Political Animal


August 05, 2012 10:48 AM Today in Mitt-Romney-Lies-Like-a-Rug

By Kathleen Geier

Via Think Progress, Mitt Romney, on his Facebook page, is claiming that President Obama is running to the courts to prevent members of the military from voting in Ohio. Saith the Mittster:

President Obama’s lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state’s early voting period is an outrage. The brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I’m entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I’ll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them.

But as Think Progress’s Judd Legum points out, this is a big fat lie. Earlier this year, the Republican Ohio state legislature, in keeping with nation-wide Republican efforts to restrict ballot access, eliminated early voting in the state, except for members of the military. (Gee, I can’t imagine why they might have made an exception for the military, of all groups! Can you?) The Obama administration filed a lawsuit to restore early voting for all voters; its suit does not in any way attempt to restrict military early voting. Even Fox News, of all sources, acknowledges this.

I’m certain that Romney, or whatever staffer wrote the Facebook post for him, knows very well what the truth is here. But I think the point, strategically, is to muddy the waters, so far as ballot access and voter fraud issues are concerned. It is, after all, Republicans who are ideologically and operationally committed to massive voter suppression efforts. Especially when elections are close, as I believe the 2012 presidential election is likely to be, those efforts can make all the difference.

But since Republicans don’t want to look like the bad guys who are disenfranchising vulnerable populations, they know that it is to their advantage to make it look like “both sides do it.” Thus the constant drumbeat of Republican accusations of voter fraud during the last presidential election, which led to the destruction of one of the great community organizations, ACORN. We are likely to see more of same this year, along with accusations like the one Romney made yesterday, about alleged Democratic efforts to suppress the vote among Republican-friendly constituencies, such as the military.

This technique — call it projection, if you want to be sophisticated about it; or “I know you, but what am I?” if you want to boil it down to the schoolyard basics — is a tried and true wingnut classic. In public debates, it confuses and disorients people just enough to remove the advantage the Democrats usually have on these issues. This is particularly true when voters, as is so often the case, don’t know any better.

One concluding note: is it me, or is Romney one of the most shameless liars to be nominated for President by a major party in many years? Dubya was of course a giant liar too, but I think mostly he let Cheney tell his biggest lies for him. McCain was also a big fat liar, but I don’t think he was quite as reckless and sleazy about it as Romney appears to be. It’s hard to remember a major party candidate just making up so much garbage out of wholecloth. This is merely the latest example. I think we’d have to go back to Reagan or even Nixon to find a presidential candidate who was this pathologically dishonest.

The terrifying thing is, each of those two guys won. Twice.

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee


  • martin on August 05, 2012 11:38 AM:

    Yes, Mitt is one of the most shameless liars and can because the Dems are afraid to call him one. They may debunk or contradict or beg to differ, but they are completely too wimpy to call him what he is: A LIAR.

  • T2 on August 05, 2012 11:39 AM:

    "both sides do it". Only works if the Media allows it to. Which side owns the Media?

  • SadOldVet on August 05, 2012 11:44 AM:


    Perspective) Willard is a pathological liar. He seems incapable of speaking the truth even when the truth would serve him as well.

    Alternate Perspective) Willard says in speeches what he has written for him to read in speeches. None of it (beyond maybe his belief that he should pay much less tax) is internalized. Which is why he says, when questioned after a speech, that he did not say the things that he was recorded saying in the speech.

    My interpretation is that Willard is a pathological liar who wants to be president (more of the Little George symptoms) and will say anything to get to be president.

    My republican friends remind me often that Mittens is not one of the 1%ers! He is one of the 1/10th of 1%ers. They also remind me that it is only fair that the wealthy have one of their own as president; especially one who is not afraid to show his distain for the peon classes.

  • TCinLA on August 05, 2012 12:02 PM:

    How can you tell Romoney is lying? Look and see if his lips are moving.

    Has anyone else noted the strong correlation between the dumbing-down of education and the rise of the far right? The Texas Republican Party is afraid of students being taught critical thinking, but since they're not taught to read at more than a barely-functional level that turns most of them off to the joy of reading, they never learn to think logically (anything well-written, fiction or non-fiction, is written logically so if you read you learn that by "osmosis") so they can't learn to think critically. And so, as a result, a guy like Romoney can come along and there is nothing to stop him. Every one of the Founders strongly believed that an educated citizenry was the key to a successful democratic republic, and they were right.

