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Mitt romney
"Hey, if you guys let me get away with it, I'll keep on lying forever." (Brian Synder/Reuters)
Remember when President Obama slammed Mitt Romney for proposing to eliminate all federal taxes on millionaires? And do you remember how media outlets everywhere took President Obama's statement and reported it as fact, putting it in headlines without noting that Mitt Romney had never proposed any such thing?

Of course you don't remember that, because President Obama never made such an absurd allegation, and if he had, he'd been been pilloried for it. But now that Mitt Romney is doing something similar—falsely accusing President Obama of pledging to raise gas prices—newsrooms are silent about Mitt's mendacity.

Yesterday, Romney said:

BAIER: Governor, obviously, volatility in the Middle East affects oil prices. Do you believe President Obama is to blame for high gas prices?

ROMNEY: Well, there's no question. But when he ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline price go up.

If Romney wants to blame President Obama for gas prices, that's one thing. He can make an argument and try to convince people he's right. (Of course, it's worth pointing out that after Super Tuesday he said the president "can't precisely set the price" of gas and subsequently said President Obama was only responsible "in part" for the price of gas. It's also worth pointing out that gas prices are still lower than they were in July of 2008 and are increasing despite soaringrecord domestic oil production.)

But Romney isn't making an argument about the impact of President Obama's policies, Romney is flatly accusing the president of making a pledge he never made, and of working to achieve a goal that he never supported. That's called lying, and as Greg Sargent has repeatedly argued about similar examples, Romney should be called on the carpet for it. But he hasn't been. And that's a problem, because of there's one thing that Mitt Romney has demonstrated he's good at, it's lying. As long as he can get away with doing it with impunity, he will. And why shouldn't he? Political ambition is good, right?

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm sure the media will start calling him on it (10+ / 0-)

    in the general election.

    >Snort!< Choke. God, I almost couldn't type that lie.

    The media are scared to death of being labeled as "liberal", they'll NEVER fact check a Republican or call them out as a liar. No, at most they'll say, "He offered his opinion".

    "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

    From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:26:56 AM PDT

    •  they're not scared, they're complicit (6+ / 0-)
      newsrooms are silent about Mitt's mendacity

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But Obama Did Say Energy Prices Will Skyrocket (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And this is why the media isn't calling bullshit:

      Now, it's important to note that Obama is talking in terms of his cap and trade policy, which was blocked in the Senate.

      However, Republicans are arguing - with at least some justification - that the EPA and the executive branch has by administrative action implemented some of the regulations under its Clean Air Act authority that would have occurred under cap and trade.

      Whether the EPA and other regulations have at all increased energy prices I can't say. I do know carbon dioxide was declared to be a toxin and large emitters are subject to
      EPA rule making now, but whether any rules have been implemented is something I don't know.

      Anyhow, as much as Mitt lies, this is a case where Obama kind of said something almost like what the .republicans are implying. I've heard the Energy Secretary has said and written much worse about the need to raise fossil fuel prices.

      So I don't think the media is quite so quick to call bullshit here because there's arguably significant elements of truth to the statements.

      •  So your point is that if they take something out (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jennyp, shoeless, PorridgeGun, askew

        of context, distort it, etc. they can make it sound like the truth? Sorry, but that's a load of horseshit. And Mitt and the media need to be made accountable for it.

        "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

        From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

        by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:09:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not that out of context (0+ / 0-)

          Mitt said Obama "wanted to see gasoline price go up." The truth is Obama actually said "electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket... Whether you're talking about coal or natural gas or any of the greenhouse" gas emitters.

          Clearly Obama was talking about the effect of his plans on the nations' power grid, but even in that context rising electricity rates would increase gas prices.

          So yes, Mitt shifted from electricity to gas, and that's a distortion. On the other hand, I don't think Obama talking about rising electricity rates is helpful either, and the two are related, of course.

          I'm just trying to be fair - by the usual standards of politics these days, Mitt's statement is something of a half-truth.

          •  Again, you're selling Mitt's view (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PorridgeGun, askew

            Obama doesn't want gas prices to rise, he wants to stop killing the planet. Gas prices might rise because of his policies but he doesn't want it, he just realizes it might be unavoidable. Stop using Republican framing.

            "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

            From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

            by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:27:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know I'm using Republican framing (0+ / 0-)

              Because Mitt's going to run attack ads with the clip I linked to. And we might say Mitt is a big fat liar, but independent voters who look at that clip, many of them, will agree with Mitt's framing of the issue.

