Romney's Ticked. You Would Be Too If They Gave You a Lie of the Year 'Award'

Monday, December 17, 2012

PolitiFact just named Mitt Romney’s TV ad on the sale of Chrysler to an Italian company – “Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” -- the 2012 Lie of the Year.
If you think Romney isn’t bothered by that, I think you’re wrong.
Politicians are like the rest of us: they hate it when people say rotten things about them, although they are reluctant to admit it.
We’ve all seen interviews where a reporter says something like, “Governor, are you bothered that your opponent says you’re a liar and a fraud, someone who can’t be trusted with a piggyback, never mind the state budget,” and the governor smiles and says, “Rolls right off my back!  I never give it a second thought.  Like Harry Truman said, ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’  I can take the heat.  Don’t worry.”
You’re supposed to say stuff like that when you’re holding a public office or seeking office. 
But every time I hear it, I think, “The governor must hate that guy’s guts.  He’d probably push him down an elevator shaft if he could.”
Running for president, Romney showed no qualms about changing positions, trimming the truth and demonizing opponents.  He apparently considered such behavior a requirement of the task and season, a regrettable but necessary choice to “fight the devil with fire.”
It is unlikely Romney ever considered the compromises of the campaign trail moral lapses or signs of a flawed character.  To the contrary, the former Massachusetts governor had ample reason to regard himself as above the grubby realities of politics. 
Had he not served with distinction as a bishop of his church, a leader sought by members of his faith for moral guidance?
Had he not been the savior -- the reformer -- of a scandal-plagued Winter Olympics?
Had he not headed a gubernatorial administration free of backroom deals, patronage hiring, and, God forbid, law breaking, for all four years?
All of which is to say, you bet Mitt is hurt and angry because his campaign was judged the perpetrator of the 2012 Lie of the Year by a legitimate, long-established news organization.*
On December 12, PolitiFact’s Angie Drobnic Holan wrote:
“It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign – that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China.  It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood.  Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it.  Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad. 
“And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
“People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.”
PolitiFact gave a spanking to Obama, too.
“It’s not that President Obama and his campaign team were above falsehoods, either,” wrote Drobnic Holan.  “Their TV ads distorted Romney’s positions on abortion and immigration to make them seem more extreme than they actually were.  A pro-Obama super PAC even created an ad suggesting Romney was responsible for a woman’s death when her husband lost his job at a Bain-controlled company.”
But Romney’s Jeep ad “was brazenly false,” she quickly emphasized.
That little bit about Obama’s falsehoods was down in the sixth paragraph, so it won’t stick in a reader’s mind as long and as forcefully as the fact that Romney got the 2012 Lie of the Year “award,” which no doubt only makes Romney’s anger and pain worse.
*PolitiFact is described on its website as “a project of the Tampa Bay Times to help you find the truth in American politics.  Reporters and editors from the Times  fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups and rate them on our Truth-O-Meter.” 
For more info, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment