Without explanation, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D - IL) has attempted to retract a statement he made in February of this year pledging to end billions of dollars in fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs.
Senator Obama's original statement was in response to over a dozen federal investigations, which have found that the Bush Administration has diverted billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms. In report 5-15, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector (SBA OIG) referred to the issue as one of the biggest challenges facing the entire federal government today. (http://www.sba.gov/IG/05-15.pdf)
In February, Senator Obama's original statement was:
"I am proud to have the support of the American Small Business League and their grassroots efforts to help protect American small business. Helping American small business is part of our movement for change and the end of politics as usual. 98 percent of all American companies have fewer than 100 employees. Over half of all Americans work for a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource. It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)
The Obama campaign has now gone so far as to modify the original quote by removing Senator Obama's statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."
Currently, the statement on Obama's website reads, "Ninety-eight percent of all American companies have fewer than 100 employees. Over half of all Americans work for a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource.....Helping American small business is part of our movement for change and the end of politics as usual." (http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/sbhome/)
On Tuesday of last week, CNN ran a story on the fact that neither of Senator Obama's recent rescue plans for small businesses or the middle class made any mention of his February statement calling for the end of the diversion of federal small business contracts to "corporate giants." There has been absolutely no response from the Obama campaign to the story.
Since making his original statement in February, Senator Obama has refused to mention the issue publicly or include any mention of it in his criticism of the Bush Administration. To date, Senator Obama and his campaign have not released a statement on this issue in any capacity.
Additionally, no member of the media has even asked Senator Obama why he has tried to distance himself from his pledge to end fraud and abuses in government small business contracting programs.
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