When Mitt Romney talked to “60 Minutes” last week, he said President Obama has “repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for the truth.” If there’s ever been a more blatant example of political “projection,” I can’t think of it.
And yet, Romney is increasingly invested in this. This week, several reports noted that Romney intends to use next week’s debate to “fact check” the president. The Obama campaign, unimpressed, released a video this morning on the subject.
Of course, if the 2012 presidential race comes down to which candidate is more dishonest, Romney’s in trouble. Consider, for example, the 36th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity.
1. Romney argued just yesterday that the crisis of military suicides would be made worse by looming cuts to the defense budget.
2. In same speech, Romney said, “You realize we have fewer ships in the Navy than any time since 1917.”
This one again? Romney dropped this lie a while ago, but it’s apparently back.
3. Romney went on to say, in reference to the president, “[H]is plan also calls for trillion dollar deficits.”
Obama’s plan calls for trillions in deficit reduction.
4. Romney added, “It is the same series of policies he’s put in place over the last four years and they have not worked. And if you don’t, why, look at the price of gasoline.”
To blame gas prices on the president’s policies is ridiculously untrue.
5. Romney also said in reference to Obama, “He’s put us on a road to Europe.”
The irony is, Europe is trying to grow through austerity, just as Romney intends to do here. He’s lying in a self-refuting sort of way.
6. In a speech at Westerville, Ohio, Romney boasted, “We got unemployment down [in Massachusetts] to 4.7 percent.”
Well, in reality, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped because so many people dropped out of the state’s workforce. The fact of the matter is Massachusetts’ job creation record during Romney’s term was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states.
7. In the same speech, Romney argued, “Now we have a president who the other day says something quite revealing. He said he can’t change Washington from the inside. Only from the outside.”
That’s not what Obama said.
8. Romney added, “Obamacare is point number one. It’s the example number one, where he wants to put bureaucrats between you and your doctor.”
There’s nothing in the Affordable Care Act that does this. Maybe Romney is thinking of his pal, Virginia Gov. Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell?
9. Romney also said, “He believes that government should have a board of people that tell you what kind of care you could receive.”
Romney’s trying to describe the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), but he’s doing so in a way that’s completely dishonest.
10. In a minute-long ad, Romney said, “My plan will create 12 million new jobs over the next four years.”
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.
11. Romney told ABC News this week, “[M]ine is a campaign about 100% of the people, not 99 and 1, not any other percent.”
I seem to recall watching a video in which Romney said it’s not his “job” to “worry about” 47 percent of the population.
12. In an interview with CNN, Romney said, “[C]rippling sanctions [on Iran] … These are the types of things that the president could have done, should have done from the very beginning, which he did not.”
13. Asked about his own dishonest ads, Romney said, “We’ve been absolutely spot-on. And any time there’s anything that’s been a miss we correct it or remove it.”
14. Romney also argued, “Look, it has been shown time and again that the president’s effort to take work requirement out of welfare is a calculated move.”
This continues to be as obvious a lie as Romney has told all year.
15. Romney added, “The requirement that they’re waiving was saying that people don’t have to work to get welfare. That’s the change that they proposed.”
16. Romney said in an ABC interview, “And of course also on 60 Minutes he laid out his economic agenda saying things are going just fine.”
17. At a campaign event in Ohio, Romney said on Obama, “He’s going to bring the deficit down. Of course, he didn’t. He doubled it.”
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.
18. In the same speech, Romney added, “[D]o you know how much money he’s spent in one year putting money into companies that he thought had a bright future, green companies? He spent $90 billion! $90 billion!”
The details matter: much of the $90 billion was appropriated by George W. Bush, not Obama.
19. Romney also argued, “This president persists on the road of making it harder and harder for small businesses to grow and thrive.”
Actually, the administration has done the opposite.
20. Romney went on to say, “This president has a plan for small business. He’s got a plan for small business. He’s going to raise their taxes!”
