On CNN today, GOP strategist and former Dick Cheney adviser Mary Matalin argued that President Obama is speaking too much about the severe debt, deficits, and economic recession he inherited from the previous administration. Defending her former boss, Matalin charged that President Bush had in fact “inherited a recession” and the September 11th attacks from President Clinton:
MATALIN: I was there, we inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history. And President Bush dealt with it and within a year of his presidency within a comparable time, unemployment was at 5 percent.
In reality, the terror attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 — eight months into President Bush’s first term. Also, the 2001 recession technically began in March of 2001, well after Bush assumed office. Last month, former Bush administration spokesperson Dana Perino claimed that “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.” Former Bush administration officials seem intent on misrepresenting history to pretend that the country never suffered its worst terror attack in history under Bush’s watch. It’s a peculiar talking point, even considering the other efforts to whitewash Bush’s disastrous record.