Mitt Romney, who has been criticized by members of his party in recent weeks for not campaigning aggressively enough and who trails President Obama in polls in most swing states, placed the blame for his campaign’s struggles squarely on the president himself Sunday afternoon.And what in particular makes Romney say this?
“I think that the president’s campaign has focused its advertising in many cases on very inaccurate portrayals of my positions,” he said. “They’ve been very aggressive in their attacks both on a personal basis and on a policy basis. I think as time goes on, people will realize that those attacks are not accurate and we’ll be able to have a choice which is based upon each other’s accurate views for the future of country.”Wait, wasn't his campaign the one that said fact-checking was unimportant? And now he says he wants fact-checkers? Hmmm. He better be careful what he wishes for because he just might get it.
Specifically, Mr. Romney pointed to the auto industry bailout, his tax plan and his position on abortion as three areas in which the president had tried to misrepresent his position.
On the auto bailout, Mitt Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt—his words—without first stabilizing the industry with the weight of the federal government. His plan would have been a disaster. Nowadays, Romney even tries to claim credit for the Obama rescue plan—even though he opposed it at the time.
On taxes, Mitt Romney has not only refused to release his own taxes before 2010, he's refused to explain how his tax plan would work. The only way to make his numbers add up is to increase taxes on the middle income taxpayers. That's just math. If the Obama campaign points out that two plus two equals four even though Mitt Romney has a white paper saying that it actually equals six, they aren't misrepresenting Romney's position. They're just doing arithmetic.
On abortion, Mitt Romney is apparently upset about this ad which says that like Paul Ryan, Romney has supported proposals that would ban abortion in cases of rape and incest. Pointing that out is completely accurate. Sure, Romney has taken many different positions on abortion, but if he's allowed to highlight the one that is most politically convenient for himself at the moment, then what's wrong with pointing out his less convenient positions?
In the bigger picture, it's not that Romney is incorrect to say that he's losing because of President Obama—it's just that Romney can't bring himself to admit why that's the case. The reality is that Obama has been a good president in tough times and he's running a very effective campaign. In contrast, Romney hasn't just been running a bad campaign, he's been running a terrible one.