Mitt Romney’s Secret Weapon: Lying
April is the cruelest month so far for good ole’ Mitt Romney. His recent primary wins in Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. almost certainly mean that he’ll be the Republican presidential nominee, but they’re coming at a time when it’s also becoming fairly clear that he’ll lose in November: The latest Rasmussen average of polls shows Obama ahead of Romney by 4.9 percent; Intrade gives Mitt only a 37 percent chance of winning. Heck, even the conservative talking heads are already calling it.
But some of these folks and the polls might be underestimating the power of Mitt’s secret weapon: Mitt Romney is willing to lie.
He’s demonstrated that he is willing to lie big, and lie often. And we all know that lying can be a big help in politics. And already, well before the really brutal attack ads and push polls get started in the run-up to November, Mitt has been telling some whoppers. As Dana Milbank noted in the Washington Post recently: Romney has been given a “Pants on Fire” or “False” ratings by the non-partisan fact checking organization, Politifact, for 32 separate claims he has made:
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.”
The non-partisan FactCheck.org also has a list of Romneyfied facts, including:
Romney says the numbers for unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures are “soaring.” That’s simply not true. They all started rising sharply under Bush, continued to rise for a time under Obama, but then peaked and are currently declining
Romney’s claim that Obama “stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history” is also wrong, as we’ve noted before. The truth is more jobs were lost under Bush than Obama, and most of the jobs lost since he took office have now been regained.
And National Public Radio has a few of its own, including:
ROMNEY: Obama “is destroying the Medicare Advantage program, eliminating the coverage that millions of seniors depend on and reducing choice by two-thirds.”
THE FACTS: The Medicare Advantage program seems to be doing quite well. Premiums, on average, are down 7 percent while enrollment is up nearly 10 percent this year.
Now, out of all of his lies, the biggest and most frequent one — and the one that may actually have the most sticking power — is that Obama has engineered a government takeover of healthcare. Numerous fact checking organizations have found that to be false. False as in: it’s a really big fat lie kind of false.
See, here’s the thing: Obamacare is essentially just like “Romneycare.” And “Romneycare” actually works pretty well. At least according to Romney’s own web site:
“A recent study showed that 98.1% of adults and 99.8% of children now have medical insurance”
“67-84% of Massachusetts residents are happy with the plan and would not go back to the old system if given the chance.”
I actually checked out Romna-Bama-care myself last week. I had to go the doctor to get my cholesterol checked. And you know what? There was no one in the Federal government that I could find who was willing to get involved or set it all up for me. So, I had to call my doctor at her private sector practice and make an appointment at her private sector office and go to a private sector lab in a private sector hospital to get my own personal blood checked. Then I had to go to private sector CVS to get my prescription filled and later I will get my “explanation of benefits” from my private sector insurance company.
And if I didn’t have that private sector insurance, under Romneycare (or Obamacare when and if it kicks in), I would be able to go to an on-line “health connector” and navigate to a private sector plan that fits my personal needs and my ability to pay. (I think the Romneycare site works pretty well and is easy to navigate. Good job, Mitt.)
If the Supreme Court doesn’t go all “activist” on us, I think Obamacare will work pretty much the same way in every respect, including the individual mandate that is in Romneycare. As Mitt has often explained to us, the whole individual mandate thing in Romenycare is based on conservative principles of personal responsibility.
Yes, the lie that Mitt tells about health being taken over by the government is a pretty big honking lie. But I can absolutely understand why Mitt is telling it along with all the other lies. It might help him to rally some Tea Party types or the conservative Republican base that just doesn’t really seem to like or trust him. And because as things stand now, lying is really the only way he is likely to win.