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January 13, 2012 3:05 PM Chronicling Mitt’s mendacity

By Steve Benen

Paul Krugman noted this morning that Mitt Romney tells so many falsehoods so often, he seems determined to rehabilitate George W. Bush’s reputation “by running a campaign so dishonest that it makes Bush look like a model of truth-telling.”

Krugman added, “I mean, is there anything at all in Romney’s stump speech that’s true?”

Well, no, not really.

Last week, I launched a new Friday afternoon feature, highlighting the Republican frontrunner’s most offensive falsehoods from the previous week. Last week was a Top 5 list, but thanks to two debates and a victory speech, we had enough examples to fill a Top 10 list.

Let’s get started:

1. Romney told voters in New Hampshire, “I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re gonna get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”

That’s not true.

2. Romney argued in a debate, “[W]hat unfortunately happens is with all the multiplicity of federal programs, you have massive overhead, with government bureaucrats in Washington administering all these programs, very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them.”

This is the exact opposite of the truth.

3. After winning the New Hampshire primary, Romney said of the president, “He lost our AAA credit rating.”

In reality, it was congressional Republicans who were responsible for the downgrade.

4. In the same speech, Romney said of Obama, “He apologizes for America”

Romney’s still lying.

5. Romney told a debate audience why he didn’t seek re-election as governor: “That would be about me. I was tryin’ to help get the state in best shape as I possibly could. Left the world of politics, went back into business.”

He’s lying — Romney didn’t re-enter the private sector after leaving the governor’s office; he transitioned to a presidential campaign.

6. Romney talked about savings he’d find in the budget: “[T]he number one to cut is Obamacare. That saves $95 billion a year.”

Actually, that’s backwards. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would cost the nation billions and increase the deficit.

7. Romney argued that the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill “makes it harder for community banks to make loans.”

No, it doesn’t.

8. Romney argued during a debate, “[I]n the business I had, we invested in over 100 different businesses and net-net, taking out the ones where we lost jobs and those that we added, those businesses have now added over 100,000 jobs.

That’s so blatantly untrue, the Romney campaign has started moving the goal posts.

9. After being pressed on ads being run by his Super PAC, Romney said, “With regards to their ads, I haven’t seen ‘em.”

Romney then proceeded to recite the attacks in the ad, almost verbatim, making clear he’d both seen and memorized the ad.

10. Campaigning in New Hampshire, Romney insisted “European-style welfare” countries end up with a system that “creates poverty.”

Not only is that wrong, but when asked to support his statement, Romney lied and pretended he never said it.

So far, the political world has been reluctant to call Romney out on his dishonesty, and some even seem taken aback when others, including Republicans, accuse the former governor of being deceitful.

I’m afraid we may be moving deeper into an era of “post-truth politics.”

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

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  • low-tech cyclist on January 13, 2012 3:29 PM:

    Steve, this is a great feature! It reminds me of your great list of McCain flip-flops from 2008. And if you keep a cumulative list of these weekly top 5 (or 10) Romney falsehoods, it's got the potential to be even more damning.

  • Josef K on January 13, 2012 3:35 PM:

    So far, the political world has been reluctant to call Romney out on his dishonesty, and some even seem taken aback when others, including Republicans, accuse the former governor of being deceitful.

    Different world, different rules. Romney could become a real-life Hannibal Lechter and the same Potomac-fevered idiots would get offended on his behalf.

  • Texas Aggie on January 13, 2012 3:38 PM:

    Something about allowing the states to set up their own programs for safety nets that hasn't been mentioned is that when there are two states with different levels of assistance, the one that gives substantially more support will find itself the target for in-migration from the states with little support. That puts even more pressure on their financial resources.

    And you know that at the state level, some of them will be diverting the federal block grants to the politically well connected, a mini Halliburton situation where some big corporation gets a no bid contract to do something supposedly related to the safety net but is more related lining pockets. Goodhair is a good example of this philosophy in action. That is why the Federal Government has to attach strings to the money it gives out.

  • Ken in Tenn on January 13, 2012 3:44 PM:

    "My first name is Mitt."

  • Gandalf on January 13, 2012 3:51 PM:

    Well Mitt may be a pathological liar but the most important thing to his peeps is that he's not blackity black black black Obama.

  • gus on January 13, 2012 4:10 PM:

    Gingrich called him a liar during a CBS interview.


    But that was a politician calling a politician a politician.

  • sick-n-effn-tired. on January 13, 2012 4:11 PM:

    My latest fav... Where's Obama's Jobs plans ? 3 years and no jobs plan ...except Mitt for the ones that have been filibustered and rejected at every turn by house and senate Republicans .
    I have a jobs plan says ol' Mitt.
    Well go ahead Mitt we're waiting , or are you going to be like McCain and keep it secret until after the election...we never did hear that plan did we Johnny Mac

  • Anonymous on January 13, 2012 4:18 PM:

    Ref the pink slip statement: How do we know that it isn't true?

    Perhaps when Willard was a child, his father threatened to disown him if he didn't stop lying about everything.

    Or maybe the Mormon church told him that if he didn't start meeting his quota of French converts, he would get his ass fired and lose his draft exemption.

  • RP on January 13, 2012 4:18 PM:

    "Romney told a debate audience why he didn’t seek re-election as governor: 'That would be about me. I was tryin’ to help get the state in best shape as I possibly could. Left the world of politics, went back into business.'”

