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Cohen writes: "After watching Mitt Romney run for president the past few months, he makes John McCain look like George Washington (of 'I Can't Tell A Lie' fame)."

When challenged about an untruthful statement, Romney's tactic is to deny he said it - lie trumping lie, writes Michael Cohen. (photo: YouTube/BarackObama.com)
When challenged about an untruthful statement, Romney's tactic is to deny he said it - lie trumping lie, writes Michael Cohen. (photo: YouTube/BarackObama.com)



Romney's Bid to Become Liar-in-Chief

By Michael Cohen, Guardian UK

22 June 12

 

our years ago, when I was writing about the 2008 presidential campaign, I wrote with dismay and surprise at the spate of falsehoods coming out of John McCain's campaign for president. McCain had falsely accused his opponent Barack Obama of supporting "comprehensive sex education" for children, and of wanting to raise taxes on the middle class, while his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, took credit for opposing the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere", which she had actually supported.

At the time, such false and misleading claims from a presidential candidate seemed shocking: they crossed an unstated line in American politics – going from the usual garden-variety campaign exaggeration to wilful lying.

Ah, those were the days … after watching Mitt Romney run for president the past few months, he makes John McCain look like George Washington (of "I Can't Tell A Lie" fame).

Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it's pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.

Now, in general, those of us in the pundit class are really not supposed to accuse politicians of lying – they mislead, they embellish, they mischaracterize, etc. Indeed, there is natural tendency for nominally objective reporters, in particular, to stay away from loaded terms such as lying. Which is precisely why Romney's repeated lies are so effective. In fact, lying is really the only appropriate word to use here, because, well, Romney lies a lot. But that's a criticism you're only likely to hear from partisans.

My personal favorite in Romney's cavalcade of untruths is his repeated assertion that President Obama has apologized for America. In his book, appropriately titled "No Apologies", Romney argues the following:

"Never before in American history has its president gone before so many foreign audiences to apologize for so many American misdeeds, both real and imagined. It is his way of signaling to foreign countries and foreign leaders that their dislike for America is something he understands and that is, at least in part, understandable."

Nothing about this sentence is true.

President Obama never went around the world and apologized for America – and yet, even after multiple news organizations have pointed out this is a "pants on fire" lie, Romney keeps making it. Indeed, the "Obama apology tour", along with the president bowing down to the King of Saudi Arabia, are practically the lodestars of the GOP's criticism of Obama's foreign policy performance (the Saudi thing isn't true either).

But foreign policy is a relatively light area of mistruth for the GOP standard-bearer. The economy is really where the truth takes its greatest vacation in Romney world. First, there is Romney's claim that the 2009 stimulus passed by Congress and signed by President Obama "didn't work". According to Romney, "that stimulus didn't put more private-sector people to work." While one can quibble over whether the stimulus went far enough, the idea that it didn't create private-sector jobs has no relationship to reality. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus bill created more than 3m jobs – a view shared by 80% of economists polled by the Chicago Booth School of Business (only 4% disagree).

Romney also likes to argue that the stimulus didn't help private-sector job growth, but rather helped preserve government jobs. In fact, the Obama years have been witness to massive cuts in government employment. While the private sector is not necessarily "doing fine", as Obama said in a recent White House press conference, it's doing a heck of a lot better than the public sector.

And the list goes on. Romney has accused Obama of raising taxes – in reality, they've gone down under his presidency, and largely because of that stimulus bill that Romney loves to criticize. He's accused the president of doubling the deficit. In fact, it's actually gone down on Obama's watch.

Romney took credit for the success of the auto bailout – even though he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt". He's said repeatedly that businesses in America see Obama as the "enemy", and that under his presidency "free enterprise" and economic freedom" are at risk of disappearing. In reality, since taking office, corporate profits, industrial production and the stock market are up, while corporate bankruptcies have actually decreased.

Then, there is the recent Romney nugget that the Obama administration passed Obamacare with the full knowledge that it "would slow down the economic recovery in this country" and that the White House "knew that before they passed it". It's an argument so clearly spun from whole cloth that according to Jonathan Chait, the acerbic political columnist for New York Magazine, Romney is "Just Making Stuff Up Now".

Also of Obamacare, Romney has said that it will lead to the government taking over 50% of the economy (not true) – its true cost can't be computed (that's why we have a Congressional Budget Office in the United States); that it will create to "a massive European-style entitlement" (many liberals wish this were true, but alas, it is not); and that it will lead to a government-run healthcare system (a lie so pervasive that it's practically become shorthand for Republicans – yet it too, like the infamous made-up death panels of the health care debate, is simply not accurate).

The lying from the Romney campaign is so out-of-control that Steve Benen, a blogger and producer for the Rachel Maddow show compiles a weekly list of "Mitt's Mendacity" that is chockfull of new untruths. Benen appears unlikely to run out of material any time soon, particularly since Romney persists in repeating the same lies over and over, even after they've been debunked.

