Thirty Dirty Lies in One Week from Mitt Romney — Who’s Just Warming Up

Absolut vodka bottle with floating Romney heads inside labeled "Absolut Bullshit"

Warning -- may cause maladies including environmental destruction, perverse court decisions, and national collapse.

For my money, the best political blogger around is Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly, who is also a producer of The Rachel Maddow Show and contributes to her blog. He’s liberal, but not doctrinaire and scrupulously fair. His article from yesterday on the Maddow Blogshows him at his best.

The article is the twenty-third of a series that chronicles the lies of Mitt Romney. Benen quotes Michael Cohen of the Guardian, who notes that Romney has a penchant for lying — and a complete ease with it that eluded his Republican predecessor in the Presidency — that is without precedent in modern American history.

Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it’s pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.

Now, in general, those of us in the pundit class are really not supposed to accuse politicians of lying — they mislead, they embellish, they mischaracterize, etc. Indeed, there is natural tendency for nominally objective reporters, in particular, to stay away from loaded terms such as lying. Which is precisely why Romney’s repeated lies are so effective. In fact, lying is really the only appropriate word to use here, because, well, Romney lies a lot.

If I understand his article correctly, Benen has identified 30 lies from the week preceding his article alone. I thought that it must have taken Romney more time than that, but I do seem to remember hearing about most of these in the past week.

Copyright concerns prevent me from reprinting his entire article, but the quotes from Romney himself are fair game. I summarize the basis for each lie after it, but Benen’s article is a must read — not only for his analysis, but for the links he provides to show how these statements are lies. Here we go!

1. “It saves $100 billion a year to get rid of “[The Affordable Care Act].”

No, it would balloon the deficit. Health care costs are killing our economy.

2. In the same interview, Romney said, “I think a lot of people forgetting is there is only one president in history that’s cut Medicare by $500 billion and that is President Obama.”

No, the $500 billion were cuts to Medicare Advantage, which was not part of Medicare itself but was a government-subsidized program to give seniors who could afford it extra services.

3. “I see people holding up signs, ‘Don’t touch my Medicare.’ It’s like, hey, I’m not touching your Medicare.”

Romney not only supports Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which replaces Medicare with private vouchers, but is considering Ryan for Vice-President!

Romney endorsed Paul Ryan’s House Republican Budget plan, which ends the Medicare program and replaces it with a private voucher scheme.

4. “[President Obama] has never had the experience of working in the private sector.”

He met Michelle Obama when they were both working as associates at a private law firm.

5. Obama went on “an apology tour” in his first year.

Not hardly. If this escapes being a lie, it’s only because the term is not really defined.

6. Romney said that Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.”

Iran’s route to the see is its own southern ports. It does not border Syria.

7. “Bill Clinton and so many other mainstream Democrats are revolting against the backward direction President Obama is taking his party and our country.”

Clinton supports Obama’s re-election and considers the prospect of a Romney presidency “calamitous.”

8. Romney describes a local optometrist who was forced to fill out a “33-page” change-of-address form — several times — at the post office.

No such thing exists.

9. Obama is taking away scholarships and charter schools for “kids in Washington, D.C.”


10. “[Obama] put together almost as much public debt as all the prior presidents combined.”

Nowhere near it.

11. “It’s immoral in my view for my generation to pass on to these kids the burden of our generation. I think it’s wrong. It’s got to stop. And if I’m president of the United States I will get us on track to have a balanced budget.”

Romney will no more balance the budget than did Reagan or either Bush. Tax cuts for the rich and prospects for more wars would explode the deficit.

12. “[Obama’s] trillion-dollar stimulus [didn’t] create jobs.”

Not a trillion dollars, did create jobs.

13. “[Obama] was told that one small business was having a hard time dealing with Obamacare. He said he hadn’t heard that.”

Check Benen’s site for the review: this is backwards. The business was being hurt by policies like Romney’s.

14. “I was in Las Vegas and met a woman who was worried. She has a business renting furniture to casinos and to conventioners that come to Las Vegas. And when the president said, don’t bother coming to Las Vegas for your company meetings a few years ago, her business dove.”

Obama’s actual quote re Wall Street recklessness, “You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back. You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility.”

15. “If we stay on the road we’re on, we’re going to become like Europe…. I don’t believe Europe works in Europe. I don’t want it here.”

Europe is following a policy of austerity, just as Romney prescribes for the U.S., and it isn’t working.

16. “If [Obama] really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.”

Obama has long pushed for the DREAM Act and other immigration measures, which Republicans favoring Romney have blocked.

17. “I will continue to describe the plan that I would provide, which is, number one, to make sure that people don’t have to worry about losing their insurance if they have a preexisting condition, and change jobs.”

Not only is this not his “number one” priority, he’s not making it a priority at all. The campaign even admits this while it thinks non-experts aren’t looking.

18. “[Obama] jammed through a [health-care] bill [and] didn’t really try and work for a Republican vote.”

Obama erred substantially in pursuing health care — but on the other side, of willingness to give up way too much to win even one Republican vote.

19. Romney also said, “I’m not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest.”

Anyone actually need me to refute this?

20. “Ralph Reed has been a real champion in fighting for the fundamental values that have made America the nation that it is.”

If the Founding Fathers could come here to meet Ralph Reed, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would hold him down and George Washington would curb stomp him.

21. “When you put in place a bill like Obamacare, you attack the freedom of people to make a choice about their own insurance and what kind of coverage they want to have.”

Health care exchanges would provide as much choice as the market could provide — except, alas, a public option. This is also true of Massachusetts Romneycare.

22. “[M]edian income in this nation has dropped by 10 percent over the last four years.”

Stretching back to before the gigantic collapse in the fall of 2012, that is.

23. “Government at all levels is about 37 percent of the economy today — 37 percent. And if Obamacare were allowed to stand, government would control about half of the economy of America.”

See Benen for the link calling BS.

24. “[Obama] insists … Israel return to the ’67 borders — indefensible borders.”

No he di’int!

25. “Obama said if you let him borrow all that money, he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent.”

No he di’int!

26. “[Obamacare would result in] a healthcare system run by the government.”

No such luck.

27. “[T]he path we’re on, spending $1 trillion more every year than we take in, is leading us to Greece.”

Austerity is leading Greece to Greece — and Ireland to Ireland. Good for the rich; bad for the others.

28. “[As a result of Dodd-Frank reforms,] small banks and community banks are finding it harder and harder to make loans to small businesses.”

No, the condition of community banks has has improved since Dodd-Frank.

29. “Obama has not completed a single new trade agreement with Latin America.”

Panama, Colombia….

30. “Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.”

This was apparently said AFTER Obama took executive action on enforcing the law against DREAM Act kids, and DESPITE his push to induce a recalcitrant Congress to go along with comprehensive reform.

Look — if you want a man who made money by bankrupting companies after he took his consulting fees out from them and then dumping pension obligations onto the federal government, I know that candor is that last think you should expect. Still, can’t he ratchet down the outright lies a couple of notches? Steve Benen needs to get some sleep!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)