Joined: Sep 2009
Gov.Romney's Attacks on President Obama
There are other charges which they dont cover here which are clearly lies or distortions at best.
I quess it means he doesnt want to or is incapable of taking him on with facts related to true philosophical differences.
Mitt Romney’s appearance this week before the American Society of Newspaper Editors convention, a day after President Obama addressed the same group, lacked the bevy of new “facts” that Obama rolled out as he lashed out at the House Republican budget plan. Instead, the increasingly likely GOP presidential nominee repeated versions of a number of claims that we have previously called into question. In the interest of fair play, as with Obama, we won’t award an overall Pinocchio rating for his speech.
“The administration pledged that it would keep unemployment below 8 percent. It has been above 8 percent every month since.”
Romney has subtly changed the wording here, dropping a reference to President Obama making this statement and instead attributing it to “the administration.”
When Romney said the president had promised this, we had originally awarded him three Pinocchios for this statement. But after lively debate with readers, we dropped that rating to two Pinocchios because one reader found examples in which Obama came close to alluding to the 8 percent figure.
Romney’s new formulation gets even closer to being accurate, but it is still a stretch to say the administration “pledged” anything.
Here’s what happened. Before Obama took the oath of office, two aides, Christina Romer, the nominee to head the Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, an incoming economic adviser to Vice President-elect Biden, wrote a 14-page report that attempted to assess the impact of a possible $775 billion stimulus package and how much of a difference it would make compared to doing nothing.
Thus, it was not an official government assessment or even an analysis of an actual plan that had passed Congress.
Page 4 of the report included a chart that showed that unemployment would peak at 8 percent in 2009, compared to 9 percent in 2010 if nothing was done. But the report also contained numerous caveats and warnings because, after all, it was merely a projection.
Still, the administration later cited the report in congressional testimony, giving it an official imprimatur. So, while Obama officials may not have “pledged” such a goal, it was certainly part of the administration’s talking points.
“The president’s attention was elsewhere — like a government takeover of health care and apologizing for America abroad.”
Eek, a “government takeover of health care” — from the man who as governor of Massachusetts imposed an individual health-care mandate as part of his health-care overhaul?
We have also repeatedly said that Romney’s complaint that Obama “apologized for America” is simply not true. (He’s earned Four Pinocchios for saying this.)
The claim that Obama apologized stems from a series of speeches the president made shortly after entering the White House, when he was trying to introduce himself to the world and also signify a distancing from the Bush administration through new policies, such as pledging to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
This is typical of many new presidents. Bush, for instance, quickly broke with Clinton administration policy on dealings with North Korea, the Kyoto climate change treaty and the international criminal court.
We tracked down every statement Obama uttered that partisans claim was an apology, and concluded that each one had been misquoted or taken out of context. (We also found some George W. Bush apologies overseas.) Some might argue that Obama’s speeches had an apologetic tone, but that’s different than claiming he was “apologizing for America.”
“By the end of his term in office, he will have added nearly as much public debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
This is a carefully worded statement that is factually correct. For instance, Romney uses the phrase “public debt” — the math does not work with “gross debt,” which includes bonds issued to Social Security, Medicare and the like.
Still, one can argue about whether Obama should be held responsible for debt incurred as a result of economic crises that predated his presidency.
Moreover, since the debt has kept piling up, presidency after presidency, the same claim could be made of other presidents. George W. Bush also ran up nearly as much public debt as all the presidents before him — and GOP hero Ronald Reagan even tripled the debt of all of his predecessors. (See Table 7.1 of this document.)
(Romney has also made this claim in a recent Web ad, which can be viewed below. The ad also includes the assertion that Obama thinks he is one of the four best presidents, which we have previously examined, giving a Pinocchio each to Romney and Obama.)
Joined: Sep 2009
Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 04/05/2012
Romney’s efforts to paint Obama as radical are a flop
By Greg Sargent
Mitt Romney frequently opines that President Obama favors “equal outcomes,” argues that Obama regularly apologizes for America, claims Obama bows to our enemies, and insists that Obama is trying to transform America into a “government-centered society” that’s more European than American in identity. Such comments, of course, are designed to paint Obama’s worldview as deeply radical, out of step with basic American values and at odds with our way of life.
