The Washington Times - November 6, 2012, 02:21PM

In one of his final interviews before the polls close on Election Day, President Obama made the demonstrably false claim that he has barred lobbyists from working in his administration.

“What I’ve tried to do is, in the White House to change our culture for example, not letting lobbyists work in my administration,” Mr. Obama told WHO-TV of Des Moines, Iowa, as he conducted a last-minute round of interviews with broadcasters in battleground states.

SEE RELATED:


When he ran for president in 2008, Mr. Obama pledged that former lobbyists would not be allowed to “work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” On his first full day in office, the president signed an executive order to that effect.

But the order has a loophole that allows the administration to grant waivers for former lobbyists to serve in government jobs. The administration has used the loophole many times.

And the Center For Responsive Politics said at least 374 people in the administration have been through the “revolving door” between government and lobbying, including 20 officials in the Justice Department and 17 in the Commerce Department.

The president promised in 2008 that his administration wouldn’t be influenced by lobbyists, a pledge he has renewed in his re-election campaign.