If you thought Mitt Romney’s latest deception was an isolated case – then you’ve been living under a rock. Mitt Romney is a serial deceiver – and his deceptions know no bounds. Romney will deceive about his own record, the record of his opponents and his positions on the issues. And when Mitt Romney is caught deceiving – he doubles down and deceives even more.
Just in the course of this campaign, Mitt Romney has misled the voters about his positions and been caught in one mistruth after another about the President’s record. He received four Pinocchios for dishonestly taking out of context President Obama’s comments on foreign business investment in the U.S., he’s been repeatedly called out for his lie that the President has apologized for the United States on the world stage, he was taken to task for his dishonest assertion that the President’s policies have made the economy worse and then when confronted about the inaccuracy of that assertion he lied and said he never said such a thing and just yesterday he said he had never proposed privatizing Veterans health care when he floated that very idea on Veterans Day.
Romney’s recent deceptions are just the tip of the iceberg. When he was running for governor he looked pro-choice activists in the eye and said he’d protect a woman’s right to choose and would even take that position to Washington if he pursued national office – now he wants to overturn Roe V. Wade and supports so called “personhood” policies.
No candidate in modern times has had more trouble with the truth than Mitt Romney. If you don’t believe us – read on.
Mitt Romney: Serial Deceiver
REALITY: ROMNEY PRETENDS HE NEVER OPPOSED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PAYROLL TAX CUTS
Washington Post Fact Checker: On Payroll Taxes, Romney “Certainly Left The Impression Tuesday Night That He Would Extend It, Though In The Last Debate He Left The Impression He Would Not.” “‘I want to keep our taxes down. I don’t want to raise any taxes anywhere. Let me tell you, I’m not looking to raise taxes.’ — Romney, Nov. 9 ‘Look, I don’t like temporary little Band-Aids, I want to fundamentally restructure America’s foundation economically.’— Romney, Oct. 11. Once again, Romney dodged a question as to whether or not he would extend the payroll tax cut championed by President Obama. He certainly left the impression Tuesday night that he would extend it, though in the last debate he left the impression he would not. (Frankly, his full answer in October was confusing, since he was trying to argue that a temporary cut was not as effective for job creation as a permanent cut.) He clearly seems to be avoiding a yes or no answer, since he never gives it no matter how hard the moderators try to pin him down.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 11/10/11]
FLIP: Romney Said Of The Payroll Tax Cuts In President Obama’s Jobs Act: “I Don’t Like Temporary Band-Aids.” At the Republican primary debate Romney was asked about President Obama’s economic plan. Goldman: “So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax cuts?” Romney: “Look, I don't like temporary little Band-Aids, I want to fundamentally restructure America's foundation economically.” [Republican Primary Debate, Bloomberg, 10/11/11]
FLOP: When Told That Not Extending The Payroll Tax Cut Would Be A Tax Increase, Romney Said, “I Don’t Want To Raise Taxes On People In The Middle Of A Recession.” “HARWOOD: Governor Romney, if I could follow up, Speaker Gingrich just said he is not prepared to raise taxes on the American people in the middle of a slow economy like this. That's what would happen if the payroll tax cut is not extended. Do you agree with him, and would you also support, when it comes down to it, an extension of the payroll tax cut? ROMNEY: I don't want to raise taxes on people in the middle of a recession. Of course not. … And that's one of the reasons why we fought so hard to make sure the Bush tax cuts weren't taken away by President Obama. But, look, this issue of deficits and spending is not about just dollars and cents. It's a moral issue. It's a moral imperative. We can't continue to pass on massive debts to the next generation. We can't continue to put at risk the greatest nation in the history of the Earth because of the profligate spending that's going on in Washington, D.C.” [CNBC Republican Primary Debate, 11/9/11]
REALITY: ROMNEY PRETENDS HE NEVER PROPOSED PRIVATIZING VETERANS HEALTH CARE
FLIP: Romney Suggested Privatizing Veteran’s Benefits And Giving Veterans Vouchers For Health Care. Romney: "Sometimes you wonder, would there be some way to introduce some private sector competition, somebody else that could come in an say, you know each soldier gets x thousand dollars attributed to them and then they can choose whether they want to go into the government system or in a private system with the money that follows them, like what happens with schools in Florida where people have a voucher that goes with them, who knows." [Romney Veterans Roundtable In Maudlin, SC, 11/11/11]
FLOP: Romney: “I Don’t Have Any Proposal” To Privatize Veterans Health Care. Romney: “I have no proposal of that nature [to privatize the VA]. We has a group of veterans and said, ‘tell me about the quality of your care.’ Some were concerned about the quality of their health care. I said, ‘what kind of options do you have, what do you think about a system that let you go to private as well as VA hospitals?’ The response was mixed, but I don’t have any proposal of that nature. We have a VA system that needs to be improved and I’ve got no plans to change that other than to make it better and to invest more money in providing for our veterans.” [Nashua Telegraph Editorial Board, 11/21/11]
