Rep. Eric Cantor certainly isn’t rushing to defend Mitt Romney’s infamous and misleading Jeep attack ad.
The Virginia lawmaker and House GOP number 2 said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press that he’d “not seen the ad,” which has been running in Ohio and which drew a sharp rebuke from the CEO of Chrysler for its false suggestion that the company is shipping American jobs to China.
“I think the point of that ad is that we need a president who is actually going to focus on increasing the competitiveness of America,” Cantor said.
But asked directly by host David Gregory whether he thought the ad was “deceptive,” Cantor was evasive. “I’ve not seen the ad, I’ve just heard it now,” he said. “Apparently they’re not running it in Virginia.”
Cantor’s comments were quickly tweeted out by Obama campaign press secretary Lis Smith, who noted:
Even @EricCantor passes on defending @MittRomney’s deceptive auto ads.
In one version of the ad, an announcer declares:
Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. But for who? Ohio or China? There now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in – you guessed it – China. Mitt Romney. He’ll stand up for the auto industry. In Ohio, not China.
In fact, Chrysler is mulling opening a production plant in China to serve the Chinese market. American jobs would not be affected, as the company’s CEO Sergio Marchionne made clear this week in an unusual note to employees.
The Obama campaign has hit also hit back hard, releasing its own ad calling the Romney charge “dishonest.” And even Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday called the ad “misleading.”
Still, another Romney surrogate took a different approach from Cantor. Asked Sunday by Candy Crowley of CNN why the Romney campaign had not taken the ad down, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio declared: ”the ad is accurate.”
- Chrysler chief slams Romney for ‘inaccurate’ Jeep ad (rawstory.com)
- The Latest Lie: Romney Doubles Down On Friday’s Lie (ourfuture.org)
- Chrysler CEO pushes back on Romney (politico.com)
- Obama Michigan ad slams Romney’s Jeep claim – The Detroit News (detroitnews.com)
- Romney doubles down on misleading Jeep claim Chrysler called ‘fantasy’ (rawstory.com)
The Obama campaign responds to Mitt Romney whining about “inaccurate portrayals of my positions” with a video of Mitt Romney setting the record straight, in his own words.
Mitt Romney claims that he’ll use next Wednesday’s debate to challenge the credibility of attacks against his candidacy, but as this video shows, he is going to have trouble making that case. I guess Romney could complain that instead of regurgitating his campaign’s current talking points, the video includes clips from some guy accusing Mitt Romney of taking deeply unpopular positions. The problem is that the guy going after Mitt Romney … is Mitt Romney.
If Romney wants to whine about it during the debate, all President Obama has to do is tell people to go on YouTube and make up their own minds about who is telling the truth: Mitt Romney … or Mitt Romney. It’s the let “Let Mitt beat Mitt” strategy.
- New Obama ad lets Mitt Romney destroy himself in his own words (dailykos.com)
- Mitt Romney: Fact-Checker. The Pinocchio candidate plans to correct Obama during debates (dailykos.com)
- First on CNN: Romney memo seeks to lower debate expectations (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Jon Stewart on Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy: He appears to be getting dumber (rawstory.com)
- Romney Camp Downplays Debate Expectations (news.yahoo.com)
- New polls show voters don’t like Mitt Romney any more than he likes them (dailykos.com)
Behold, the master of cognitive dissonance…
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the upcoming debates will be tough because President Barack Obama has a tendency to “say things that aren’t true.”
“I think he’s going to say a lot of things that aren’t accurate,” Romney told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired on Friday. “I’m tempted to go back to that wonderful line by Ronald Reagan — ‘There you go again’ — but you can’t use something that’s [already been used].”
“Bill Clinton used that about you the other day during the Democratic Convention,” Stephanopoulos noted.
“I didn’t happen to see that, but doubt we’re going to pull out something from Ronald Reagan, he’s one of a kind,” the former Massachusetts governor explained. “But the challenge I’ll have is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, say things that aren’t true in attacking his opponents.”
“I’ve looked at prior debates and in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate or am I going spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about? And that’s the challenge.”
But President Obama may also have his hands full when it comes to fact checking the Republican nominee.
MSNBC’s Steve Benen spent months chronicling Romney’s “mendacity” and claimed to have found 533 falsehoods in 30 weeks, according to a tally by blogger Fred Clark.
“I don’t know the Republican candidate personally, but from a distance, it appears there’s a part of his brain that allows him to create some kind of deliberate blind-spot,” Benen wrote during the 30th week. “It’s actually a little scary to think of a leader — a man who’d be given enormous power and influence, literally making life and death decisions on a regular basis — who can convince himself that his falsehoods are true, and that others’ truths are falsehoods.”