              I just don't think it helps to say "Mitt's lying again" when that won't work come election time. In 2008, the issue didn't matter because the economic free-fall wiped out high gas prices. In 2012, it will, so Obama better have a damn good response ready to rising gas prices and his previous cap and trade statements - it's the only issue that could cost him the election.

              •  Add never mind most, if not all, of the rise (0+ / 0-)

                in gas prices are from speculation and foreign demand for gas. Obama will never answer the critics and haters to their sastifaction. Your concern about it is noted.

                "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

                From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

                by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:45:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You sound like you work for Politifact. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PorridgeGun, askew

        It could kinda, sorta be true if we spin it enough times and take one Obama statement made 3 years ago and out of context and  apply it to this Romney statment about something completely different.

        Then, it isn't really a lie anymore.  See?

        “Tax and Spend” I can understand. I can even understand “Borrow and Spend”. But “Borrow and Give Tax Cuts to Billionaires”? That I have a problem with.

        by LiberalCanuck on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:44:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm just imagining the attack ad/response (0+ / 0-)

          Mitt is 100% going to use that clip to justify his statement that Obama campaigned on higher energy prices. And to my mind, I think many independent voters will buy it if Obama doesn't have a good response ready.

          Now, the response so far out of the White House has been to throw up their hands and say they can't do anything, gas prices are what they are. I honestly think, partisan as I am, that's a giant political loser.

          Obama can release strategic reserves, he can convene a Justice Department Task Force on energy speculation, he can have DoJ investigate anti-competitive behavior in the refining industry. They could try and support the dollar. On the political front, it'd be nice if there was some report explaining the causes of rising gas prices and showing they aren't related to any new EPA or DoE regulations.

          Anyhow, if Mitt runs that ad big time in the fall and gas prices are still $4+ a gallon, what's Obama's response? Saying that Mitt's just lying doesn't, to my mind, seem like a political winner. The clip is persuasive if there's not a damn good pushback that Obama doesn't actually want higher oil prices.

    •  Correct ontheleft -- It will cost them too much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      You have to be congnisant of the fact that Bain controls so much media bucks, Toys R Us, Stage Stores, Clear Channel, Sodexo, Marriott, etc, etc.,

      It would be bites of the hand the feeds them (or keeping them on life support as it tis).

      PLEASE, by all means possible, THINK for yourself? Then make a difference in the world; by doing something good for someone else today.

      by laserhaas on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:08:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is, the electorate is so damned dumb (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and ignorant, they'll go to their graves believing it.

  •  "...and these are your Uncle Rick's balls" (6+ / 0-)

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:28:47 AM PDT

  •  Romney is the Media's champion in this Race so (13+ / 0-)

    they will ignore his lies

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:30:23 AM PDT

  •  Romney almost always begins a comment like that: (13+ / 0-)
    Well, there's no question...
    Or "certainly" or "but of course" or "without doubt." Yes, without doubt, that's the one thing a president running for re-election wants: higher gas prices. "Well, there's no question," Mitt is a jerk.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:37:15 AM PDT

  •  TradMed back to their old game (7+ / 0-)

    The campaign is guarding media  access to him. Same old pay for play. They ask real questions as in practice real journalism they lose what limited access they have.

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:40:17 AM PDT

  •  This will be just the tip of the negative iceberg (7+ / 0-)

    Obama will face once Mitt, and I assume Mitt will somehow manage to survive the process, will be facing. I have heard sveral high level Reporters say this race between Romney/Obama this fall will be very very ugly, sadly. Brace yourselves.

  •  GOoPers LIE like crazy....Fox has their backs. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, vcmvo2, TomP, peptabysmal
  •  I don't blame the news media for (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, commonmass, Osiris, shoeless

    ignoring Romney's lies.

    Now, if one day he told the truth, now * that * would be news!

  •  I don't know that Mitt has demonstrated (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, annieli, vcmvo2, TomP, shoeless

    that he is good at lying, mostly he has demonstrated that he is always willing to lie when asked about a prior statement.   The right wing media won't call him on lies against Obama, but they have pilloried him for the lies about Romneycare, Planned Parenthood suport, pro-life, etc.

  •  Jed...It's the "Librul Press" we're talking about. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, vcmvo2, TomP, shoeless, PorridgeGun

    Only kidding.