REALITY: ROMNEY RECEIVED FOUR PINOCCHIOS FOR TAKING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S “LAZY” COMMENT OUT OF CONTEXT
Washington Post Fact Checker Gave Romney Four Pinocchios For Taking Obama’s “Lazy” Remark Out Of Context. “Perry and Romney have ripped Obama’s remarks completely out of context, similar to Romney’s ridiculous Four-Pinocchio claim that Obama ‘apologized’ for America overseas. In both cases, the candidates are trying to feed into a subterranean narrative that Obama is not quite American, or certainly not proud to be an American. But, frankly, it’s just lazy politicking on their part.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 11/21/11]
National Journal Fact Check: “Obamas ‘Soft’ And ‘Lazy’ Comments Manipulated By GOP” Including Romney. From a National Journal report titled “Obamas ‘Soft’ And ‘Lazy’ Comments Manipulated By GOP” : “Obama used the word ‘lazy’ to describe American business practices in a conversation about attracting foreign investments on Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. His audience was a group of CEOs, but some Republican presidential candidates would have you believe that he was talking to individuals about their character. Both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney were quick to use this line of reasoning against Obama while making stump speeches in early-primary states this week.” [National Journal, 11/17/11]
Factcheck.org: Obama Did Not Call American Workers Lazy, But Romney Did “Rip Those Words Out Of Their Context In Order To Mislead.” “Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both claim President Barack Obama said that ‘Americans are lazy.’ He didn’t. To the contrary, Obama has consistently and repeatedly praised American workers as the “most productive in the world,” a bit of boosterism he has repeated dozens of times. His recent words — ‘we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades’ — actually referred to collective efforts to promote foreign investment in the U.S., and not to American workers or voters as individuals. Perry and Romney simply rip those words out of their context in order to mislead.” [Factcheck.org, 11/17/11]
REALITY: THE ASSERTION THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA APOLOGIZED FOR AMERICA IS FALSE
Politifact: Romney’s Assertion That Obama Has “Apologized” For America Is “False.” Politifact wrote, “Here, we’re checking Romney’s statement that Obama ‘has apologized for what he deems to be American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision’ and a host of other reasons. If you think American presidents should never admit to any sort of error at any time, you might find yourself in philosophical agreement with Romney’s criticisms. We set out to discover whether Obama really had apologized in his speeches, and what he was apologizing for. But in our review of his words, we came up short. Yes, there is criticism in some of his speeches, but it’s typically levened by praise for the United States and its ideals, and often he mentions other countries and how they have erred as well. There’s not a full-throated, sincere apology in the bunch. And so we rate Romney’s statement False.” [Politifact, 3/20/10]
Washington Post Fact Check: Romney’s “Claim That Obama Repeatedly Has Apologized For The United States Is Not Borne Out By The Facts.” Washington Post’s Fact Check column fact-checked the statement by Romney that “I will not and I will never apologize for America. I don't apologize for America, because I believe in America." They concluded, “The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context. Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush's approach to fighting terrorism. In other cases, Obama's quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama's handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist. Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened. Four Pinocchios.” [Washington Post, 2/22/11]
Dan Gilgoff: In All Of Obama’s Overtures To The Muslim Community There Weren’t “Any Apologies In His Remarks” But Rather He Said The Nation Made Mistakes And “We Have Not Been Perfect.” Dan Gilgoff wrote in US News and World Report, “Mitt Romney spoke for many Republicans in telling me this week that he hoped President Obama wouldn’t make any apologies for America. I looked at Obama’s two big previous overtures to the Muslim world—his January interview with al Arabiya and his April trip to Turkey—and couldn’t find any apologies in his remarks. Obama did, however, speak to the nation’s mistakes. ‘We sometimes make mistakes,’ Obama told al Arabiya. ‘We have not been perfect.’ In Turkey, Obama told a group of students: ‘America, like every other nation, has made mistakes and has its flaws.’ In Cairo, by contrast, Obama avoided saying the word mistakes. But he was much more specific in talking about what George W. Bush-era policies he thinks actually constituted mistakes—the Iraq war and the U.S. treatment of enemy combatants—than he had been in the al Arabiya interview or while in Turkey.” [Gilgoff, US News, 6/4/09]
REALITY: ROMNEY’S CLAIM THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE THE ECONOMY “WORSE” HAS “NO CREDIBLE BASIS”
