Romney becomes mendacious about mendacity


CNN’s Jim Acosta had a brief interview with Mitt Romney in Ohio yesterday, and asked about some of the more outrageous claims included in campaign attack ads. The Republican’s response was pretty remarkable, even by Romney standards.

Acosta noted that fact-checkers have raised concerns about some Romney/Ryan ads, and asked, “Haven’t you also played fast and loose with the facts from time to time?” The candidate replied, “We’ve been absolutely spot-on. And any time there’s anything that’s been a miss we correct it or remove it.”

When Acosta asked if this applied to the infamous welfare lie, Romney replied, “Absolutely,” and then proceeded to tell the welfare lie all over again.

As the guy who chronicles Mitt’s Mendacity, I’m almost inclined to take this personally.

Look, this isn’t complicated. Romney wants voters to believe his campaign has “corrected” or “removed” ads proven to be false. That, in and of itself, is a lie – Team Romney has literally never done this. There have been breathtaking falsehoods in all kinds of Romney advertising, and there’s no record of the candidate or his aides ever walking back a bogus claim.

Indeed, when Acosta asked three Romney campaign officials for a single example to bolster the candidate’s claim about having “corrected” or “removed” misleading ads, they refused to provide one.

What’s more, for Romney to repeat a lie while defending his honesty is to take mendacity to a truly farcical level.

And here’s the real kicker: up until very recently, Team Romney didn’t even care about getting caught repeating lies.

Remember it was less than a month ago when Romney’s chief pollster, asked about the campaign’s welfare lie, said, “[W]e’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”

A week before that, asked why he keeps repeating the welfare lie after it had been definitely debunked, Romney told the Des Moines Register he has no use for independent journalists who examine reality “in the way they think is most consistent with their own views.”

And just to provide some additional context, welfare is really just the tip of the iceberg here. Though Romney argued yesterday that he and his campaign have been “absolutely spot-on,” it’s genuinely difficult to find more than a few of his ads that haven’t tried to mislead the public.