Paul Krugman noted this morning that Mitt Romney tells so many falsehoods so often, he seems determined to rehabilitate George W. Bush’s reputation “by running a campaign so dishonest that it makes Bush look like a model of truth-telling.”
Krugman added, “I mean, is there anything at all in Romney’s stump speech that’s true?”
Well, no, not really.
Last week, I launched a new Friday afternoon feature, highlighting the Republican frontrunner’s most offensive falsehoods from the previous week. Last week was a Top 5 list, but thanks to two debates and a victory speech, we had enough examples to fill a Top 10 list.
Let’s get started:
1. Romney told voters in New Hampshire, “I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re gonna get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.”
2. Romney argued in a debate, “[W]hat unfortunately happens is with all the multiplicity of federal programs, you have massive overhead, with government bureaucrats in Washington administering all these programs, very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them.”
This is the exact opposite of the truth.
3. After winning the New Hampshire primary, Romney said of the president, “He lost our AAA credit rating.”
In reality, it was congressional Republicans who were responsible for the downgrade.
4. In the same speech, Romney said of Obama, “He apologizes for America”
5. Romney told a debate audience why he didn’t seek re-election as governor: “That would be about me. I was tryin’ to help get the state in best shape as I possibly could. Left the world of politics, went back into business.”
He’s lying — Romney didn’t re-enter the private sector after leaving the governor’s office; he transitioned to a presidential campaign.
6. Romney talked about savings he’d find in the budget: “[T]he number one to cut is Obamacare. That saves $95 billion a year.”
Actually, that’s backwards. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would cost the nation billions and increase the deficit.
7. Romney argued that the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill “makes it harder for community banks to make loans.”
8. Romney argued during a debate, “[I]n the business I had, we invested in over 100 different businesses and net-net, taking out the ones where we lost jobs and those that we added, those businesses have now added over 100,000 jobs.
9. After being pressed on ads being run by his Super PAC, Romney said, “With regards to their ads, I haven’t seen ’em.”
Romney then proceeded to recite the attacks in the ad, almost verbatim, making clear he’d both seen and memorized the ad.
10. Campaigning in New Hampshire, Romney insisted “European-style welfare” countries end up with a system that “creates poverty.”
Not only is that wrong, but when asked to support his statement, Romney lied and pretended he never said it.
So far, the political world has been reluctant to call Romney out on his dishonesty, and some even seem taken aback when others, including Republicans, accuse the former governor of being deceitful.
I’m afraid we may be moving deeper into an era of “post-truth politics.”