About two weeks ago, Mitt Romney suggested attack ads rejected by “the various fact-checkers” shouldn’t be on the air. Last week, confronted with evidence that the various fact-checkers consider his welfare smear against President Obama to be an obvious lie, Romney changed his mind – if there’s scrutiny that points to his dishonesty, the scrutiny must be biased.
In an interview yesterday with USA Today, Romney’s defense of the indefensible took another turn.
Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to “shore up his base” for the election.
This is a quote in need of some follow-up. Obviously, there’s the shameless, transparent lie itself, in which Romney continues to falsely accuse the president of weakening the work requirement in welfare law – a racially-charged accusation that has literally no basis in reality.
But this new twist is arguably even more loaded – Romney is not only standing by his smear, he’s now saying Obama weakened the work requirement to “shore up his base.”
Even if we put aside the blatant dishonesty, think about the underlying argument here: Romney is saying the president’s political base wants welfare checks without work requirements.
Between this and Romney’s birther “humor,” the racial subtexts of Romney’s attacks are getting increasingly more difficult to ignore – a point Chris Matthews forcefully reminded Reince Priebus of this morning.