This is perhaps the most interesting and disturbing element of Romney's tireless obfuscation: that even when corrected, it has little impact on the presumptive GOP nominee's behavior. This is happening at a time when fact-checking operations in major media outlets have increased significantly, yet that appears to have no effect on the Romney campaign.

What is the proper response when, even after it's pointed out that the candidate is not telling the truth, he keeps doing it? Romney actually has a telling rejoinder for this. When a reporter challenged his oft-stated assertion that President Obama had made the economy worse (factually, not correct), he denied ever saying it in the first place. It's a lie on top of a lie.

Now, it's certainly true that on the campaign trail, facts can be stretched in many different directions – and both parties, including President Obama, frequently make arguments that are misleading, lacking in context or simply false. But it is virtually unheard of for a politician to lie with such reckless abandon and appear completely unconcerned about getting caught.

Back in the old days (that is, pre-2008) it would have been considered unimaginable that a politician would lie as brazenly as Romney does – for fear of embarrassment or greater scrutiny. When Joe Biden was accused of plagiarizing British Labor Leader Neil Kinnock's speeches in 1988, it derailed his presidential aspirations. When Al Gore was accused of exaggerating his role in "inventing the internet" (which, actually, was sort of true), it became a frequent attack line that hamstrung his credibility. Romney has done far worse than either of these candidates – yet it's hard to discern the negative impact on his candidacy.

Romney has figured out a loophole – one can lie over and over, and those lies quickly become part of the political narrative, practically immune to "fact-checking". Ironically, the more Romney lies, the harder it then becomes to correct the record. Even if an enterprising reporter can knock down two or three falsehoods, there are still so many more that slip past.

It's reminiscent of the old line that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. In Romney's case, his lies are regularly corrected by media sources, but usually, in some antiseptic fact-checking article, or by Democratic/liberal voices who can be dismissed for their "partisan bent". Meanwhile, splashed across the front page of newspapers is Romney saying "Obamacare will lead to a government take-over of healthcare"; "Obama went on an apology tour"; or "the stimulus didn't create any jobs". Because, after all, it's what the candidate said and reporters dutifully must transcribe it.

Pointing out that Romney is consistently not telling the truth thus risks simply falling into the category of the usual "he-said, she-said" of American politics. For cynical reporters, the behavior is inevitably seen to be the way the political game is now played. Rather than being viewed and ultimately exposed as examples of a pervasive pattern of falsehoods, Romney's statements embed themselves in the normalized political narrative – along with aggrieved Democrats complaining that Romney isn't telling the truth. Meanwhile, the lie sticks in the minds of voters.

As MSNBC's Steve Benen told me:

"Romney gets away with it because he and his team realize contemporary political journalism isn't equipped to deal with a candidate who lies this much, about so many topics, so often."

Romney is charting new and untraveled waters in American politics. In the process, he is cynically eroding the fragile sense of trust that exists between voters and politicians. It's almost enough to make one pine for the days when Sarah Palin lied about "the Bridge to Nowhere".

 

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+170 # freeportguy 2012-06-22 14:40
Lying is the ONLY way Republicans can win elections. Otherwise, if they admitted caring only for the 1%, who else would vote for them?
 
 
+55 # Professorjane Gilgun 2012-06-23 06:45
Brilliant analysis. I hope opposition to lying Republicans say this over and over. No fact checker will say it's not true. The loud-mouth conservatives will howl. Maybe the press will figure out how to be fair and balanced and simply note the howls without magnifying them. Bald-face lies of the conservatives will eventually run their course. I worry about the short-term effects--like the elections in November and current office holders who lie and bully and stigmatize and sell cheaply to their friends government property that taxpayers paid for.
 
 
+44 # ABen 2012-06-23 11:00
Good comments professor. Romney is exactly what Jon Huntsman said he is--a well-oiled political weather vane. The only way a campaign like this works is if the electorate is ignorant or disinterested AND if the lies are not quickly rebutted with facts.
 
 
+22 # Barbara K 2012-06-23 11:38
ABen: Watch MSNBC, every night they dispute the lies of Romney and tell the true facts with proof. Al Sharpton has a segment where he debunks the lies. They all do debunk Romney's lies, along with a lot of other true useful information.
 
 
+20 # ABen 2012-06-23 18:02
Yes, Rachel, Ed, and Al do a fairly good job of presenting facts to counter lies; not always as balanced as I would like, but certainly more so than Fixed Noise. Maddow's crew in particular is fairly scrupulous about research.
 
 
+2 # Pickwicky 2012-06-25 12:32
BarbaraK--a fact cannot be otherwise than true. It is redundant to say "true fact." Part of the meaning of 'fact' is: true.
 
 
+30 # Regina 2012-06-23 11:34
I worry more about the folks glued to the Foxy Channel, where they hear only the lies and their repetitions. They will vote on the basis of those "corroborated" lies. Romney and his handlers know that, and are betting on it. You can't act on information that you're not getting. What little rebuttal gets through in other media is inadequate, and drowned out.
 
 
+6 # Pickwicky 2012-06-25 12:37
Regina--and those Fox News listeners will go to the ballot box and vote their uninformed vote this November. Just imagine a Democracy succeeding and progressing on the uninformed vote. We're headed toward failure and I can't see a way out given the misinformation broadcast to millions by Fox and Limbaugh.
 
 
+118 # walthe310 2012-06-22 16:26
I know that it is boring to repeat day after day that the GOP is lying, but that is the truth. And the truth can be true and still boring. It is also true that the GOP wants to destroy Barack's chances of re-election and their principal means of accomplishing that goal is obstruction in Congress. They control the House and have sufficient Senators to block any and all legislation. It is boring to repeat the same facts day after day, but the facts are not changing and the facts are the facts and those facts are true facts. Unlike what the GOP says on a daily basis.
 
 
+89 # drew 2012-06-22 19:24
Republicans = pure evil
 
 
-40 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-06-23 11:14
Give me a break! Does your comment imply that the Democrats are not evil? or that the Democrats don't tell lies? or that the Democrats and not bought and paid for by the top 1%? In Europe the people are rejecting the same old parties that take turns in the lead position in the government that enriches the all ready rich and gives the rest of us the shaft. Face it folks. Both Republicans and Democrats = pure evil. Vote independent. Don't pick the 'lesser' evil. Evil is evil and we don't need any more of it.
 
 
+25 # tm7devils 2012-06-23 13:53
Au contraire! If you don't vote or don't vote for the lesser evil (that is if you know which one IS the lesser evil)then you are cutting your own throat...and the throats of the rest of the nation.
When the ship sinks...it takes down the good, the bad and the ugly.
 
 
+22 # kelly 2012-06-23 14:13
That's right. Don't vote and you have no right to complain. Well, everyone has a right to complain, technically, but you haven't any basis for complaint. It is not merely a privilege it is a duty.
 
 
+16 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-06-23 16:51
Same for the environment, by the way: when it sinks...
 
 
+4 # Annalois 2012-06-27 12:37
Quoting wantrealdemocracy:
Give me a break! Does your comment imply that the Democrats are not evil? or that the Democrats don't tell lies? or that the Democrats and not bought and paid for by the top 1%? In Europe the people are rejecting the same old parties that take turns in the lead position in the government that enriches the all ready rich and gives the rest of us the shaft. Face it folks. Both Republicans and Democrats = pure evil. Vote independent. Don't pick the 'lesser' evil. Evil is evil and we don't need any more of it.

Name ONE Democrat that lies like the Republicans. NAME ONE!
 
 
+47 # lmorneweck 2012-06-22 21:23
This behavior is S.O.P. for the GOP. Bush & Co. did it so well. The playbook now reads, "Lie at will. Tell it over and over until the stupidly uninformed public believes it to be true." The media are as much to blame as the Republicans.
 
 
+30 # JSRaleigh 2012-06-23 12:55
Quoting lmorneweck:
This behavior is S.O.P. for the GOP. Bush & Co. did it so well. The playbook now reads, "Lie at will. Tell it over and over until the stupidly uninformed public believes it to be true." The media are as much to blame as the Republicans.


Bush/Cheney didn't invent the Big Lie technique, they stole it from Goebbels.
 
 
+1 # Skippydelic 2012-06-26 13:46
SOP for the GOP, and America is SOL...
 
 
-58 # 4merlib 2012-06-22 21:56
Mike hasn't heard Barack Obama speak yet, has he?
 
 
+26 # coach777b 2012-06-23 12:54
Millions of us have heard the President speak. Please point out the lies or at least, what you think are lies!
 
 
+5 # bmiluski 2012-06-26 08:52
Quoting coach777b:
Millions of us have heard the President speak. Please point out the lies or at least, what you think are lies!

Thank you. I am so sick of the neo-cons making such general statements without any facts to back them up.
 
 
-5 # tadn54 2012-06-23 20:08
Apparently, you haven't heard him either......... .....although he does use a vocabulary intended for mature adults and not snotty 3rd graders.
 
 
+5 # rockieball 2012-06-24 08:52
Yea like Bush JR who could not say a sentence without screwing it up. "I know how hard it is for a man to put food on his family." "I cannot see why man and fish cannot coexist peacefully." How many books called Bushisms were written? I think my daughter has at least 4.
 
 
+30 # JCM 2012-06-22 22:12
How many times does someone have to lie to you before you call him a liar.
 
 
+46 # dyannne 2012-06-22 22:33
Romney doesn't care about the truth because the truth will not get him elected. Republicans hate the president so much they are willing to believe anything - even the most ridiculous things - if they bad in their view. Anyone with an ounce of good sense would not believe he wasn't born in Hawaii - the birth announcement was in the Honolulu newspaper. Yet, even Donald Trump, a man smart enough to make millions, believes he was born in Kenya. So, Romney knows he can get away with anything. Only the kool-aid drinkers will vote for Romney. We gotta hope there are enough people who don't like kool-aid.
 
