The Romney campaign says he can pivot and shake up what he believes — like an etch-a-sketch. No real surprise there, but Rachel Maddow calls out Romney for more than just changing his positions by saying what other journalists just don’t seem able to do: Romney is a constant liar.
Big lies or little lies, Maddow establishes in this piece how Romney does them all the time. Her point is that all politicians lie and most people expect it, but Romney’s is off the scale and represents something quite new.
Maddow’s team are chronicling the lying. Here’s just a little sample:
“Early on, we were asked if what you did in Massachusetts should be something you’d have the federal government do? I said no from the very beginning. No. This is designed for our state and our circumstance.” – Not true.
“[T]his president should have put in place crippling sanctions against Iran, he did not.” – Actually, he did.
Of President Obama and veterans’ health care, “He’s going after TRICARE. Saying, ‘Ok, we’re going to raise the co-pays. We’re going to cut the benefits.’ Why is it we go after military families?” – False.
Reagan’s philosophy of “peace through strength” is why “the Iranians released the hostages on the same day and at the same hour that Reagan was sworn in.” – Facepalm.
“He [Obama] said he’d cut the deficit in half. He’s doubled it. He’s doubled it.” – When Obama took office, the deficit was about $1.3 trillion. Last year, it was $1.29 trillion.
“He gave a speech the other day at his State of the Union address. He didn’t even mention the deficit or the debt.” – Obama mentioned it six times.
Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.” – Iran has 1,520 miles of its own coastline.
Obama “told us that if he could borrow $787 billion, almost $1 trillion, he would keep unemployment below 8 percent.” – Did not.
Obama plans to “end Medicare as we know it.” – The Affordable Care Act strengthens and protects Medicare, while Paul Ryan’s House Republican budget plan, which ends Medicare and replaces it with a voucher scheme, is endorsed by Romney.
“Time and again, I pointed out I’m not in favor of a health care plan that includes a national mandate.” – Yes you did.
“I believe we should get rid of Obamacare. It’s a disaster. It’s going to cost a $1 trillion-plus.” – The Affordable Care Act cuts the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.
And…attacking Santorum, Romney has said that “misrepresenting the truth is not a good way” to boost one’s campaign, and candidates looking to gain ground should “use truth as one of the pillars of your strategy.”
So what’s the problem with journalists calling this all out?
Lawrence O’Donnell explains:
“[T]he political media have a problem. It’s a problem the press has always had and has never solved. When should they call a lie a lie? When a candidate like Mitt Romney, who lies much more than most candidates, says something that is utterly false, the press will say, it’s ‘not accurate.’ They might even use the word ‘false.’ They might use the word ‘untrue,’ but they will never, ever use the word ‘lie.’ And that is what lying politicians like Mitt Romney count on every time they try to get away with one of their ridiculous lies…. In the silly rules of politics and political coverage, the word ‘lie’ just can’t seem to find its place.”
Maddow argues that a man who can lie and shift with such ease not only poisons democracy but should not be considered to hold higher office.
Image by Streetart Berlin