In politics, it is par for the course to distort and attack the oppositionâ€™s message, but outright lying should never be tolerated by the American people or from our media. I believe Romney is going down this mendacious road because his strategists have told him that if he repeats a statement enough times, many voters will believe him. It is dishonest to frame a lie as being the truth. I have highlighted below a few of Romneyâ€™s false statements.
1. Romney claimed that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would consume 50% of Americaâ€™s GDP. This earned him four Pinocchios from the Washington Post Fact Checker.
2. Yesterday, during an interview on Fox & Friends, Romney said that Americans have lost 40% of their personal wealth in "the last three years." This is inaccurate because the Federal Reserve report they were referencing is for the years from 2007 to 2010. In fairness to Fox news, a date correction was made later that morning, but Romney has yet to alter his statement.
3. The Romney campaign has been airing an ad against President Obama in which the President says: â€śIf we keep talking about the economy, weâ€™re going to lose,â€ť as if this is part of Obama's campaign strategy. The problem is that this line was not spoken by Obama. The clip in that ad is egregiously dishonest and completely taken out of context.
President Obama did say at a campaign rally in 2008 when he was running against John McCain, "Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." As can easily be seen, what the Romney camp failed to include and manipulated was the President's reference to McCainâ€™s campaignâ€”that this is what an aide to Senator McCain stated.
Romney needs to stop airing this ad or delete the clip from it, and he should be called out relentlessly until he does so. He knows itâ€™s a lie, but continues to run it anyway.
4. Then there is Romneyâ€™s assertion regarding Solyndra: "An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the Administration had steered money to friends and family and campaign contributors." No â€śinspector generalâ€ť ever concluded such a thing.
Read the story: Romney Wrong on Solyndra Facts
5. Romney also maintains that Obama passed the ACA even though he was told, and knew, that it would hurt the economy. Romneyâ€™s campaign pulled this talking point together from Noam Schieberâ€™s recently published book, The Escape Artists, about the Obama administrationâ€™s economic policies.
Schieber has publicly said this is not true. He told MSNBC: â€śI found no evidence of this. I encountered no administration official who felt that way. They all thought [the healthcare law] was a good thing to do and in the long-term interest of the economy. They had no inkling, there was never any discussion, that this would ... crimp the recovery going forward.â€ť
Read the story here.
These are just a few examples of Romneyâ€™s willingness to engage in dishonesty, and I can only assume there are more examples out there. The truth is important, and those who wish to lead us must be honorable people. Perhaps that is too much to ask of our elected officials and those campaigning these days, but we must demand standards of honesty when they are playing their political games.
President Obama should be held to the same standards. This morning I read about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact will bestow "radical new political powers upon multi-national corporations, contradicting prior promises" [from the administration]. So Obama breaks campaign promises he made to protect the environment, food safety, the health of American citizens, to save public services from privatization, etc.â€”all issues important to progressives, in favor of multi-national corporations, and GOPers continue to call him a socialist.
That "Obama is the most anti-business president ever" is another big lie the GOP wants the country to believe. His economic policies and this trade negotiation with eight Pacific nations belie that GOP claim. Obama, if anything, has been too easy on business. Compared to the pittance of government help given to foreclosed homeowners and the unemployed, financial and corporate elites have received big bailouts and tax breaks since the 2008 economic crash. Sadly, oftentimes it's hard to tell the two parties apart.