 
+28 # kelly 2012-06-23 09:17
You don't have to be smart to make millions. Especially if you start out with a good grubstake. Ask a lot of these so-called republican do-gooders who pander to the lower classes. The I-feel-your-pai ners have never really worked a day in their lives unless it's to shut down someone else's company or to call a stockbroker to make successful investments for them. That is not smart and it doesn't have to be. Especially when the coin you're gambling with is daddy or mommy's. It does take smarts though to try and figure out how to live hand to mouth each month, how to feed yourself and your kids each month and make your rent while making what they consider to be a living wage,although they've never had to live on one. If they ever had to live on what they tell us a living wage is, they wouldn't last a month. If they could do it and support their families, then I would consider them smart.
 
 
+23 # bingers 2012-06-22 23:02
A Republican who tells the truth is never going to be elected. A Repubican who isn't totally corrupt can't be elected. BUT, there's one good thing about it, if you believe in God, you know you'll never meet another current Republican after death.
 
 
+35 # Old Uncle Dave 2012-06-22 23:18
He admonishes Obama because other nations' "dislike for America is something he understands and that is, at least in part, understandable."

So Romney is saying he can't understand how other nations might object to US foreign policy. That arrogant "How dare they hate us!" attitude only makes them hate us more. But Mitt can't understand that either.
 
 
+28 # Professorjane Gilgun 2012-06-23 12:44
When I lived in Europe, someone said to me, "I can't believe you're an American. You're so nice." Many people in other countries do not like US policies. Why not face that? Truth works better than Let's Pretend.
 
 
+21 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-06-23 17:00
I am a European and I have had to come and see the US a lot for myself to realize how people in the US are so nice -they absolutely are- yet how their supposed governement of the people, for the people and by the people can come up with the policies they come up with.

(Hints: apathy, ignorance, fear)

If the young US citizens were to travel the world a little more, they would show the world how nice they are (yes, they would!) and they would get to know that other people are just like them instead of fearing them.
 
 
+48 # mervie 2012-06-22 23:20
ok. here's another thing you're not supposed to say publicly. and i hate doing this but it is unavoidable. the nazis perfected the "big lie." the republicans are looking to improve upon that technique.
 
 
+42 # jsheats 2012-06-23 00:49
Isn't this essentially just what Hermann Goering said (repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it)?
 
 
-44 # tigerlille 2012-06-23 00:52
The thing that gets me about Romney is that he is such a bad liar; it's so obvious he is lying, but the sheep (so far) just keep chewing their cud. Now President Obama, there is a smooth liar. He's really got a talent for lying.
 
 
+20 # bingers 2012-06-23 13:51
Quoting tigerlille:
The thing that gets me about Romney is that he is such a bad liar; it's so obvious he is lying, but the sheep (so far) just keep chewing their cud. Now President Obama, there is a smooth liar. He's really got a talent for lying.


That's hilarious. For every Obama spin there are dozens, maybe hundreds Romnbey out and out lies.
 
 
-4 # tigerlille 2012-06-25 01:32
Quoting bingers:
Quoting tigerlille:
The thing that gets me about Romney is that he is such a bad liar; it's so obvious he is lying, but the sheep (so far) just keep chewing their cud. Now President Obama, there is a smooth liar. He's really got a talent for lying.


That's hilarious. For every Obama spin there are dozens, maybe hundreds Romnbey out and out lies.



This isn't a competition where the man who packs the most lies into his rhetoric is the loser, and the other the de facto winner. I was discussing the abilty to lie. Romney exhibits multiple non-verbal indications that he is lying. Obama, on the other hand, is a smooth and likable liar. He does not exhibit obvious non-verbal cues that he is lying. Personally, I think that a practiced liar is more disturbing than an inept one, but neither man inspires trust in me. As for you, binger, are you under the Impression that Romney = Bad, and Obama = Good? That seems foolishly simplistic to me.
 
 
+27 # Anarchist 23 2012-06-23 01:31
As an astrologer, I am glad to see this article. Just recently did Romney's chart and when the Fixed Stars are added, it is awful. Quit interestingly, he has Mercury, planet of communication, conjunct the Fixed Star Fomalhaut,the star of the Trickster, a star of 'enchantment'-w hich in this case equals lies. His other stars BTW are equally bad and he will impose a regime so detrimental to the common person, so unjust, that most people-particul arly women, will experience a huge loss in their standards of living. Don't rule out a disastrous new war either. Jocularity.
 
 
+11 # Lolanne 2012-06-23 13:17
Quoting Anarchist 23:
As an astrologer, I am glad to see this article. Just recently did Romney's chart and when the Fixed Stars are added, it is awful. Quit interestingly, he has Mercury, planet of communication, conjunct the Fixed Star Fomalhaut,the star of the Trickster, a star of 'enchantment'-which in this case equals lies. His other stars BTW are equally bad and he will impose a regime so detrimental to the common person, so unjust, that most people-particularly women, will experience a huge loss in their standards of living. Don't rule out a disastrous new war either. Jocularity.