    No chance as it ruins the entire political news stream horse race "thingy".  

    Every aspect of this society has just about been tarnished with the need to increase the bottom line, and that includes our MSM as well, as they too have investors wanting a great R.O.I..  There may be other nefarious motives in ignoring the obvious embellishing of the truth by Willard (corporate ownership of media outlets and such), but I also believe it is also sign of lazy journalism, the likes we have been experiencing since the Reagan years where lazy brain journalism took root IMHB.

    I mean, really now..."Trees pollute"?  "Mission Accomplished"?


    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:48:25 AM PDT

  •  The media are not doing their job, and have not (10+ / 0-)

    for some time. He said/she said reporting is easy, and insulates the media from accusations of bias, and curries favor with politicians in order to get them to submit to interviews which they may not be so keen to give to a reporter or anchor who asks hard questions and challenges the veracity of statements made and asks for proof, or explanations.

    For all intents and purposes, the media in this country is dead. For the most part it serves only as a platform for politicians to disseminate their positions and propaganda in a friendly, non-confrontational environment. They have become in a way tools of the campaigns of politicians of all stripes. It's a disgrace.

    I promise you, the first journalist who interviews Mitt Romney or anyone else and asks them "when, exactly did the President say that? In what speech? On what day?" will never, ever get another interview with any of them again. It would be a career ender.

    One thing I agree with some Republicans on is this: the media are lame, and they are part of the problem.

    As for Mitt, he'd sell his own grandmother to a brothel if he thought it would win him a vote.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:49:06 AM PDT

  •  Corporate media lies, viewers ignore it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, TomP

    Hey, if the media outlets are a pack of liers, how can you expect them to factcheck their own favorite candidate?

  •  Obama called for much higher electricity prices (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, 88kathy, jgelling

    from coal.  But he never specifically called for higher gas prices.

    However, Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu did indeed call for higher gas prices.  Something he only walked back a few days ago in light of the heat Obama is getting on gas prices.

    Given Obama's clear stance on increased energy prices as a means for reducing energy usage, I think it is hard for the news media to differentiate between Obama's general call for higher energy prices during his campaign and specific calls for higher prices on coal and gas.

    •  Free energy and the devil take the hindmost (0+ / 0-)

      another GOP plan.

      Obama is for a comprehensive energy plan of cheap energy, gas isn't cheap and people that own oil don't like us much.

      . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

      by 88kathy on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:02:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's about the fairest way to put it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerry J

      My concern is the clip about electricity along with the clip from the Energy Secretary plus some facts about the EPA regulating carbon dioxide as a "pollutant" = a political albatross.

      Obama needs a much better response than the current "I can't do anything about it" line. Something that shows he doesn't actually want higher gas prices.

  •  Krugman Has A Blog Post Today About GOP Lies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, TomP, vcmvo2

    This one concerns the rising costs of the ACA. I'd like to think that if Romney uses these constantly it will add to an image of him saying anything to get elected and people will discount what he says. Democrats can do to him what Rove did to Al Gore. Except this time the liar charge will be true.

  •  Hold on: there probably is SOME statement ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J, jgelling

    ... Barack Obama once made somewhere, sometime that "allows" Mitt to say that.

    Let's face it, however valid the word "liar" may be on this particular point, it is a lurid term!

    So when the media calls Romney out as a liar-liar and his opposition research team pulls something out that candidate, Senator or President Obama said or did that could be interpreted as being willing to see gasoline prices go up, and then the Mitt uses this riposte to say more on the subject because he's touched a nerve-ending, and then Mitt starts with his next misstatement based on that riff ... are we better off, folks?

    If this were my campaign, I would have at hand just such "backup." And I'd use it to (1) brief the fact-checkers, (2) criticize the press, and (3) as long as the cycle lasts, continue the message against Barack Obama.

    Political Rule 101.whatever: Pick Your Fights Strategically.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:51:43 AM PDT

    •  There's lots of them. (0+ / 0-)

      just search youtube.

      Mostly, however, he is talking about "energy" prices in general.  Not specifically gas prices.

      The famous on, of course, is where he said during the campaign that under his plan, energy prices would "necessarily skyrocket".

      This going to be very hard for him to walk away from if gas prices remain high until November - whether it has one ounce of real effect on gas prices or not!

    •  This is recycled from the 2008 campaign (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama said on CNBC in 2008 that gas prices had risen too high and he would have preferred a "gradual adjustment". You can Google "Obama 2008 gas price quotes" to see how that one phrase ricocheted across the right-wing scream machine as "proof" of Obama's support for higher gas prices.

      Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner?

      by Blue Intrigue on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:02:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He makes me sick! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, annieli

    He gets really excited when he's telling a lie, he actually becomes animated and he starts spitting. Yech!

    It's easy to tell when he's lying. The media is despicable in that they are in the bag for the Mittster.

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:51:52 AM PDT

  •  This is why I think the end of the GOP primary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    actually might help Obama.

    Right now, the four GOP candidates get the most attention, and while they have gone after each other, they have also gone after the president quite a bit.

    I dont expect the media to rebut this stuff, unfortunately, but when the nominee is selected, I do think you will see more  coverage of Obama, and so he will get more media attention to counter these lies, and call out a lot of Romney's inconsistencies directly.

    •  Only that (0+ / 0-)

      the primary will go on until the end of June most likely with, IF there is a winner, it being the Texas, California or Utah primary. I don;t think Mitt can accumulate enough delegates to win BEFORE the convention. Many agree with me.

  •  Lying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think it is obvious that we need to hold our politicians to a higher standard of honestly and transparency. I think it is interesting that in other countries they have laws against lying in a news broadcast. Canada has laws about slanderous news that has kept fox news out of Canada for years. In light of this recent election year, how much mudslinging and blatant lying has gone on, I think we should push for the adoption of a similar law in our country

  •  The more one sees Romney, the more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, PorridgeGun

    despicable he seems.

  •  You're citing Romney's statement on Fox. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR, Timothy L Smith

    Let's everyone understand this one basic truth:

    Fox is not "the media".  Fox is a propaganda organ of the Republican Party masquerading as the media.

    The appropriate response is not to criticize the propaganda organ, but to convince the actual media that it is only a propaganda organ, and thus any statements emanating from it are untrustworthy.

    Then again, the actual media usually does a pretty crappy job of discerning what's untrustworthy...

    We reach for the stars with shaking hands in bare-knuckle times.

    by TheOrchid on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:09:04 AM PDT

    •  True, we all know that. But tell that to my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rightwing sister.  They're the only one she trusts to tell her the truth.  I should do a diary on her, and all her truths.  She just laid one on me yesterday, Sarah Palin is very intelligent.  She didn't have an answer when I asked her if Palin is so smart, how come she thought Africa was a country, or didn't know there was a North and South Korea.  That stumped her.  Then her boyfriend, in the background, told her not to argue with me because you know you can't reason with those liberals.

      "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

      by AnnieR on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:15:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This guy will say anything to be president, won't (0+ / 0-)

    he?  Just wonder if he'll do anything for the honor, too?  He knows that higher gas prices could jeopardize Obama's chances for re-election, so here we go again.  If it's said enough times, it becomes fact, whether it is or not.  These Republicans, and their pandering in order to win, make me sick.

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:10:43 AM PDT

  •  Problem in the presidential debates.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is inevitable. Obama will catch him and call him on his lies. That could be problem for Mitt.

  •  He did say "skyrocket", but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is that one clip of him explaining the short term consequences of applying a strict cap and trade policy, in particular in respect to coal, and he did use the word "skyrocket".
    However, to apply this statement to the current rise in oil prices is ridiculous, since the rise has nothing to do with
    any energy policy.
    Not to mention, of course, once again - that cap and trade was a Republican idea, heartily championed in 2008 by McCain/Palin - and before by GOP think tanks.

  •  Ok When have we known the MSM to do its job? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Where are these hysterical people (0+ / 0-)

    screaming "skyrocket" coming from? The guy used a word 3 years ago in circumstances far worse that he thought they were, and they were, and he's all but lost the election today because he used the word "skyrocket".

  •  Yeah, but should the media be "truth vigilantes"? (0+ / 0-)

    Besides, its probably "mostly true" because if you parse what he was saying thin enough, it can be interpreted as being kinda true in a broader sense.

    Liberal media my ass.

    “Tax and Spend” I can understand. I can even understand “Borrow and Spend”. But “Borrow and Give Tax Cuts to Billionaires”? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:38:59 AM PDT

  •  Mitt reflects the default White assumption (0+ / 0-)

    that blacks are essentially malevolent, low IQ welfare babies destined for a life of crime.  The majority of the White Tribe cannot look at Obama without their innate, vicious racism getting into the picture.

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