I think Mitt Romney broke his own recored for telling the most lies this week. I don’t think Steve Benen even had to try that hard to find 30 enormous whoppers. Most of them have to do with statistics and the budget. Some just grossly mischaracterize what the president has said or done. Any way you look at it, though, Mitt Romney routinely lies and gets away with it. I know it’s difficult to maintain a claim of objectivity if you’re constantly forced to point out that Mitt Romney just told a gigantic falsehood, but it’s not objective to just ignore it.
Now, I just watched most of a speech that the president made today in Orlando at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) conference. I didn’t notice him tell one lie or make one gross distortion. I’m not saying he never embellishes anything. I’m just saying that he basically tells the truth about his own record and about what Romney has proposed. I’m sure a dutiful fact-checker could find some stuff to quibble with, but it would all be very minor. Maybe the OMB and CBO disagree about a figure and the president chooses the more favorable one. We’re talking strictly minor-league distortion here. But it’s nothing like Romney saying that his proposals will cut the budget deficit when they will add $5 trillion to the deficit, or Romney saying that eliminating ObamaCare will save a hundred billions dollars when it will actually cost at least that much. Did the president sign free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama this year? Yes? Then why does Romney say that the president hasn’t passed any free trade agreements with Latin America?
Maybe Obama should start a rumor that Romney was born in Mexico and is a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army. Then we can see if the press calls him a liar.
Steve Benen is compiling a weekly list of lies told by Mitt Romney. Here is his 23rd installment.
Also, be sure to read this article from the Guardian “Mendacious Mitt: Romney’s bid to become liar-in-chief“:
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.
Or as Steve Benen put it:
Romney gets away with it because he and his team realize contemporary political journalism isn’t equipped to deal with a candidate who lies this much, about so many topics, so often.
Romney is demonstrating the power of “the Big Lie“. If you tell the same lie often enough and without shame, and it is a big enough lie that it is almost impossible to refute it, then it becomes the truth. Or at least indistinguishable. As Joseph Goebbels put it “when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it.” And you must keep up your lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.