Mandel playing fast and loose with the facts

Mandel playing fast and loose with the facts
Mandel playing fast and loose with the facts
Associated Press

In Ohio last week, Republican Senate hopeful Josh Mandel raised a few eyebrows, going to almost comical lengths to avoid taking a position on President Obama’s rescue of the American auto industry. This week, Mandel changed direction, condemning the rescue that saved hundreds of thousands of Ohio jobs.

Indeed, Mandel called the policy “un-American,” which is absurd and risky given how successful the policy was, especially in the Buckeye State.

But that’s not all Mandel is saying this week. The estimable Zachary Roth had this report yesterday.

In an effort to raise money from conservatives, Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat, is falsely accusing President Obama of “trying to suppress the military vote.” Even in a political environment awash in hard-hitting and often misleading charges, the accusation stands out as a flat-out lie.

“President Obama and the Democratic National Committee are trying to suppress the military vote in Ohio,” writes Mandel in a fundraising email sent Monday afternoon to conservative activists and obtained by Lean Forward. […] “As a veteran, this absolutely makes my blood boil,” Mandel adds, before asking for money.

It’s important to realize the severity of a lie this blatant. How offensive is Mandel’s falsehood? Put it this way: it’s so outrageous, even Mitt Romney stopped repeating it after leveling the false charge earlier this month.

The truth isn’t particularly complicated. Four years ago, Ohio allowed voters an early-voting window of three days before Election Day, which in turn boosted turnout and alleviated long lines. This year, Republican officials wanted to close the window – active-duty servicemen and women could vote early, but no one else, not even veterans, could enjoy the same right.

President Obama’s campaign team filed suit, asking for a level playing field, giving every eligible Ohio voter – active-duty troops, veterans, and civilians – equal access.

Mandel thinks this is evidence of “trying to suppress the military vote.” Even he should understand how painfully ridiculous this is, and the honorable thing to do would be to denounce this garbage.