In reality, 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.
21. On a conference call with a group of Iowans, Romney argued, “Small business is getting crushed under the president’s program … by forcing people to join unions that don’t want to. That’s something known as card check.”
Card check didn’t pass. It wouldn’t crush small businesses anyway, but a law can’t have any effect if it doesn’t exist.
22. In an interview with CBS, Romney defended himself against the flip-flop label. “The president has certainly changed his view on a whole host of things. He was going to close Guantanamo.”
Obama’s views on Guantanamo didn’t change; Congress intervened to keep the detention facility open.
23. Romney added, in reference to voters looking for details, “Well, I can tell them specifically what my policy looks like. I will not raise taxes on middle income folks.”
There’s ample evidence that Romney will raise taxes on the middle class.
24. Asked about what spending he’d cut to balance the budget, Romney said, “The first big one is I’m not going to go forward with Obamacare. I will repeal Obamacare. It costs about $100 billion a year.”
That’s the exact opposite of the truth. The Affordable Care Act saves the country hundreds of billions of dollars. If Romney repeals it, the deficit goes up, not down.
25. Romney added, “I don’t want any change to Medicare for current seniors or for those that are nearing retirement. So the plan stays exactly the same”
That’s demonstrably wrong. Under Romney’s policy, the cost of prescription drug prices and preventive care for seniors would go up immediately – for current and future retirees.
26. Romney also said, “The president’s cutting $716 billion from current Medicare. I disagree with that.”
27. Romney argued, “I’m going to look at every federal program and I’ll ask this question, ‘Is this program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?’”
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.
28. Romney went on to say in reference to the president, “His challenge with blaming it on the Republican Congress is of course that for his first two years, right now the majority of his term, he had a Democrat Congress, a super majority in the Democrat Congress.”
The Senate supermajority lasted four months, not two years.
29. In his weekly podcast, Romney said, “As many of the original proponents of welfare reform have made clear, the Obama Administration’s actions were not in keeping with the spirit or the letter of the law.”
As many of the original proponents of welfare reform have made clear, Romney’s lying.
30. He added, “My five-point plan will deliver the economic recovery we’ve all been waiting for.”
The five-point plan is a sham, and to pretend otherwise is dishonest.
31. At an event in Las Vegas, Romney said of Obama, “This redistribution idea, this redistribution idea has been tried in other places. This is not a new idea. It’s just never worked in other places. And it’s certainly not going to work here.”
As falsehoods go, this is just dumb.
32. In the same speech, Romney argued, “I don’t want to have a government getting bigger and bigger, more intrusive, telling us what kind of health insurance we have to have.”
As Romney surely knows – his state-based policy works the same way – the whole point of the Affordable Care Act is to provide consumers with choices of private plans, made available through regulated exchanges. Giving people choices and telling people “what kind of health insurance we have to have” are opposites.
33. At an event in Florida, Romney said, “We can’t keep spending a trillion dollars more than we take in every year or we will be Greece at some point.”
This is painfully untrue.
34. In the same speech, Romney promised, “I’ll get America on track to have a balanced budget.”
35. Romney added, “I think a lot of us were really surprised when the President in Roanoke, Virginia a few weeks ago, he stood up and said, ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Someone else did that.’”
That’s not even close to what the president said.
36. Romney went on to say, “I will never apologize for American abroad.”
How is it possible the whole “apology” lie hasn’t gone away yet?
37. Romney also argued, “One more thing this president has proposed, and that is the combination of the sequential idea come from the White House which is cutting our military by hundreds of billions of dollars in its own budget, which cutting our military by hundreds of billions of dollars, he would have cut a trillion dollars by this decade.”
That’s two falsehoods in one. First, the sequester would cut about $500 billion from the military budget, not $1 trillion. Second, Romney’s not only lying, he’s also condemning defense cuts crafted by his own party and endorsed by his own running mate.
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, XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV