The Fact Checker senses a campaign theme emerging: Obama the apologizer. The claim that Obama is an apologist for America actually began to take shape shortly after he became president. It had been bubbling in the conservative blogs before Karl Rove published an article titled "The President's Apology Tour" in the Wall Street Journal on April 23, 2009. By June, the conservative Heritage Foundation began running a list: "Barack Obama's Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower." Most of the criticism stems from a series of speeches that Obama made shortly after taking office, when he was trying to introduce himself to the world and also signify a break with the Bush administration with new policies. This is typical of many new presidents. George W. Bush, for instance, quickly broke with Clinton administration policy on dealings with North Korea, the Kyoto climate change treaty and the international criminal court, to name a few. Obama told the Turkish parliament, in which he was trying to urge that country to come to terms with its tragic history with the Armenians: "The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution." But compare what Obama said to what George W. Bush said at Senegal's Goree Island in 2003. Bush called the U.S. constitution flawed and said that America is still troubled by the legacy of slavery. This does not seem like an apology, either -- but it is even more sharply framed than Obama's comments. Why would Obama's comment on slavery be considered an apology and not Bush's? The Pinocchio Test The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context. Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush's approach to fighting terrorism. In other cases, Obama's quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama's handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist. [/COLOR] Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened. Fact Checker - Obama's 'Apology Tour'