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Obama Spokesman on Solyndra: 'Widely Praised as Successful and Innovative'

10:01 AM, Jul 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Lis Smith, a spokesman for President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, touted Solyndra by saying the failed energy company that received federally backed loans has been "widely praised as successful and innovative."

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"The reality is that Solyndra received funding through a Department of Energy program created under the Bush administration — a program that has supported tens of thousands of jobs across the country and is moving forward with investments in innovative projects like the first nuclear plant built in the U.S. in decades and the world's largest wind farm," Lis Smith told the Detroit News. "In fact, both Republican and Democratic administrations advanced Solyndra's application, and the company was widely praised as successful and innovative both before and after receiving the Department of Energy loan guarantee."

So let's recap the facts about Solyndra.

"In March 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a $535 million conditional loan guarantee to Solyndra — making it the first to receive a loan since the 2005 program began. At that point, administration officials pushed for the DOE to hasten its final decision on approving the loan so Vice President Joe Biden could announce it on a planned trip to California. The loan was funded with stimulus money and formally announced in September 2009," the Washington Post explains.

The DOE learned in December 2010 that Solyndra could not make its loan payment, in violation of itsfederal loan deal. Solyndra executives had been privately warning administration officials that the firm was at risk of liquidation.

Yet in February 2011, the department restructured the loan, with some investors agreeing to provide Solyndra $75 million more in financing. ...

In August 2011, the company filed for bankruptcy.

It is hard to see what successes Smith might have been referring to.Unless one looks at it through the president's prism. "If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that," Obama recently said. "Somebody else made that happen." So perhaps that is what Smith meant here: Solyndra is a business that government helped build. 

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