What makes these comments even sillier is that in many of the areas where Romney discerns Obama’s radical tendencies, the two men are actually in total agreement. Indeed, they frequently use identical language to describe their views.
This fact has been completely obscured by the profound policy disagreements that do persist between them. Their solutions on taxes, economic growth, and many other issues are vastly different.
But in many ways, their expressed views on things like free enterprise, health care, Iran, and American exceptionalism are borderline identical:
* Free enterprise: Romney regularly attacks Obama for being hostile towards capitalism, but in fact, they both describe free enterprise in virtually identical terms. Romney yesterday described it as “one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known.” This is an idea Romney alludes to frequently. But it’s also an idea Obama alludes to frequently. Obama recently described free enterprise as the “greatest force for economic progress in human history,” and this is a formulation Obama has used on many other occasions.
* American exceptionalism: Romney frequently points to our free enterprise system as proof that America is an exceptional nation, a view he also regularly claims Obama doesn’t agree with. But Obama also regularly points to free market capitalism as a sign of American exceptionalism. In early 2011, before Romney’s attacks were underway in earnest, Obama described our “free enterprise system” as the reason for “what America does better than anyone else,” which is to “spark the creativity and imagination of our people.”
More broadly, both have expressed strikingly similar views of American exceptionalism in general:
Romney, at CPAC: “America is like no other country in history ... the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are uniquely powerful, foundational, and defining.”
Obama: “we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.”
* Health care: Romney regularly casts Obamacare as a tyrannical government takeover and evidence of Obama’s ill intentions towards the free market system. But when he was asked by Jay Leno the other day what he would do to insure those with preexisting conditions, he offered a diagnosis of the problems created by people who don’t get insurance that was strikingly similar to Obama’s own diagnosis of what ails the system. Obama has regularly offered defenses of the federal mandate that identify the same problems Romney has identified, and both regularly have used the term “free riders” to describe those problems.
Romney, of course, has lately been insisting the federal mandate is tyranny in order to get through the GOP primary, but in fact, their view of the central policy problem is pretty much the same, which is why Romney passed Romneycare before the mandate became uncool.
* Iran: Romney frequently invokes Obama’s stance on Iran as proof that he is weak in the face of foreign threats. But independent Iran experts, including ones who have worked for Republican presidents, say that there is no appreciable difference between the get-tough policies espoused by Romney and the approach Obama has actually adopted.
Again, none of this is to minimize the serious differences that remain between the two men on everything from government’s proper role to the fairness of our tax system. And no doubt many on the right would argue that Obama’s stated views aren’t to be taken at face value. But the simple fact is that in the areas where Romney professes to see evidence of Obama’s wild-eyed radicalism, the two men often use virtually identical language. Which is why Romney’s efforts to paint Obama in that light are likely to come across as canned and phony, and won’t square with voter perceptions of the President.
Joined: Sep 2009
Harvard-educated Bostonian Mitt Romney says President Obama 'spent too much time at Harvard'
Mitt Romney in 2006 on his four-years at Harvard: "Terrific."
Mitt Romney spent four years earning two degrees from Harvard, sent three of his five sons there, has a dozen advisers who are on the Harvard faculty, and based his campaign headquarters in the university's shadow, yet as TPM's Benjy Sarlin notes:
Speaking in Harrisburg, Pa., Romney told an audience that Obama may have spent “too much time at Harvard,” according to NBC.
The next thing you know, Mitt "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt While I Pay 15% On My Bain Loot" Romney will attack President Obama for closing factories and laying off workers. Oh wait. He already has?
10:06 AM PT: Haha! "In the next sentence, Romney attacked Obama, saying he should have stayed longer and studied harder at Harvard." I know it was a joke ... but it still might be true!