That's really interesting, Anarchist 23. I'm not an astrologer but have long been quite interested in it and I know there is much validity in it.
Have you done a chart for Obama?
 
 
+17 # futhark 2012-06-23 02:21
After his coronation as the Republican candidate, someone will have to hold Romney upside down by his ankles and give him a good shake to clear his mental screen of any recorded gaffes or prevarications. Then he can use his Etch-A-Sketch skills to structure a whole new reality formulated to enhance his electability.

The question now, my friend, is whether we can find a presidential candidate who is a real person and not a Pixar character or a shill or a lackey for corporate interests, the security-state apparatus, or the military-indust rial complex. Or are Pixar characters, shills, and lackeys people, too?
 
 
+6 # jimyoung 2012-06-24 13:49
I hope he does clear the Etch-a-Sketch he had to use to get through the primaries, I fully expect him to do so and start telling us other things he'd like us to believe. Then we'll just replay the screen captures of the old Etch-a-Sketch pictures.

It does strike me as a bit odd that Romney uses the excuse of some of the brightest (if not ethical) in our midst (both parties) when he says he can't remember (high school hazing). It is a step away from Bush (and his daughters' inaugural dig of) "When I (we) was (were) young and irresponsible, I (we) was (were) young and irresponsible." Perhaps that would be too close to the truth for Romney.
 
 
+32 # swissms 2012-06-23 03:23
When I read this stuff, what goes on in my mind is: Where is the strong and persistent retort from Obama and his administration, clearly repudiating the lies and even calling them that? Obama has so much ammunition here, that he should be miles ahead of Romney in the polls. Instead, all I hear is how Romney now has a chance to actually WIN this election!!! What's up with that!?
 
 
+2 # tigerlille 2012-06-25 01:20
Quoting swissms:
When I read this stuff, what goes on in my mind is: Where is the strong and persistent retort from Obama and his administration, clearly repudiating the lies and even calling them that? Obama has so much ammunition here, that he should be miles ahead of Romney in the polls. Instead, all I hear is how Romney now has a chance to actually WIN this election!!! What's up with that!?


EXCELLENT point, swissms, and something I have wondered about repeatedly, in the previous Obama campaign, and now. Why don't the Democrats respond to Romney's repeated lies by simply saying "that's not true and here are the facts.". Why don't they just come out and say it: "this guy is a liar and can't be trusted.". Obviously their whole campaign can't be based on that premise, but it doesn't need to be. I guess truth telling is so antithetical to politicians that they can't bring themselves to state the obvious.
 
 
+31 # cherylpetro 2012-06-23 03:30
The Republicans aren't called the "party of dirty tricks" for nothing!
 
 
+36 # humanmancalvin 2012-06-23 03:34
The low information GOP voter could care less that their candidate lies consistently. As a matter of opinion gained through much research, the base themselves smear the president with every nonsensical whim that pops into their twisted heads. They are all so hell bent on removing the president from the White House that there seems to be no line that will not be crossed.
Switching to Fox News last night while MSNBC was in commercial break there appeared an elderly couple who's son was unfortunately killed while serving as a border agent. Fox was using this distraught couple as experts in determining that President Obama is absolutely complicit in the Fast & Furious probe being led by the with hunter Issa. They KNOW that the president is hiding facts, they absolutely just know. How do you fight that level of yellow journalism? When a major news channel airs innuendo & personal "inner" feelings as fact, does it really surprise anyone that Romney gets away with all his nonsensical dribble?
 
 
+30 # dfvboulder 2012-06-23 03:43
It's amazing to me that Fox "News" is never mentioned in this article.

They lie repeatedly in the same fashion, to the point where it has been shown that viewers actually know less than if they watched no news at all.

And it is precisely the Fox News viewers who would be offended by calling Romney a liar.

Let's connect the dots.
 
 
+22 # railroadmike 2012-06-23 03:54
When your 83 year old Okie Mother states Romney is full of crap on top of being a lttle off up stairs. Who know the GOP has to be crazy.Like I told her. Norquist stated they did'nt care who ran as long as they can hold a pen to destroy our Democracy.
 
 
-62 # brucbaker 2012-06-23 05:16
IF the Republicans equal pure Evil what then is BEYOND PURE EVIL that THE DEMOCRATS EQUAL?

Seriously, who wrote letters to or coaxed important people to write letters for Obama to get into Harvard? Saudi Arabia... when you trace it back to the source and Obama's APOLOGIZE for the evil America tour. Yeah, maybe you people should STOP listening to the words coming our of liberals and Democrat mouths and WATCH WHAT THEY DO TO FREAKING WAKE UP!!

Maybe more people saying YOU LIE MR. OBAMA would draw the wrath of Obama's protectors ... but in the end ... more truth would be better for the ENTIRE USA!
 
