President Obama's campaign has issued a response to "2016: Obama's America," the anti-Obama documentary directed by author Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan. Obama's camp has dismissed the film as "an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the president."
"2016: Obama's America" is a documentary based on the 2010 book "The Roots of Obama's Rage," written by D'Souza, which claims Obama's interests lie in an anti-colonial agenda that will ultimately hinder America's growth and progress. The film has been in the headlines since it picked up steam in the box office after a wide release on Aug. 24. To date, it is the No. 2 highest-grossing political documentary behind Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," earning $26 million total, according to Deadline.com.
However, despite the notable box office draw, the anti-Obama flick has been blasted by critics.
Last week, President Obama's 2012 campaign came out with its own review posted on BarackObama.com.
"[D'Souza] attempts to hide his lies behind a pseudo-scholarly presentation and glossy production values cannot withstand basic scrutiny," writes the Obama campaign. "The facts show that '2016: Obama’s America' is nothing more than an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the President by giving intellectual cover to the worst in subterranean conspiracy theories and false, partisan attacks."
The campaign also outlined exactly where the movie muddled the facts, including:
- D’Souza falsely claimed that President Obama said he didn’t believe in American exceptionalism—when in fact the President has repeatedly praised America’s exceptional identity and core values.
- D’Souza falsely asserted that President Obama funded2 billion in Brazilian oil exploration even though numerous fact checkers and reporters have noted that President Obama had “nothing to do with the loan.”
- D’Souza falsely charged that President Obama backed Scotland’s release of the Lockerbie bomber only weeks after the Obama administration had put out a statement opposing Scotland’s decision to return Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to Libya and sent a letter to the Scottish government raising the administration’s strong objection.
- D’Souza even claimed that President Obama passed the bank bailouts when the facts clearly show that it was President Bush who signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law in October 2008.
D'Souza has defended "2016: Obama's America" which, like his book, draws quotes directly from Obama's own writings, including "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams From My Father."
"I was thinking, 'Haven't you guys read Obama's book? He wrote practically 500 pages on this subject,'" D'Souza previously told The Huffington Post's Joe Satran. "And then I noticed that Obama had read his own book in audiobook. I began to listen to it, and I thought, 'It's all here in his own voice! If only I could take some of this stuff, critical points, and make a documentary, it would be very helpful for people.'"
Adding, "This was not intended to be a 'Don't Vote For Obama' film, but rather to be a 'Discover The Real Obama' film. There's no question that I knew there would be intense interest in politics this year and so it made sense to drop the film at a time when Americans care more than usual about politics. But it's not specifically aimed at the election."
The success of the film may be due, in part, to premeditation. Savvy marketing tactics included organized trips to theaters around the country, with busloads carrying in groups of viewers, according to Deadline.com's Nikki Finke.