September 28th, 2009
08:51 AM ET
13 years ago

PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter: Goldman Sachs contributions to Obama

Editor's Note: is a project of the St. Petersburg Times that aims to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, etc. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter.

Barack Obama got many campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Filmmaker Michael Moore speaks at a rally and march to Wall Street on September 22, 2009 in New York City."]

Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore has a new film coming out - Capitalism: A Love Story - and he appeared on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report to promote it.

The show's ironically conservative host, Stephen Colbert, defended capitalism and the bailouts of late 2008, which led to a mock debate between them.

At first, Wall Street was actually angry about the bailouts, Colbert claimed. "because it might come with strings attached," he explained. "But they forgave Obama when he didn't add any. Now all is forgiven."

"That's why you like Obama so much now?" Moore asked.

"I don't like Obama so much," Colbert said. "On this, I do. And your film is helping me like Obama, because you're a critic of his. You think he's in the pocket of guys like Goldman Sachs."

"I point out in the film that Goldman Sachs is his No. 1 private contributor," Moore answered. "But I voted for the guy. I'm still hopeful that he's going to do the right thing and side with us, and not Wall Street. But the jury's out on that."

We'll let you draw your own conclusions on their debate. We wanted to check Moore's statement about Obama's contributors and the financial services firm Goldman Sachs.

The Truth-O-Meter says: TRUE


Read more: Goldman employees gave close to $1m

Filed under: Truth-o-meter
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. rachel

    So michael we all get to see this movie for free right?

    September 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Darlene Hagen

    Listen, Moore: Obama doesn't side with anyone except himself. He keeps smiling down at us poor, stupid masses from his lofty, know-all perch thinking he has us all fooled. Unfortunately for him, he has only some of the people like you fooled. He stands for nothing except his own resume because he intends to be the leader of the world, not the US.

    September 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. TangledThorns

    Oh puhleez. I didn't vote for Obama but Michael Moore is as sleazy as it gets.

    September 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Bob in Pa

    Moore is great, the only guy that can take a single straight fact and twist it into a pretzel. Outside of Obama, he is number one in this sport.

    September 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Enough

    If that fat slob Moore thinks making a profit is so terrible, he is welcome to donate everything he makes to charity. He lacks the intelligence to understand what makes the world go round.

    September 28, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. BobH

    I guess I'd like to see the definition of "private contributor." If these are all donations from individuals, why aren't the U of Cal contributors number one? Because they don't work for a for-profit corporation? If that's the measure, than a more useful comparison would be the percentage of funds Obama received from people working at for-profit companies vs. from non-profits. I suspect Obama got a far smaller percentage of his campaign funds from companies than McCain did.

    Also relevant is that while both Democrats and Republicans have been working to curtail campaign funds from private corporations, the legislation has been weakened and opposed largely by conservative Republicans.

    September 28, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    Moore is a complete idiot. I wonder what slum he'd be living in if it weren't for Capitalism.......

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Ryan in VA

    It seems like people are just getting meaner since Obama was elected. And it's just going to get worse.... people need to realize they are going to have less and learn to deal with that. Obama and his workers need to communicate this better. All these young people are out of work, and the ones who have job will be paying close to or perhaps more of their earnings in taxes to support the healthcare of old people. That makes people mean and discontented. Obama and his workers need to come up with ways to keep these people distracted from this. And just yelling racism doesn't work either, because although that is out there it is not as prevalent as it once was.

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    I voted for the guy, PROUDLY, and I continue to have Hope that President Obama will live up to the bulk of his campaign hype.
    Sadly, his stance on campaign, campaign finance and who contributes, how they contribute and how it impacts the political process and the country as a whole is politics as usual – and it DEMANDS that I wonder what is going on in the back rooms of our political environs... Is he just another poll, getting paid by "Big Business" or is he REALLY going to make the changes that got him my vote?

    It is sad to have this question in my face this early in his (hopefully) first term, but know that I will campaign against him if his appearance as "just another politician" continues, and or continues to grow.

    September 28, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. John Nixdorf

    Under current campaign finance laws, the maximum any individual can donate to any single political candidate is $2300.

    Any time you donate to a candidate, you have to list your employer.

    If 10,000 Walmart stockers donate $100 each to a candidate, it'd be reported as "Walmart employees donated $1,000,000 to candidate X".

    So when somebody says any business has donated $$$ to a candidate, that means that employees at some level of that business are donating $$$, not that it reflects the entire company.

    That isn't to say that 100 executives donating $2300 and their wives donating $2300 to a single candidate wouldn't be a sizable chunk of influence bought.

    September 28, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Nija

    I gave him $20 and I am proud of it. How much did you give Moore?

    September 28, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. dale

    Every politician is bought and paid for. That's why in 2010 we need to remind "all" of them who they report too and show all of them the door. No incumbents should be re-elected "none" and especially the old ones. Both sides need to be refreshed and us people need to enforce who they really work for

    September 28, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. DC Area Voter

    I find this article a little misleading. Initially I thought the companies gave the donations but after carefully reading the ull artcle it turns out the employees made the contributuions. In essence, the company did not contribute but indivudulas; who by virtue of the campaign finance laws had to reveal their employers, contributed the money to the campaign.

    This is part of the problem I have with any political reporting; often the titles give the wrong impression and very few people take the time or even have time to perform the additional research.

    September 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. IndyVoter

    Here we go again! There is a HUGE and very DISTINCT difference between getting campaign contributions from EMPLOYEES of a company, who are private citizens and from Goldman Sachs the COMPANY itself. There is a difference between individuals rights to give to whatever campaign they want and a corporation or company owned by a groups of shareholders who represent a block or an interest group giving to a political campaign from its earnings! What about this difference dont' you understand? This should be false or at least barely true.

    September 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. bam

    It's unfortunate but until money is taken out of the political process, a candidate for national office needs hundreds of millions of dollars to be competitive.

    September 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. illinoistom

    Goldman doesn't care what party is in charge. They know both are for sale.

    September 28, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. disgusted

    So it was an employee organization? For which employees? The highly paid ones or the grunts? Might be interesting to know. Maybe some news organization could look into that.

    September 28, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Craig

    If I fry french fries at McDonalds for a living and I make a donation to a politician...does that mean the politician is in the pocket of McDonalds?

    September 28, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Steve in CT

    First Acorn and now this. Even Moore is critical of this guy and everyone knows how over the top liberal Moore is. Perhaps Obama can poll the innocent little children forced to sing praises to/about him (Zig Heil) to draw attention away from the truth before too many realize the huge mistake we made last November.

    September 28, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Greg in MO

    How does your collective feet taste liberals?

    September 28, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Cynthia

    No surprise here. Obama is just like every other politician. He just had a slogan that people so foolishly bought!

    September 28, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Melissa

    I don't know why people act surprised. Companies, and politicians, do this all the time. Its not like its anything new and the company probably thought that it could buy him out. Too bad they were in for such a rude surprise. I bet they're regretting contributing now.

    September 28, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Robin

    It must be bad when the most liberal minded man on the planet is not praising Obama.

    September 28, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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