 
+25 # ABen 2012-06-23 11:42
bruc; please just make your points (if you have any) and stop yelling. You are becoming tiresome.
 
 
-70 # barry 2012-06-23 05:33
The author of this article must be living on a different planet. Oduma is the biggest liar in U.S. presidential history. No one can touch the corruption and lies of this "administration ".
 
 
+45 # Doll 2012-06-23 05:40
Al Gore never claimed to have invented the internet; that was another right wing lie which the MSM never bothered to fact check but kept repeating anyway.

He claimed to have brought the internet out from a military only use to the general public which he did do or we wouldn't be here now.

For this he won a lifetime achievement award, a Webby, to add to his Oscar and Nobel prize.
 
 
+30 # barbaraj.massed@gmail.com 2012-06-23 06:13
Hey all of you commentators,

There IS something to do about this situation: inform people. Boots on the ground. You cannot deal with the true believers because logic has no place in their universe, but the middle folks who can be persuaded with all of these lies need to be informed. Go onto barackobama.com and find event near you, or just inform all of your relatives and friends about the real choice that they have this November. I am in New Hampshire twice of week talking to people. Remember, if Gore had gotten 7000 more votes there, there would have been NO Florida, no Supreme Court. Get off your duffs and work!

Barbara
 
 
+11 # asbpab1966 2012-06-23 23:18
If that ass, Nader, had not siphoned votes from Gore in New Hampshire, gore would have easily won that state.
 
 
+9 # wrknight 2012-06-24 09:05
Thanks Barbara. You are absolutely right. The answer to all these lies needs to be rejection at the voting booth in November and the way to achieve that is to educate those who still have open minds and are able to think for themselves.
 
 
-37 # par 2012-06-23 06:23
Unfortunately Obama bowed down to the Japanese Emperor which of course really does not change anything but was not necessary. Diplomatically speaking all heads of state are on the same level.
 
 
+33 # kelly 2012-06-23 10:13
And GW held hands with Saudi princes but everybody forgets it.
 
 
+25 # JSRaleigh 2012-06-23 13:03
Quoting kelly:
And GW held hands with Saudi princes but everybody forgets it.


GWB didn't just hold his hand. He kissed him!

http://img.waffleimages.com/e787021e6b73a2022add13bf82e43721d96d3a46/20050425-105544-6377.jpg
 
 
+15 # kelly 2012-06-23 14:07
You're right! I'm the one who forgot! Sorry...
How could an American president show such deference to a foreign dignitary(unles s of course he had oil)...
Hey wait didn't we let some Egyptians leave during 9/11 too?
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-06-28 15:15
Quoting kelly:
oil)...
Hey wait didn't we let some Egyptians leave during 9/11 too?

Saudis too! and let Osama's relatives fly out, when NO ONE else could fly after 9/11!!!!
 
 
+29 # mrbadexample 2012-06-23 06:32
This is a race for at most 2% of the electorate--bet ween the Repub base and those who would never vote for Obama, Mitt probably has 48% of the vote going in. Mitt loses NOTHING from that base by lying--absent a major scandal, those folks will pull the lever for him. And sadly, the MSM HAS to be complicit in the lies--if CNN or NBC start calling out Mitt's prevarications, that becomes grist for the Romney machine to ramp up accusations of 'Liberal media' guaranteed to bring out more of the base.

I just spent a weekend in Virginia, and the volume of anti-Obama ads is incredible--pos t Citizens United, the monied interests are dumping incredible amounts of money into Virginia and other swing states. It's hard to believe we've reached a point where bald mendacity doesn't carry some electoral penalty. But it speaks to the hardened cynicism of the 99%.
 
 
+34 # Professorjane Gilgun 2012-06-23 07:08
It's ironic that Romney, who is a bishop of his church, lies so much. Romney is yet another church figure who gives organized religion a bad name. I learned in my church, home, and community that the ends don't justify the means. This means when the means hurt other people, the hurt washes out any good the ends are supposed to produce. All religions are based on fairness and care. This means no lying. Lying is unfair and hurts people. I've heard in church: The truth will set you free. That must mean that lies put us in bondage. What about it, Bishop Romney, do you believe the truth will set us free? How do you justify your lies?
 
 
-29 # RMDC 2012-06-23 07:10
Good article. Romney is really horrible when it comes to even recognizing what the truth is. Clearly Obama is better than Romney on this point.

Why do we always have the choice between two evil candidates. Obama is a proven murderer. Romney is psychotic. I sure as hell would not vote for either one and I hope that all americans would stay home on election day. Let them lie about about a "voter mandate."
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-06-28 15:16
Proven murderer? WTF
 
 
+27 # hobbits6 2012-06-23 07:38
The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan." Adolf Hitler
 
 
+29 # pernsey 2012-06-23 07:44
Romney has learned from Fox News, just keep repeating the lie and the GOP sheeple will repeat it as though it were the truth. He doesnt need annoying facts, or any proof of anything, all he needs is the puppet sheeple out there that dont do any investigating they just repeat his lies. Hey it works for Fox News...so why not? If lying will get him votes the Etch-A-Sketch has no problem with it.

