On Tuesday, Mitt Romney decided to give Rick Santorum some curious advice. The former governor 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.”
After tackling the challenge of cataloguing Romney’s audacious falsehoods, and watching this guy lie repeatedly (and at times even unnecessarily), hearing the candidate decry “misrepresenting the truth” was so jarring, I almost took it personally.
Perhaps the former governor has forgotten just how often he’s failed to use the truth as one of the pillars of his strategy. To help remind him, here’s the 10th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity.
1. Romney told voters in Mississippi this week, “Don’t forget by the way that this President, how many months ago was it, 37 months ago, told us that if he could borrow $787 billion, almost $1 trillion, he would keep unemployment below 8 percent.”
Putting aside the fact that $787 billion is not “almost $1 trillion,” the “below 8 percent” canard just isn’t true.
2. Romney also told Mississippi Republicans about the president, “He was going to cut the budget deficit in half. He’s doubled it.”
This is one of Romney’s favorite lines, but it’s simply absurd on its face – he’s either lying or he’s bad at arithmetic. When Obama took office, the deficit was about $1.3 trillion. Last year, it was $1.29 trillion. This year, it’s on track to be about $1.1 trillion. Does Romney not know what “double” means? (Even if we believe Romney is confusing the words “deficit” and “debt,” it’s still wrong. The only modern presidents to double the debt on their watch were Reagan and George W. Bush. Obama inherited a $10 trillion debt, and it’s nowhere near $20 trillion.)
3. Going after Rick Santorum this week, Romney said, “This is the guy that voted to fund Planned Parenthood.”
This is wildly dishonest. Not only did Romney fund Planned Parenthood as governor, but during his Senate campaign, Romney attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser (his wife even dropped off a $150 check).
4. Romney argued in a press statement this week that Obama plans to “end Medicare as we know it.”
This is both dishonest and ironic. Obama’s Affordable Care Act strengthens and protects Medicare, while Romney has endorsed Paul Ryan’s House Republican budget plan, which ends Medicare and replaces it with a voucher scheme.
5. Romney mocked Obama this week by arguing, “This is a president who thinks America is doing better.”
You know who agrees with the president? Mitt Romney.
6. On energy policy, Romney said Obama blamed higher gas prices on Republican presidential candidates who “are talking in a very muscular way about Iran and their nuclear program.”
That’s not what Obama said.
7. As Paul Krugman noted, Romney also argued that gasoline prices are high because President Obama won’t allow unrestricted drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
What Romney’s saying just isn’t true.
8. Romney told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “Time and again, I pointed out I’m not in favor of a health care plan that includes a national mandate.”
Time and again, Romney has said he’s in favor of a health care plan that includes a national mandate.
9. In the same interview, Romney told Kelly, “I believe we should get rid of Obamacare. It’s a disaster. It’s going to cost a $1 trillion-plus.”
No, it won’t. The Affordable Care Act actually cuts the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.
10. Romney told Fox News this morning about the president, “It’s hard to create a job if you never had one.”
The economy has created 3.4 million jobs in the last three years. As for Obama “never” having held a job, he’s actually held several – one of which happens to be serving as president of the United States during a time of several crises.
This week, msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell explained to viewers, “[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.”
Romney is testing this thesis in a rather dramatic way.