Romney’s Claim That President Obama’s Policies Made The Recession Worse “Has No Credible Basis.” “The real point is that Romney’s claim [that Barack Obama’s policies made the great recession worse] has no credible basis, at least not beyond the world of partisan economists and commentators. As the Times reminds us today, we haven’t even been in a recession for more than two years now. Even if you grant that Romney was using the word recession in a more colloquial sense, meaning something akin to ‘slump,’ there’s no credible economic data showing that Obama has inflamed our economic problems.” [Time, 7/5/11]
Washington Post Fact Checker: “With NBER Saying The Economy Is Now Out Of A Recession It Is Difficult To See How Romney Can Claim That Obama Made It Worse.” Romney, “‘When he took office, the economy was in recession, and he made it worse, and he made it last longer.’ With the unemployment rate ticking up in May , to 9.1 percent, the economy is definitely a weak spot for Obama. But Romney is stretching it here when he suggests that Obama has made the recession ‘worse…and made it last longer.’ Part of the problem is that the National Bureau of Economic Research, the nonpartisan research organization that identifies recessions, last year declared that the recession ended in June 2009 — two years ago. So, with NBER saying the economy is now out of a recession, it is difficult to see how Romney can claim that Obama made it worse. A Romney campaign official, who declined to be identified, argued that the nation now has what he called a ‘recessionary economy.’ He said that Obama made the situation worse by pushing through a stimulus bill that did not have enough tax relief.” [Kessler, Washington Post, 6/6/11]
Romney Continued To Claim The President Made The Recession Worse Despite The Number Of Times Independent Fact Checkers Debunked It. “No matter how many times independent fact checkers debunk it, Mitt Romney will continue making the claim. The Boston Globe reports: ‘He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse,’ Romney said during a visit to the lead presidential primary state, here he has staked much of his campaign.’ …The Globe piece doesn’t tell you this, but Romney’s claim — which is now central to his sales pitch — has been repeatedly knocked down. After Romney made the assertion his announcement speech, fact checkers demolished it.” [Washington Post, 6/27/11]
Romney Didn’t Just Flip-Flop, He “Fib-Dropped” When He Said President Obama’s Policies Made The Economy Worse. Time’s Michael Crowley wrote of Romney saying that President Obama made the recession worse: “I suppose Romney might retort that even bigger tax cuts would have juiced the economy and dramatically dropped unemployment. Again, that’s not a mainstream economic view. It’s also too facile a basis for saying that Obama took an epic crisis and somehow made it worse. So the problem isn’t that Romney flip-flopped. It’s that he fib-dropped.” [Time, 7/5/11]
… AND EVEN ROMNEY FLIP-FLOPPED ON IT
FLIP: Romney’s Obama Made It Worse Line Was “A Theme Of His Nascent Campaign” Until Thursday. “And it was not just the one comment at the New Hampshire debate. Romney has made the ‘Obama made it worse’ line a theme of his nascent campaign. On Monday in New Hampshire, Romney said ‘the president's failed. He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse.’ Until Thursday in Pennsylvania. When he backtracked. ‘I did not say that things were worse, what I said was that the economy hasn't turned around, that you have 20 million Americans out of work or seriously unemployed,’ Romney said.” [CBS News, 7/1/11]
FLOP: 6/30/11: Romney Responded To A Question Of How He Could Continue To Say The Economy Was Worse With” “I Didn’t Say That Things Are Worse.” At an Allentown, PA campaign stop NBC’s Sue Kroll asked Mitt Romney: “You continue to say that the economy is worse, but unemployment is lower than it was in 2009, the stock market was tumbling and it’s now above 12,000, and it is growing slowly, we just had a two percent gain this last quarter. So how can you continue to say that things are worse when they really aren’t worse?” Romney: “I didn’t say that things are worse. What I said was that the economy hasn’t turned around. That you’ve got 20 million Americans out of work or seriously unemployed. Housing values are going down. You have a crisis of foreclosures in this country. By the way, if you think the economy is great and doing well, be my guest.” [Romney, Allentown Pennsylvania, 6/30/11]
Headline: Romney Flip-Flops On Charges Against Obama [CBS News, 7/1/11]
FLIP: Romney Again Said President Obama Made The Recession Worse “Days After Denying He Had Made The Inaccurate Charge In The Past.” “Days after denying he had made the inaccurate charge in the past, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on Monday again said President Obama has made the recession worse. ‘Our president has failed us. The recession is deeper because of our president,’ Romney told a cheering audience after shaking hands at a July 4th parade, adding, ‘it has seen an anemic recovery because of our president.’ The economy was contracting as Mr. Obama took office in January 2009. It is now growing slowly. ‘He made the recession worse and the recovery more anemic,’ Romney told reporters. The comments come on the heels of a dust-up he created last Thursday, when he denied that he had ever accused Mr. Obama of making the recession worse, despite the fact that it has been a central theme of the first weeks of his 2012 campaign.” [CBS News, 7/5/11]