- Posted August 7, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Scripting Supporters Quotes?
A hometown newspaper in Carlsbad, New Mexico seems to have noticed what the major media has not. Seems the Carlsbad Current-Argus has uncovered a ruse being used in press releases and ads by those associated with Team Obama, the campaign running to get President Barack Obama re-elected on November 6.
Is President Obama's campaign team scripting quotes for business owners who are helping in his re-election bid?
Mahen Gunaratna, New Mexico-Arizona communications director for the Obama campaign, declined to answer that question Tuesday after he distributed separate press releases containing strikingly similar quotes from two businesspeople, one in Santa Fe, the other in Albuquerque. Both statements criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The Obama campaign issued the following statement that it said was from Patricia Arens, owner of Valley Spring Rentals of Santa Fe:
"The reality is that you can't cut your way to prosperity. His (Romney's) plan would gut critical investments in education, training and infrastructure so he can give more tax breaks to millionaires like himself and companies that ship jobs overseas."
In a second press release issued 25 minutes later, Gunaratna attributed this quote to Croft Elsaesser, owner of American Clay Enterprises in Albuquerque.
"Unlike Governor Romney, the president knows we can't cut our way to prosperity or gut critical investments that we need to succeed..."
How was it that business owners in two different cities used the same description of Romney and his purported intentions?
In a telephone interview, Gunaratna said Arens and Elsaesser "signed off" on the quotes distributed by the campaign.
Asked if they actually spoke the words attributed to them by the campaign, Gunaratna said he had no other comment.
Arens, in a separate interview, was asked about the similarities between the quotes attributed to her and Elsaesser.
She said she would have to check her email to see what comments she submitted to the Obama campaign.
But, she said, she was headed to a meeting and did not have time to do it. Elsaesser did not respond to a request for comment.
To read the full "quotes" of both supporters read the article here:
From the Cornfield, having worked for a small town daily in my former life, this is why I am so supportive of keeping the local press alive. Where the "big boys" may not cover an issue, the "little guys" go digging and some times strike gold.