  • jjm on August 05, 2012 12:19 PM:

    At least the Sunday talk shows are starting to allow Democrats on, and apparently Axelrod made mincemeat of Romney's ridiculous allegation.

    And I'm absolutely delighted that Reid is keeping up his allegations and not yielding to voices saying that he's losing the high ground. I have every expectation that he is speaking the truth about what he heard; Mitt's track record of interminable lying makes it impossible for anyone -- even his own party members -- to think this accusation is unthinkable.

    Mitt's apoplectic response, while refusing to give in and show his returns, means that in the long run, Romney will have to give up.

  • leopoldvonranke on August 05, 2012 1:01 PM:

    You know, the "out-of-context" TV ads are clever lies. This one is just blatant and baldfaced. Having worked in voter protection/GOTV as a lwayer for ODP since 2002(with the exception of 2010) as a volunteer, I know Ohio election law.

    I've read the complaint. It absolutely seeks to overturn the Ohio legislature's sub rosa attempt to prevent most registered Ohio voters from voting on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the election.

    If it hadn't been a rightist legislature who passed the bill and a rightist governor who signed it, someone, somewhere would be charging election fraud (very different than voter fraud).

    This allegedly has to do with "voter fraud." In nearly twenty years dealing with the criminal aspects of voter fraud, I've been involved with two cases. The first was a local Republican who sought the county chairmanship of the party and bought absentee ballots in an attempt to vote himself in as chair. He got caught, pled to multiple misdemeanors and was suspended from the practice of law for two years.

    The second was a college student who stupidly thought he could vote an absentee ballot and then go home and vote again.

    I know of three other instances of the latter type.

    I am freaking apoplectic about this lie.

  • c u n d gulag on August 05, 2012 1:08 PM:

    The difference is that, while all Presidential candidates lie to one degree or another, what's unusual is that Mitt's willing to do his own lying - instead of letting surrogates do it for him.
    And BIG lies, at that!

    Most candidates are afraid, if the MSM calls them out on it, of their words coming back to bite them in the ass - and so leave the worst lies to the professional liers.

    This way, if it's something really egregious, or nasty, they can point fingers at the surrogate, and hide them away somewhere for a few weeks until the dust settles down.

    Now, the question is, 'Why is Mitt unafraid to lie, and lie boldly, himself?'
    Is it that he's THAT sure that the MSM won't call him on it, because he's pals with most of the corporate MSM head, and the reporters wouldn't dare?
    Does he think there's nothing Super PAC money can't overcome?
    Is he a pathological lier, willing to do anything to win?

    Or, is it, 'All of the above?'
    Yeah, I think it's "All of the above."

  • Matt on August 05, 2012 1:10 PM:

    I saw something interesting yesterday. On Hotair, there was an article explicitly debunking the notion that Obama was trying to suppress the Military vote. How did the commenters respond? By ignoring the article and continuing to assert the lie.

    It seems to me that even when presented information from their cultural brethren, the right-wing base will still embrace the lie. Because it's not about what Obama has done or will do. Rather, it's about what THEY think Obama has done or will do.

    The Republican Party has completely lost its mind, from its base to its leaders.

  • Daddy Love on August 05, 2012 1:17 PM:

    Romney lies even when he doesn't have to, and that's always a bad sign.

  • Shoo Fitz-Wearit on August 05, 2012 1:33 PM:

    Here's what Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania, discussing his book "A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great", said on Charlie Rose recently, regarding how John Kerry should have responded to the swiftboat attacks.

    Look in the camera and say "How dare they attack my war record."

    He does that, boom he's POTUS. Because he looks like a leader.

    Hello, where has this thinking been hiding? If you have the ear of someone who might benefit from such advice, please pass it along.


    Approx 11:00 minutes in.

  • Josef K on August 05, 2012 2:15 PM:

    "Terrifying" isn't quite strong enough a word for this. Its like saying the Atlantic Ocean is "a little wet".

    Given a Sikh temple in Milwaukee, WI got shot up about (checks watch) three hours or so ago, we're a little beyond "terrifying".

    "Paranoia-induced paralysis" almost covers it.

