Over the weekend, the official weekly Republican address boasted about the party’s success in turning back sequester-caused flight delays. “Republicans kept the heat on using every available platform, including Twitter, with the hashtag ObamaFlightDelays,” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) crowed. “The pressure worked.”
The claims came on the heels of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gloating over the resolution of the FAA fight, telling Fox News, “I mean, it was just a 100 percent loser for the president and the Democrats.”
Well, maybe not 100 percent.
The Pew Research Center polled on the controversy, asking Americans who they hold responsible for the flight delays. A 34% plurality blamed congressional Republicans, while 32% blamed the Obama administration. Another 10% blamed both, while about one in four didn’t know (via Greg Sargent).
What’s more, in the same national survey, only about 15% of Americans said they followed news about airport delays and the furlough of air-traffic controllers very closely.
I suppose Republicans can take some solace in the fact that they weren’t blamed even more – they’re not a popular bunch – but in light of the results, Priebus’ boasts look pretty silly.
The news may surprise the RNC, but it appears misleading hashtags are not quite enough to sway public attitudes and get people to believe claims that are not true.