A new study conducted by a non-profit organization reveals that House Republicans speak at a higher grade level than President Barack Obama.
Liberals, including MSNBC host Martin Bashir, reveled in a Sunlight Foundation study that found that Republicans spoke at lower reading levels than congressional Democrats. The GOP’s 10th grade speech level ranks two grades higher than Obama’s rhetoric.
The Washington Free Beacon assessed dozens of Obama speeches from different stages of his career using the Flesch-Kincaid method and found that the pattern of simple speeches did not start with his reelection campaign.
Since taking office, Obama has routinely spoken to the American people in a more simplistic manner than his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Obama’s State of the Union addresses peaked at a 10th grade level in 2009 and declined to an eighth-grade level by 2012. Bush, on the other hand, scored consistently above the 10th grade level with his State of the Union addresses, including a high of 11.84 for his 2005 address.
Bush’s appeal for his signature tax cuts was delivered at a higher level of complexity than Obama’s argument for their repeal.
The former president’s June 2001 signing statement was at a 10th grade level, compared with the seventh grade level at which Obama spoke in 2010. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” State of the Union speech, given in 2002 and derided by academic critics as overly simplistic, was delivered a full grade level above Obama’s lauded 2002 “dumb war” oration.
The test is not a measure of ideas, but in how they are communicated. It assigns complexity based upon grammatical conditions of words per sentence and syllables per word.
The Huffington Post’s story came three weeks after the Washington Free Beacon conducted its analysis of President Obama.