Joined: Sep 2009
By Dana Milbank, Published: April 6
Mitt Romney is developing a Mirlande Wilson problem.
Wilson, for those not acquainted with the name, is the Maryland woman who claimed to have a winning lottery ticket worth $218 million. She had agreed to buy lottery tickets with money pooled from her co-workers at McDonald’s, but then she claimed that the winning ticket was one she bought separately. As the New York Daily News has documented, she has since claimed she’s not sure she won, she hasn’t checked the ticket, the ticket is at her home, the ticket is hidden at McDonald’s, the ticket is secreted away somewhere else, and now she can’t find it.
GOP presidential hopefuls campaigning in April: As the Republican presidential contest winds its way ever closer to the GOP convention, the candidates continue to hit the campaign trail ahead of various primaries in an effort to win the requisite number of delegates for the party nomination.
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On Wednesday, she called a news conference, only for her lawyer to tell reporters to “go home.”
This was developing, by chance, on the same day I watched Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, give a speech in Washington. Like Wilson and her golden ticket, Romney was having some trouble getting out the facts.
“Good morning,” he began, though it was already afternoon. The accuracy of his statements went downhill from there.
He blamed President Obama for the “weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression.”
He said he would save “about $100 billion a year” eliminating Obamacare.
He accused the president of “taking a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it.” And he claimed Obama had created an “unaccountable panel, with the power to prevent Medicare from providing certain treatments.”
Incorrect, wrong, false and fictitious. And that was just a sample from one Romney speech on one day.
Fortunately, fact-checkers in the press, such as The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler and the Tampa Bay Times’ PolitiFact, have been diligently pointing out Romney’s whoppers. Unfortunately, this has had little, if any, effect on his prodigious output.
That candidates don’t tell the truth is hardly news. Voters already know there are lies, damn lies, and politics. And certainly, Romney has abundant company in his mendacity. Just this week, Obama dared the Supreme Court to overturn his health-care reforms, saying it “would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” In fact, the law passed by the barest of margins — and, as a former constitutional law instructor such as Obama surely knows, the Supreme Court routinely strikes down laws passed by Congress.
But the fact that the fibs are routine doesn’t make them less insidious. Public support for the war in Iraq was no doubt aided by the perception among a majority of Americans that Saddam Hussein was behind the Sept. 11 attacks — a frequent insinuation of the Bush administration.
Romney’s fast-and-loose routine with the facts — deployed equally against his Republican rivals and Obama — is particularly disappointing because it is unnecessary. He has a powerful case to make against Obama without the embellishment: The economic recovery is maddeningly slow without his claiming that it’s the weakest since the Great Depression (the 1980 and 2001 recoveries were slower) or alleging that “an article in the Wall Street Journal” reported that “this has been the slowest economic recovery including that of the Great Depression” (the article, an op-ed, said the recovery is slower than “most”).
PolitiFact has awarded Romney its “Pants on Fire” or “False” ratings for 32 claims. Among them are these: that Obama “didn’t even mention the deficit or debt” in his State of the Union address, that “our Navy is smaller than it’s been since 1917,” that Obama “never worked in the private sector,” that Obama “gave” the automakers “to the UAW,” and that “we’re only inches away from no longer being a free economy.”
Wednesday’s speech alone had more than a dozen distortions, including allegations that: Obama “has failed to even pass a budget” (Congress passes budget resolutions, which the president doesn’t sign); Obama created a panel empowered to deny treatments under Medicare (the board can only make recommendations, and only if Congress fails to find Medicare cuts), Obama “has added regulations at a staggering rate” (the Business Roundtable just said it “lauded” the administration’s attempt at regulatory reform).
No fewer than three Romney claims in that one speech merited PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating: that Obama led “a government takeover of health care,” has been “apologizing for America abroad” and is ending “Medicare as we know it.” Romney’s assertions that Obama “is the only president to ever cut $500 billion from Medicare” and that eliminating Obamacare saves “about $100 billion” were rated false.
That Romney resorts to such gratuitous falsehoods discredits his leadership more than his opponent’s.