    Was he lying here? It sounds like he saying that Mass. was better off if he *wasn't* governor and went back to private life. That sounds right to me.

  • Buffalo Harold on January 13, 2012 4:23 PM:

    Willard Mitt,
    The lyin' king;
    Fulla shit
    On everything!

  • T2 on January 13, 2012 4:26 PM:

    the reason Romney is the GOP front runner is his ability to lie. That's what the GOP looks for in a candidate.

    But as we've said many times, the Media makes it possible. In Romney's case, his lies are so frequent that even the Media has been forced to call him on some of them. That's when you know you've got a serial liar - when the Media can't ignore it.

  • Another Steve on January 13, 2012 4:30 PM:

    It needs to be noted that McCain's 2008 campaign was also built on a concerted strategy of lying constantly, about everything, even when it wasn't not necessary or even helpful. He was worse than Bush in 2000, though, amazingly, not as bad as Millard Ronmore.

    It's an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, step forward into the post-factual campaign.

  • Rw on January 13, 2012 4:31 PM:

    Very true. Romney should always be referred to as "Make It Up Mitt," because he always makes things up.

  • Rw on January 13, 2012 4:33 PM:

    Very true. Romney should always be referred to as "Make It Up Mitt," because he always makes things up.

  • Rw on January 13, 2012 4:34 PM:

    Very true. Romney should always be referred to as "Make It Up Mitt," because he always makes things up.

  • Equal Opportunity Cynic on January 13, 2012 5:04 PM:

    Is it polite to talk about such things here in public, or shall we retire to the quiet room?

  • KT on January 13, 2012 5:24 PM:

    There was just a Politifact expose of the Bain attack. Why hasn't there been one of Mitt's NH victory speech, which was basically one lie after another about Pres Obama.

  • DAY on January 13, 2012 5:31 PM:

    In the 20th C there was the paparazzi, and there were reporters with hand held digital recorders.
    In the 21st C anyone with a cell phone is a documentary film producer, and has a direct connection to Utube.

    The "Old Guys" have yet to learn this.

  • ned on January 13, 2012 5:32 PM:

    Perhaps someone should send this blog post to the ombudsman for the NY Times.

  • The Caped Composer on January 13, 2012 5:43 PM:

    IOKIYAR.

  • Joe Miller on January 13, 2012 6:16 PM:

    Thank you, Mr. Benen, for documenting Willard's fantastic stream of lies. My God, this guy makes Nixon look like a choir boy. I will keep peppering away on my own little blog but you are one of the people doing the heavy lifting, and I appreciate it.

  • rrk1 on January 13, 2012 6:20 PM:

    Mitt the Shit, by the time he left the governorship of Mass in 2007, was running for president and couldn't have gotten elected animal control officer in any of the 351 municipalities of the Commonwealth. And he knew it, but didn't care. He had destroyed his brand in the second half of his term by making his 'home state' the butt of standup-like satirical routines against liberalism as he began running for president. He was out of the state more than he was here, and he began moving further and further to the right. And, the flip-flopping on his previously 'moderate' positions (abortion, gay rights etc.) became an everyday event.

    In essence, he was behaved as governor for only two years. He did manage to get the Heritage Foundation's universal health care plan through the legislature, which made it better, but in his last two years he took a absolutist position on same-sex marriage. After it became legal in Mass, he even resurrected a century-old law that made it illegal to issue marriage licenses for out-of-state couples if their home state didn't recognize such marriages. The legislature then repealed that law the over over Romney's veto. Basically he was playing to the right-wing base of his party, but the base didn't buy it in 2008.

  • Charles Almon on January 13, 2012 6:40 PM:

    On the plus side he didn't call anyone a macaca

  • digitusmedius on January 13, 2012 6:55 PM:

    In Romney's defense re: no. 5, I don't think he sees any difference between politics and business. It's all one to him.

  • JM917 on January 13, 2012 7:43 PM:

    Time to recycle the old 1960s meme (re: Vietnam):

    Q: How can you tell when LBJ is lying?

    A: When his lips are moving.

    Likewise Willard.

  • paulo on January 13, 2012 7:45 PM:

    “I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re gonna get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”


    He was talking about dating.

  • david1234 on January 13, 2012 10:28 PM:

    I wonder if Romney would have gotten as much flak if he had said he enjoys firing people who feel they have a right to lie to him all the time.

  • SKM on January 14, 2012 1:40 AM:

    No one is talking about Romney's investment in oil and ties to Sudanese government, where over 2 million people have been displaced, also the genocide. Look at "Mitt Romney - council on foreign relations" www.cfr.org/experts/world/mitt-romney/b13226 there was also a report in the Los Angeles Times 8-14-2007 about the investments. Also, it was reported that Cindy McCain was selling investments in Sudan through Shlumberger LTD., look into Gazpro... and there is something else, "Displace Me - commentary Ka Leo The Voice" www.kaleo.org 2-7-2008, also, the ties to El Salvador squads that mentions Romney's friend/investor Ricardo Poma.
    Boyd Packer and Gordon Hinckley, that Boyd Packer had something to do with theft of over $40,000 of gold and goldmines.

  • SKM on January 14, 2012 8:08 AM:

    Most of the radio hosts will support Romney because he owns Clear Channel radio stations which makes him the boss of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and also owner or part owner of CBS television.

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