- Romney: Obama ‘Tends to Say Things That Aren’t True’ (crooksandliars.com)
- Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks, Steve Benen documents them (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- Full Transcript of Romney Interview (abcnews.go.com)
- Romney defines ‘middle-income’ as $200K to $250K and less (ctvnews.ca)
- ROMNEY: The Debates Are Going To Be Tough Because Obama Lies A Lot (businessinsider.com)
The top quotes in politics …
“I wish Myth Romney had been governor of the state I had lived in.” — Rep. Barney Frank knocking the GOP candidate.
“You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.” — President Barack Obama going after Romney.
“Uh, don’t plan on it.” — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on whether he’d watch the last night of the DNC.
“They can’t find 64,000 people that want to go to this thing.” — Rush Limbaugh on why Obama’s speech was moved indoors.
“That is an alternate universe.” — CNN’s Anderson Cooper questioning the logic of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“Heck, he even appointed Hillary!” — Former President Bill Clinton attesting to Obama’s cooperative nature.
“We were so young, so in love, and so in debt.” — First lady Michelle Obama on the early years with her husband.
“…he is the perfect icon for today’s Republican tea party: an old angry white man spewing incoherent nonsense.” — Sen. Tom Harkin dissing Clint Eastwood.
It’s so much easier to be truthful…One would think that an allegedly devout Christian, regardless of denomination, would never prefer power above truth.
H/t: Don Babets
I’ve written about or linked to a great deal here “chronicling Mitt’s mendacity” — to borrow Steven Benen’s phrase.
Mitt Romney says many, many things that are not true. He says this despite being in possession of the correct facts of the matter.
Which is to say that Mitt Romney lies. A lot. He lies more than any other national candidate for office in my lifetime. And I was born before the Nixon administration.
This is documented. Proven. Validated, verified, demonstrated, catalogued and quantified. Mitt Romney lies.
Here are 30 — 30! — of Benen’s weekly “chronicling” posts. These are all backed up and sourced. These are not assertions, interpretations or allegations. These are facts, actual instances.
Over the past 30 weeks, Mitt Romney has told lie after lie after lie: 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.
Click those links. Read the lists. List after list of lie after lie. Hundreds of them — 533, to be exact, although Benen does not make any claim to providing a comprehensive chronicle.
This is unprecedented. “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, said.
This has produced what James Fallows calls the “post-truth” age — a relentlessly dishonest onslaught of brazen falsehoods with which the media and the political system are struggling to cope. What do you do when every article, every “fact-check,” every arbiter denounces a lie and corrects it, but then a politician just keeps repeating it?
It’s remarkable to behold.
One of the weirder aspects of this for me is watching this unfold in the politically conservative culture of my evangelical world. The most partisan evangelical conservatives are also those most likely to rant against “relativism” and to trumpet their status as defenders of “absolute truth.” Those same folks will dismiss this post — and all 30 of Benen’s posts above — as mere partisan attacks without ever bothering to examine the 533 factual instances of Mitt’s mendacity, chronicled.
That’s the only cognitive defense they have, I guess. Jam fingers in ears and shout la-la-la-you’re-being-partisan!
Because, you see, the fact that Mitt Romney said something he knew to be false is apartisan fact. And the fact that he has done this at least 533 times in the past 30 weeks is also partisan.
I suppose the other approach for Romney defenders who cannot bear to face the fact of those 533 facts will be to angrily pore over all of Benen’s lists, reading each one with a lawyerly eye.
Have at it. Please. Cherry-pick. Spin. Split hairs. Hand-wave away whichever lies you wish as mere misdemeanors and not full-fledged felonies against honesty.
But how many of those charges do you think you can get dismissed? 10 percent? 20 percent? Maybe, if you’re that sort of person and you work really hard at it — if you’re willing to get even more pedantic and semantic and technical than even you are usually comfortable with — maybe you could half convince yourself that 50 percent of those lies somehow shouldn’t really count against Romney.
That still leaves more than 260 lies. That still leaves Mitt Romney as a convicted liar, 260 times over. And at that point you’ll have to join your friends with their fingers in their ears.
But you’ll still know.
- Mitt Romney has an awkward sense of humor. At best. (dailykos.com)
- Christie’s flop (politico.com)
- Ryan on abortion exceptions: Rape is just another ‘method of conception’ (rawstory.com)
- Paul Ryan: Rape Just Another Method Of Conception (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Benen: Romney’s Military Voter Lie (drudge.com)
- The discovery of Mitt’s Boson (dailykos.com)
- Benen: Mitt’s Mendacity: 33 Romney Lies (alan.com)
- David Letterman Presents: ‘Ann And Mitt Romney Lies’ (mediaite.com)
- Mitt Romney Lies a Lot for a Politician (boomantribune.com)
- “What Are You Going To Do About It?”: Mitt Romney And His Despicable Race Baiting Lies (mykeystrokes.com)