First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a beautiful speech at the Democratic National Convention this week, which was very well received. There were a few phrases in particular, though, that seemed to strike a chord.
Referencing her and President Obama’s families, she said, almost in passing, “We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters, that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules, and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”
Those three words – “the truth matters” – drew a hearty response. In context, the First Lady wasn’t going after anyone in particular, and she didn’t accuse anyone, even indirectly, of dishonesty. But I suspect people applauded not just because it’s worthwhile maxim, but because this year, it seems clear there are some who believe the truth doesn’t matter.
Consider, for example, the 33rd installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity. This week’s list is considerably shorter than usual because Mitt Romney spent several days out of the public eye, preparing for next month’s debates. It does not include the media availability he did this morning (I haven’t seen the transcript yet).
1. Mitt Romney told Fox News this week, “You know, no one in the [Democratic] convention so far has had the temerity to say that people are better off in America, because they realize it’s not the case.”
Actually, it is the case, and nearly every speaker at the Democratic convention has said so.
2. In the same interview, Romney said he rejects “the decision of the president to slash our military by a trillion dollars over this decade.”
3. Romney went on to say “there’s no question” President Obama took “work out of welfare” and “waived the work requirement in welfare.”
I continue to believe this is as blatant a lie as any modern presidential candidate has told. It simply has no connection to our plane of reality, but Romney keeps repeating it.
4. Asked about the president’s rescue of the American auto industry, Romney told Fox, “Well, my view from the beginning was that the auto companies needed to go through a managed bankruptcy. And ultimately, that’s what the president did.”
Romney can take credit for Obama’s policy, or he can condemn Obama’s policy, but to do both is obviously dishonest (and more than a little ridiculous).
5. In his weekly podcast, Romney boasted, “I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.”
Putting aside the pesky detail that Romney doesn’t actually have a specific jobs plan, the fact remains that if we do nothing, we’re on track to create 12 million new American jobs over the next four years anyway.
6. In the same podcast, Romney vowed he’ll be able to “cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.”
7. Romney added, “[W]e must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.”
That’s plainly false, and the Romney campaign has never even tried to defend it.
8. Romney went on to say, “[L] me make this very clear – unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class of America.”
That’s actually two falsehoods in one. First, Obama approved one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in American history. (Note to Romney: cutting taxes and raising taxes are not the same thing.) Second, there’s ample evidence that Romney will raise taxes on the middle class.
9. Romney once again claimed, “President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour.”
When the book is written on the biggest lies of the Romney campaign, this will be chapter one.
10. Romney added, “President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus.”
Officials in Israel say the opposite is true.
11. Romney also said of the president, “He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments.”
Officials in Eastern Europe say this claim isn’t true.
12. Romney added, “Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No.”
This continues to be misleading. The implication here is that U.S. debt is financed by the Chinese, but this isn’t true – China only holds about 8% of the nation’s debt. No one has borrowed a trillion dollars from China; no one intends to borrow a trillion dollars from China; no one has recommended borrowing a trillion dollars from China.
13. In a speech in Cincinnati, Romney said Obama falsely promised “he was going to create more jobs.”
14. In the same speech, Romney said Obama intends to “raise taxes on our best small businesses.”
Obama has repeatedly cut taxes on small businesses – by some counts, 18 times – and if given a second term, his tax plan would have no effect on 97% of small businesses.
15. In a speech in Jacksonville, Romney claimed, “We’re at a 30-year low in startups of new businesses.”
16. In a speech in Lakeland, Florida, Romney said of the president, “He doubled the deficit.”
Maybe Romney doesn’t know what “double” means. The deficit on Obama’s first day was $1.3 trillion. Last year, it was also $1.3 trillion. This year, it’s projected to be $1.1 trillion. When he says the president “more than doubled” the deficit, as he has many times, Romney’s lying.
Previous editions of Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity: Vol. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII,XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI, XXXII