No, he didn't say it; no politician does; instead, he proves it, by both what he does and what he says (as will be shown here).
Of course, there's pretense in at least some of what all successful politicians say, because success in politics requires at least some degree of pretense. No matter how good a person is, pretense is necessary for success in politics; that's just reality. We live with it; we deal with it, if we are at all realistic.
A politician shows his values, and makes clear his priorities, not by what he says, but instead by what he actually does.
For example, President Obama's 24 January 2012 State of the Union Address said: "Tonight, I'm asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. (Applause.) This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans. Now, a return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help protect our people and our economy."
But, two years later, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice issued on 13 March 2014 its "Audit of the Department of Justice's Efforts to Address Mortgage Fraud," and reported that it turned out to be just a lie. DOJ didn't even try; and they lied even about their efforts. The IG found: "DOJ did not uniformly ensure that mortgage fraud was prioritized at a level commensurate with its public statements. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Investigative Division ranked mortgage fraud as the lowest criminal threat in its lowest crime category. Additionally, we found mortgage fraud to be a low priority, or not [even] listed as a priority, for the FBI Field Offices we visited." Not just that, but, "Many Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) informed us about underreporting and misclassification of mortgage fraud cases." This was important because, "Capturing such information would allow DOJ to ... better evaluate its performance in targeting high-profile offenders."
On 27 March 2009, Obama had assembled the top executives of the bailed-out financial firms in a secret meeting at the White House and he assured them that he would cover their backs; he told them "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks" (but of course it's not on the White House website; it had to be leaked out, which is one of the reasons Obama hates leakers). What the DOJ's IG indicated was, in effect, that Obama had kept his secret promise to them.
He had lied to the public, all along. According to the DOJ, their Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) was "established by President Barack Obama in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes." But, according to the Department's IG, it was all a fraud: a fraud that according to the DOJ itself had been going on since at least November 2009.
The IG's report continued by pointing out the Attorney General's lies, noting that on 9 October 2012, "the FFETF held a press conference to publicize the results of the initiative," and:
"The Attorney General announced that the initiative resulted in 530 criminal defendants being charged, including 172 executives, in 285 criminal indictments or informations filed in federal courts throughout the United States during the previous 12 months. The Attorney General also announced that 110 federal civil cases were filed against over 150 defendants for losses totaling at least $37 million, and involving more than 15,000 victims. According to statements made at the press conference, these cases involved more than 73,000 homeowner victims and total losses estimated at more than $1 billion.
"Shortly after this press conference, we requested documentation that supported the statistics presented. ... Over the following months, we repeatedly asked the Department about its efforts to correct the statistics. ... Specifically, the number of criminal defendants charged as part of the initiative was 107, not 530 as originally reported; and the total estimated losses associated with true Distressed Homeowners cases were $95 million, 91 percent less than the $1 billion reported at the October 2012 press conference. ...
"Despite being aware of the serious flaws in these statistics since at least November 2012, we found that the Department continued to cite them in mortgage fraud press releases. ... According to DOJ officials, the data collected and publicly announced for an earlier FFETF mortgage fraud initiative - Operation Stolen Dreams - also may have contained similar errors."
Basically, the IG's report said that the Obama Administration had failed to enforce the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009. The bill had been passed overwhelmingly, 92-4 in the Senate, and 338-52 in the House. All of the votes against it came from Republicans. This law, which sent $165 million to the DOJ to catch the executive fraudsters who had brought down the U.S. economy, and which set up the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, had been introduced and written by the liberal Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. President Obama signed it on 20 May 2009, with a smile but a tight upper lip, and with a gun held by Democrats to his head: he just couldn't afford to display, so early in his Administration, that he was far to the right of every congressional Democrat. He needed the pretense that he was a progressive.
Already on 15 November 2011, Syracuse University's TRAC Reports had headlined "Criminal Prosecutions for Financial Institution Fraud Continue to Fall," and provided a chart showing that whereas such prosecutions had been running at a fairly steady rate until George W. Bush came into office in 2001, they immediately plunged during his term and were continuing that decline under Obama, even after the biggest boom in alleged financial fraud cases since right before the Great Depression. And, then, on 24 September 2013, TRAC Reports bannered "Slump in FBI White Collar Crime Prosecutions," and said that "prosecutions of white collar criminals recommended by the FBI are substantially down during the first ten months of Fiscal Year 2013." This was especially so in the Wall Street area: "In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest projected drop in the rate of white collar crime prosecutions -- 27.8 percent -- was the Southern District of New York (Manhattan)."
Anyone who doubts that Obama is a liar (except when addressing banksters in private), whose actual values are often the exact opposite of his sanctimonious public statements, should read not only the IG's report, but, regarding other issues, things such as,
from Wayne Madsen, "UKRAINIAN PHONE WRECKS: The Secret Agenda of Ashton and Nuland Revealed";
and, from Marcy Wheeler, "The White House Has Been Covering Up the Presidency's Role in Torture for Years";
and, from Lee Fang, "Obama Admin's TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks";
and, from Kate Sheppard, "Michael Froman, Top U.S. Trade Official, Sides With Tar Sands Advocates In EU Negotiations."
and then, add in, for good measure, an article by a courageous Ukrainian, about how profoundly fascist are the people that the Obama Administration has installed in Ukraine, "The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of."
And the State Department was at least as bad under Hillary Clinton.
If Barack Obama were competing with George W. Bush to become the new worst U.S. President of all time, then one could say that he is doing a brilliant job.
But one thing's for sure: he's a terrific liar, whenever he's speaking in public.
Why aren't Democrats in Congress pressing for him to be impeached? There are so many sound reasons why he ought to be forced out of office. But none of them are reasons that Republicans hate him. Republicans hate him because, no matter how far to the right a Democrat is, Republicans demand someone who is even farther to the right, and Obama isn't leaving them much territory to the right of himself; so, he's driving them into territory that makes everyone except perhaps the Koch brothers and their friends feel a bit sour.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.