Hes devoid of conscience, morality, or decency...Hes an empty shell and a bully that will repeat whatever lie it takes to become president. If he is this bad now, I can only imagine how much this nonsense will be ramped up if he becomes president.
 
 
+30 # ruttaro 2012-06-23 07:54
I wonder of there is a correlation between the amount of money in politics and the increased lying by candidates? Intuitively it appears so and thus reasonable to ask. The real question is what can we do about it when so many of the "fourth estate" work for those corporations that (please note: I don't use "who" because IMHO corporations are not people) disburse so much money lobbying and contributing to campaigns. And the alternative press, with all the hard work and fact checking being done, does not reach nearly enough of a critical mass of voters. What we need is a "Pinocchio Factor" or measurement placed on a electronic, programmable billboard along the interstates. It would have all candidates represented and their noses would grow as the number of lies grow. And each lie would be in quotes.
I have some Christian friends who are very right wing and they pass on those notorious emails that continually promote these lies and untruths. I ask them if in politics there are only nine commandments and then ask if a person tells lies to get elected, then how can we expect his or her behavior to stop once in office? When lying becomes too easy and not held to account, there is no reason to expect it to stop. Those lunatic Tea Party fanatics should think about what policies they will get with Romney. If they could remove the three cornered hat for a moment and let the sunshine in, they might have second thoughts.
 
 
+29 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-06-23 08:08
It is vital that we remember Goering & Hitler & the Big Lie theory of politics, because here it is resurrected & well, wrapped in the Stars & Stripes.
 
 
+16 # stevejbons 2012-06-23 10:20
Three things can help inform us about how Romney can lie so flagrantly without much consequence. First, our nation has always had at best a casual relationship with "truth". Facts are just not that important to the U.S. body politic or our society in general. (George Carlin spoken eloquently on the topic). Second, when you have a 24/7 propaganda machine churning out lies by the dozens daily and nothing is done about it, you know this is a country that tolerates dishonesty very well. Thirdly, journalism is so poor and corporate run that its not surprising that what few legitimate news reporters we have are too cowed to directly call out lying politicians on TV or in print. Too risky...
 
 
+13 # fredboy 2012-06-23 10:54
A gelded, hesitant, frightened press enables candidates from all parties to lie as if it is truth. And most of the public will believe it. In short, it's over folks.
 
 
+30 # ericlipps 2012-06-23 12:28
The pervasiveness of Republican lies can be seen in the fact that even Michael Cohen repeats the charge that Al Gore tried to take credit for "inventing the Internet."

FACT CHECK: Gore never said anything of the sort. What he said was that, in Congress, he had played a leading role in sponsoring telecommunicati ons legislation which had encouraged the growth of the Internet--which happens to be true. A careless (or hostile) reporter in his home state distorted the quote into the infamous line about inventing the Internet, the (staunchly Republican) tabloid media picked it up and ran with it, the mainstream media followed along like the flock of sheep they are, and the rest is history.

Gore's role in encouraging the Internet's development has been attested to by none other than Vinton Cerf, the actual inventor of the technology underlying the Internet. God forbid, though, that facts should get in the way of kicking Bill Clinton's former VP.
 
 
+11 # tadn54 2012-06-23 19:57
It is not so much that Romney blatantly lies about anything that will benefit his political aspirations, it's the dupes that are gullible and stupid enough to summarily believe him. Some/most voters are just plain lazy to research the facts.
 
 
+14 # jaimot 2012-06-24 00:46
I am beginning to wonder if he doesn't willfully lie, but instead, compulsively lies. The consistent rate of lies seems almost pathological.
 
 
+12 # vitobonespur 2012-06-24 03:25
Here is an example of Conservative bullshit that is almost funny:

My Republican sister-in-law (we really don't speak anymore) used to send me all sorts of anti-Liberal/an ti-Obama emails, and I would usually make an attempt to verify the claims therein. On every single one that she sent me I found untruths, misleading statements, and lies upon lies. I would return them to her with a note telling her that she really needed to check these facts out before sending me a bunch of crap. Of course, she never complied.

One time she sent me a letter/essay that accused and "proved" that Obama was a "socialist," while it cited chapter and verse of his transgressions.

I checked out the letter/essay and found it had originally been written in 1983-84 about -- are you ready? -- Ronald Reagan. The idiots who were recirculating this particular piece of garbage simply changed the candidate's name and a couple of dates.

The scary part is that most people don't check the facts and end up believing that sort of nonsense. Sounds pretty Rove-ian to me.
 
