Obama 'Wins' Lie of the Year

'If you like your plan...' and ensuing prevaricating, take PolitiFact's top honors

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 13, 2013 8:41 AM CST

(Newser) – "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." Barack Obama has been raked over the coals for that one in recent months, and now he's getting, umm, honored for it: PolitiFact has awarded the phrase its Lie of the Year Award, it announced on CNN last night. The editors' pick was backed up by an online poll that overwhelmingly agreed. It's the fourth year out of five that the top lie has been health care-related (see 2009, 2010, and 2011), and the three runners-up lies this year are all related to conservative attacks on the law.

When Obama first made the statement, back in 2009, PolitiFact rated it as "Half True." But when cancellations started pouring in, Obama dropped this whopper: "What we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed." That earned a "pants on fire" rating—Obama publicly made his promise, without any conditions, 37 times by PolitiFact's count. Besides, editor Angie Drobnic Holan explained on CNN, "the lie of the year is not the most wrong statement, it's the most significant impact."

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit, Dec. 4, 2013.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit, Dec. 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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PolitiFact reveals its top four lies of the year.   (CNN)

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