Mt. Rushmore? Pretty cocky for a guy whose greatest achievement thus far is telling a military general, "We all talked it over and we decided, yeah, go ahead and shoot the world's greatest criminal."
That's not even where he really goofed. Surprise surprise, something a politician said isn't remotely true…
We called up the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, where Nan Card, the Curator of Manuscripts, was plenty willing to correct Obama's ignorance of White House history…
"I've heard that before, and no one ever knows where it came from," Card said of Hayes's alleged phone remark, "but people just keep repeating it and repeating it, so it's out there."
…In fact, Card noted, Hayes was not only the first president to have a telephone in the White House, but he was also the first to use the typewriter, and he had Thomas Edison come to the White House to demonstrate the phonograph.
Not only was Hayes on the cutting-edge technology-wise, he also had a more progressive attitude towards women than Rick Santorum. Kind of makes me think, maybe this wasn't a gaffe. Maybe Obama is attempting to appeal to the Republican base by proving he doesn't care about facts either.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Rick Santorum, Rutherford B. Hayes