The debate results are in, and even though most say Obama was short on spunk that night, the bigger news is that Romney spent the night telling whoppers … 27 falsehoods in 33 minutes by the latest fact-checking count! Yes, fact checking counts.
Obama was right to say at a rally the next day that he didn’t know who that guy was he was debating the night before. He should have said that during the debate. Mitt had Etch-a-Sketched himself to please the vast television audience, many of whom are low-information viewers who haven’t been following his campaign. Mitt took the night to spin himself as a different guy in order to fool those who don’t follow politics.
For a guy to stand there and take the complete opposite position on key issues to the stances he’s taken for the last two years is mystifying. Obviously his handlers wanted him to do that, because he had been preparing his aggressive boilerplate answers with them for weeks prior. Did it work? He got a little bump in the polls, but the media was more occupied with his lies, so much so that it became the whole major headline of the debate. Obama’s lackluster performance was overshadowed by Mitt’s fibs.
To just take one, Mitt said that he had great successes working with an 87 percent Democratic legislature when he was governor of Massachusetts. He said he successfully reached across the aisle and mended fences, and he could do the same as president. Was that true? Democrats in Massachusetts at the time said that he often used charm offensives while he routinely opposed them, ignored them, or even insulted them. He took pleasure in vetoing 844 legislative initiatives, only to have many overturned by the majority. Mitt even went as far as to mount an unprecedented vindictive campaign to unseat Democratic leaders who opposed him, which backfired, leaving the Republicans with the smallest legislative group since 1867.
His claim to have cut taxes 19 times in Massachusetts is also inaccurate because many of the tax cuts were first proposed by the Legislature, not Romney, and many were routine extensions of existing tax reductions. Several included one-day sales tax holidays for shopping like we have here occasionally. Mitt was trying to take credit when credit is not due.
One has to look at Mitt as a master salesman, the Bain boss guy who’s called in from the other room to close the deal with a smile, a firm handshake and a pat on the back. “Don’t worry folks; “we’ll take care of you.” We all know the type. That’s what he says when economists and the Congressional Budget Office says his numbers don’t work out: “Trust us.” That’s what Paul Ryan was saying when he answered a reporter’s budget question by saying, it would take “too long to provide specifics.”
No thanks, guys. I want specifics, and I don’t trust anyone who waffles on important issues when the audience changes. As they say, the devil is in the details. And, above all, I hate being lied to, especially when I know the truth.