  • mudwall jackson on August 05, 2012 2:22 PM:

    romney lies ... and in other news, the sun rose in the east today

  • Jim Keating on August 05, 2012 2:51 PM:

    Why did a donate to Romney add keep coming up on this site
    I reduced it 5 times and it keep coming back. Just wondered
    if you knew about this? Seems like an improper place, content and repetitions for this site.

  • JM917 on August 05, 2012 3:11 PM:

    @ Jim Keating: If the Romney campaign wants to waste its money while contributing to the advertising income of Washington Monthly, far be it from me to complain. I wouldn't think that they'd get many customers here, but hey, if that's how they want to spend the Mittster's $$$$...

    I too think that the Dems are wussy for beating round the bush (no pun!) rather than calling Romney what he is: a LIAR. My only hope is that this pushback is going to escalate, culminating in Obama calling Romney a shameless, repeated liar to his face in one of the debates.

  • jjm on August 05, 2012 3:19 PM:

    to @JM917: Reince Priebus has just called Reid a liar, so now the gloves are off.

  • FlipYrWhig on August 05, 2012 3:35 PM:

    @Jim, presumably the Romney ad comes up based on textual analysis: Google or whoever crunches the text, finds political discussion and many mentions of "Romney," and spits out a finding, "Hey, people talk about Romney on this site, they might like some Romney advertising!". Presumably a high-traffic blog about how much Creed sucks would end up with ads for a new Creed album, too.

  • liam foote on August 05, 2012 3:42 PM:

    (Gee, I canít imagine why they might have made an exception for the military, of all groups! Can you?)

    Sorry, but this comment seems not only snarky and sophomoric, but implies that our military is uniformly (ahem) conservative. As a USMC combat vet during Viet Nam (III MAF, I Corps) I can tell you that since the end of the draft, members of the military essentially trend politically the same as the general US population, with the exception of senior officers (Major +). You might want to look into this in order to understand a bit about our troops.

    Otherwise, good article. Thanks.

  • Diane Rodriguez on August 05, 2012 4:03 PM:

    SadOldVet@11:44. Everything you said.

    I would add that Mitt's arrogance fuels his unshakeable belief that he is owed the Presidency. Delusional at best. That arrogance fuels his woefully misguided belief that should he become President, he will use the etch-a-sketch to erase the bills he has accumulated. He mistakes his petty desires for capability. The Koch brothers and their ilk will have their hands up his ass, working him like the cowardly puppet he has shown himself to be.

  • jsjiowa on August 05, 2012 5:21 PM:

    @Jim: I have frequently gotten conservative political ads on this site. What makes it even more unusual in this day and age is that I've opted out of every advertising cookie I could, so I'm not getting ads because a tracking cookie knows I frequent political sites or any other kind of trend that a particular campaign might want to target. I must be getting some type of default ad.

    ProPublica is trying to analyze why certain people are getting certain political ads. Check out this, for example: http://www.propublica.org/article/help-us-find-out-how-politicians-are-targeting-you-online Their work on the issue has been interesting, and worth following.

  • leopoldvonranke on August 05, 2012 6:30 PM:

    "Lies like a rug?" Growing up on the Great Plains in the fifties and sixties, there was a more apt expression descriptive of Mr. Romney. Paraphrasing, to some extent, it went like this:

    He lies like a piece of [cowpie].

  • Kobie on August 05, 2012 7:31 PM:

    Yeah, this is about par for the course. Willard's campaign is utterly shameless.

  • Doug on August 05, 2012 8:56 PM:

    The military, as a whole, does tend to vote Republican. Partly, I think, because many military members who are NOT Republican, may not vote. Perhaps they feel their votes won't matter, a common enough excuse given by non-military memebers of the same age group?
    It did use to be an political axiom that if one was a member of the military, no matter what rank, one voted Republican. There was just enough truth in it for it to become "common wisdom". Also recall that when an opinion about military policy is sought from a former member of the military, it's usually NOT because that person is in agreement with the present administration - again leaving the impression that being in the military means one is conservative.
    I DO know that when I was on active duty, 1975-95, we always had Election Officers, or Petty Officers, whose job was to ensure that every member who wanted to vote was able to and made certain we received our absentee ballots in plenty of time.
    Of course, noone HAD to vote, either...

  • Werewolf on August 05, 2012 11:36 PM:

    As Jerry Clower say about his cousin Newgene Ledbetter:
    "He'd climb a tree to tell a lie when he could stand on the ground and tell the truth."

