Smear: Anita Dunn's Hero is Mao Zedong
Right-wing conservatives are suggesting that White House Communications Director Anita Dunn's hero is dictator Mao Zedong.
Ms. Dunn actually said:
"And then the third lesson and tip actually come from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices. You're going to challenge. You're going to say, 'Why not?' You're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here's the deal: These are your choices. They are no one else's."
The fact that Anita Dunn mentioned Mao Zedong's name in no way means she condones the way he governed. Learning about and discussing the writings and philosophies of influential historical figures is a common practice. It does not indicate an endorsement of their ideals.
Prominent conservatives have referred to Mao and other dictators in a similar vein, including:
Glenn Beck wrote about purchasing Adolf Hitler's work Mein Kampf.
John McCain routinely quoted "Chairman Mao" as part of his stump speech in 2008.
President George W. Bush recommended a Mao Zedong biography to Karl Rove.