 
+5 # jimyoung 2012-06-24 23:17
Would love to get the particulars on that one. I have very conservative friends who do the same, though many (most actually) will not resend stuff I have pointed out obvious distortions in. I do get a little concerned by the ones they seem not to recognize as slickly repackaged old stuff, often without dates, that takes a tiny fact that might be 3% of the story, then time shift real and imagined events to make it come out 97% different in their campaign of disinformation. One of them was Dick Morris' (true) claim that gas prices were only $1.98 in January 2009. What he left out was that was the last better part of a month of the Bush administration, with a tanked economy, just 6 months after they set an all time record of over $4 in July of 2008. I don't want our economy destroyed to bring gas prices down. They were also allowing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to be stuffed with 19 million barrels of oil at up to $147 a barrel when they weren't supposed to add any at over $40. That would have filled the SPR to within a percent of capacity, enriching his oil buddies by nearly $2 billion (at an extra $100 a barrel), instead of even threatening to release some to shake the speculators. They twisted "facts" like the Saudis cutting production, portraying it as a shortage of supply, when they actually did it because they were running out of places to store all the oil they were pumping. The stories are endless.
 
 
+13 # Artemis 2012-06-24 04:31
Hasn't lying become one of the most widespread and effective political tools? Particularly in dictatorships, right-wing and military governments, and....America and Israel(which are still called democracies). What does that tell us?
We need to do some real work challenging the moral framework of the fundamentalist righteousness of so many too-rich, pseudo-religiou s scoundrels.
We have to make sure that schools teach truth, justice, dignity, equality, tolerance, open-mindedness , and generosity if parents can't teach such things at home. Those are the values that make a country great, not its nuclear weapons and armed forces.
 
 
+10 # Jaybird248 2012-06-24 12:47
It's no surprise that Romney lies through his teeth. He comes from the corporate world where lying is accepted and praised it it gets the desired result. The tobacco industry lied for decades about the health effects of cigarettes. The auto industry denies quality and safety problems until they're caught. "Deny, deny, deny" is a corporate mantra. The lies will continue through the campaign, and into the White House if he, heaven forbid, gets there.
If you care about the truth, vote Obama 2012.
 
 
+10 # teineitalia 2012-06-24 13:22
It is hard for me to understand how a man who has been so shaped by his church and his religion would intentionally and willfully lie so often. How does he reconcile this?

The only answer I can see that makes sense is that he actually believes the lies, which means he is not living in the real world. That fact, alone, disqualifies him from obtaining the office which he seeks.

He is so out of touch with life in general, and the economy in particular, that he doesn't know what's true anymore. And his handlers are making sure that obscene amounts of money are confusing the electorate. These are dark times.

As someone said on another post, we don't need a revolution. We need a renaissance.
An awakening, a rebirth is in order.
 
 
+2 # Shaas 2012-06-25 06:51
Well, the Pope in the 1990s apologized for misdeeds of the Church - 100times.
I think, Obama should do it, too. Too much blood on the hands of the "democracy defender" USA. And when Romney accuses Obama of apologizing - it should be an honour to acknoledge this even if not true.
 
 
+4 # Lennie 2012-06-25 21:49
Good article. But the problem with articles such as this one is simple. The wrong people look at them. People who should look at them, don't. They are the ones who believe all the lies, told over and over again, never questioning them. I think by now we should have learned to question things said on both sides, because unfortunately, it is true that most (not all, but most) politicians fudge the truth at times. But blatant lies, repeated many times, and not refuted just as many times, should be seen by all, not just the opponent's supporters, as, I would guess, most RSN readers, are.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-06-28 15:20
Yes, it would be very useful to have a list of r9ghtwing extremist and other GOP/TP sites to respond to, since RSN etc. is just for preach9jng to the choir....
Careful, accurate list should be published here!
Thanks.
 
 
-3 # Dougded 2012-06-26 06:41
Lets talk about liars, Mr Cohen, we can start at the current occupants of the White House, his staff, appointed czars, cabinet and especially his AG.By the time we list all the lies from these sources, November will have come and gone. The bumper sticker reads " I don't believe the liberal media " and it is appearing throughout the US in ever increasing numbers. Good Day Old Chap!
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2012-06-26 08:54
Why don't you try starting a list instead of just talking about it. Facts, my dear, facts.
 
 
+1 # SandyO@PassERA.org 2012-06-27 21:19
"Romney gets awaywith it because he and his team realize contemporary political journalism isn'tequipped to deal with a candidate who lies this much, about so many topics, sooften."

...FROM sandyo: political journalism "isn't equipped"?????? ?? What's That mean, "equipped"?? Do you likely mean that journalists are "frightened of being fingered by one side or the other for intimidation"? That's more likely. No reporters have the required courage to speak UP or investigate anymore. That's why CNN et al sell pablum. The public gets indigestion and watches, instead, BBC.
 
 
0 # SandyO@PassERA.org 2012-06-27 21:12
So Bernanke avoids responsibility for our economic dissolution by claiming "I overlooked ..it" (Time mag, feature article)YET he claims his specialty is "economic depressions."

Why can't I believe him! sandyo@PassERA.org
 

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