  • James M on August 05, 2012 11:48 PM:

    At first I thought that SadOldVet (August 05, 2012 11:44 AM) might have been a little over the top calling Mitt a 'pathological liar'. However, upon a little research, it looks like he nailed it!

    "Pathological lying is manipulative lying so that the person can get his way. Pathological liars have little regard for the feelings of others or the morality of their lies."


    Wow-I can't think of description that fits Mitt Romney better. I also think that Mitt is a con man. (That is probably why he was so good at private equity.)Many years ago I did an exhaustive Internet search regarding con men. What I found to be their most common trait was total and utter contempt for their victims. They could bilk an 80 year old grandmother out of her life savings and then laugh about what an idiot she was.

    If you assume that Mitt is a con man, it would explain why he goes around insulting everyone. He just can't contain the contempt he feels for his 'base' (marks). Everyone time he makes a speech in some working class/lower middle class Republican enclave, he must be thinking to himself, 'Man. I can't believe these idiots are going to vote for me!'.

  • Anonymous on August 06, 2012 12:02 AM:

    you know that republican leaders are admitting their defeat by creating Super Pacs, voter ID law without public marketing and other affords to seriously tackle fraud and lies about facts. if they play the same old game, they will never raise more money and will always lose.

  • michmac on August 06, 2012 6:59 AM:

    He's a "dirty liar"

  • Karen on August 06, 2012 8:24 PM:

    In the dictionary beside the word "liar" is a picture of Mitt Romney.

  • beejeez on August 07, 2012 1:12 PM:

    The very nature of politics forces candidates to lie for many reasons, some of them even good ones. A candidate who gets to the top must be either an effective actor or must be capable of enough self-deception or ego that he convinces himself that the facts and truth of the world support his prejudices; this allows him to project sincerity. Romney has a bit of both these qualities -- he's both a born salesman and has the freedom from self-doubt endemic to inherited wealth. Add in the very best packaging Madison Avenue can provide with a straight face and you get the formidable candidate we know.

    Obama's campaign team is pretty good, thank God, but they could be more imaginative about anticipating how Team Romney can distort even apparently simple moves like the Ohio election law, or statements like Obama's ill-phrased take on Elizabeth Warren's "you didn't get there by yourself" thesis. In Ohio, instead of seeking to restore the 3-day early voting window to the one soldiers enjoy, his staff should have anticipated the criticism ("Oh, our soldiers don't deserve special treatment?") and proposed allowing soldiers a full week to vote while bringing back the 3-day early voting window for everyone else, which is the principal goal. The Obama team has to match the imagination of the Romney team; assuming that people in general will see through a misleading ad or statement has proven to be wrong almost every time.

  • Ron McCune on August 10, 2012 12:18 AM:

    Want to hear something really disguising! We Americans have a candidate for president of the United States, namely Willard Mitt Romney, who got his start in the business world with money from those that were in some way connected to terrorist and has helped those terrorist make money over the years so that they could continue on with their terrorism! That is totally DISGUISING! When Romney first started Bain Capital he had a hard time finding investors. He was told that he might have better luck finding investors overseas. So he search around and came upon a group of people from El Salvador that were looking for ways to make money with their income. Now at that time in El Salvador there was a revolution going on between the rich land owners and the pheasant population for control of the farming lands of El Salvador. This was not just a protest revolution. This was a killing revolution. The land owners hires a secret killing force who were killing many protesters in order to put fear into the protesters. This was a known fact to the world and to Romney. However Romney still decided to team up with some of the very rich farm land owners to take their money and make investments in Bain Capital so that he could make these rich land owners richer which in turn gave the rich owners more money to hire more terrorist and buy more weapons for them so that they can kill more pheasants. Romney knew that family members of the investors were involved in the terrorist acts of killing. Those associated with the investors would brag about about the terrorist attacks while they were in Miami where they lived or were there to have meetings with Romney and Bain. Yet Romney continued to do business with these rich land owners and did so even after the terrorist killed a Bishop who was trying to speak up for the pheasants. Romney and Bain helped finance the killings of El Salvadorians. This is the kind of guy you people want to elect as your President of the United States. To read more about this story read the Huffington Post issue of 8/8/2012. I hope more media outlets look into this story some more because this is disgusting that Romney did this. Read www.mybetteramericaplan.com to see why Romney and the Republicans are bad for America.

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