Faced with a barrage of outrage—based on a discredited report—over the cost of his 10-day trip to India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan, Barack Obama has rebranded it as a jobs mission. “The primary purpose is to take a bunch of US companies and open up markets so that we can sell in Asia … and create jobs here,” Obama told his Cabinet yesterday, reports the New York Times. He repeated that message today, while lauding an encouraging new jobs report.
Conservatives have attempted to make hay over the trip’s price tag, after the Press Trust of India reported that Obama would bring an entourage of 3,000 and spend $200 million a day. But the White House has said those figures have “no basis in reality,” and a host of fact-checkers, including FactCheck.org and Snopes.com agreed. The Wall Street Journal called the report “demonstrably incorrect.” Not that that stopped Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity from repeating the figures, New York Magazine observes.