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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obama teams with Philip Morris to beat "tobacco industry"

Media accounts let Obama get away with a whopper about the tobacco regulation bill he just signed. My Examiner column sets the record straight:

President Barack Obama signed a bill Monday that the largest tobacco company in America had championed for years. Obama nevertheless claimed he had taken on Big Tobacco and won.

As Obama signed the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco, he proclaimed in the Rose Garden: “Today, despite decades of lobbying and advertising by the tobacco industry, we’ve passed a law to help protect the next generation of Americans from growing up with a deadly habit. …”

But on Tuesday morning, the home page of Philip Morris, which controls a majority of the U.S. cigarette market, blared “Philip Morris Supports Federal Regulation of Tobacco.”

Was Obama ignorant of the $40,000-a-day pro-regulation lobbying effort by the country’s biggest cigarette maker?

Was Obama surprised by the applause Monday from Philip Morris’ parent company Altria, calling the bill “an important and historic achievement”
Read the whole thing here.

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