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Igor Volsky gives his latest installment of lies told by Mitt Romney in the debates. Some are correctly called myths, others are just bold face lies.

Mitt Romney. (photo: Getty Images)
Mitt Romney. (photo: Getty Images)

Romney Told 24 Myths in 41 Minutes

By Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress

23 October 12


  1. "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea." Romney has his geography wrong. Syria doesn't share a border with Iran and Iran has 1,500 miles of coastline leading to the Arabian Sea. It is also able to reach the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

  2. "And what I'm afraid of is we've watched over the past year or so [in Syria], first the president saying, well we'll let the U.N. deal with it…. Then it went to the Russians and said, let's see if you can do something." While Russia and China have vetoed multiple resolutions at the U.N. Security Council on Syria, the United States has also been working through the Friends of Syria group and other allies in the region. Obama's approach "would essentially give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters."

  3. "Former chief of the - Joint Chiefs of Staff said that - Admiral Mullen said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. This - we have weakened our economy. We need a strong economy. We need to have as well a strong military." If Romney is worried about the national debt, why does he want to increase military spending from 3.5 percent of GDP to 4 percent? This amounts to a $2.1 trillion increase over a ten year period that the military says it does not need and Romney has no plan to pay for it.

  4. "[W]hen - when the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake." Obama spoke out about the Revolution on June 15, 2009, just two days after post-election demonstrations began in Iran, condemning the Iranian government's hard-handed crackdown on Iranian activists. He then reiterated his comments a day later in another press conference. Iranian activists have agreed with Obama's approach.

  5. "And when it comes to our economy here at home, I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay." The Washington Post's in-house fact checker tore Romney's claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the "‘new math'" in Romney's plan "doesn't add up." In awarding the claim four Pinocchios - the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

  6. "[W]e are going to have North American energy independence. We're going to do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables." Romney would actually eliminate the fuel efficiency standards that are moving the United States towards energy independence, even though his campaign plan relies on these rules to meet his goals.

  7. "[W]e're going to have to have training programs that work for our workers." Paul Ryan's budget, which Romney has fully endorsed, calls for spending 33 percent less on "Education, training, employment, and social services" than Obama's budget.

  8. "And I'll get us on track to a balanced budget." Romney's $5 trillion tax cut plan and his increases to military spending could explode the deficit.

  9. "Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education principles that focused on having great teachers in the classroom." Education experts have faint praise for his proposals while he was governor. "His impact was inconsequential," said Glen Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. "People viewed his proposals as political talking points, and no one took Romney seriously."

  10. "So I'd get rid of [Obamacare] from day one. To the extent humanly possible, we get that out." Romney cannot unilaterally eliminate a bill passed by Congress and his plan to grant states waivers may also be a non-starter.

  11. "Number two, we take some programs that we are doing to keep, like Medicaid, which is a program for the poor." Medicaid isn't just a program for the poor. While it provides health coverage for "millions of low-income children and families who lack access to the private health insurance system," it also offers "insurance to millions of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities" and is "the nation's largest source of coverage for long-term care, covering more than two-thirds of all nursing home residents." Medicaid is also a key source of coverage for pregnant women.

  12. "[W]e'll take [Medicaid] for the poor and we give it to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently." A Congressional Budget Office analysis of Paul Ryan's proposal to block grant Medicaid found that if federal spending for Medicaid decreased, "states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding." As a result, enrollees could "face more limited access to care," higher out-of-pocket costs, and "providers could face more uncompensated care as beneficiaries lost coverage for certain benefits or lost coverage altogether."

  13. "Our Navy is old - excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917…That, in my view, is making - is making our future less certain and less secure. The U.S. Navy is smaller than it was in 1917, but it is not making America less secure. The navy has actually grown in the sheer number of ships under Obama and Romney's plans to increase shipbuilding is unrealistic. As one historian told PolitiFact, counting the number of ships or aircraft "is not a good measurement of defense strength because their capabilities have increased dramatically in recent decades." Romney's comparison "doesn't pass ‘the giggle test,'" he said.

  14. "And then the president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness." Obama never embarked on an "apology tour."

  15. And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel, that they noticed that as well." They haven't noticed because it's not true. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN, "President Obama is doing . . . more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security]." "When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issues, security, I think it's a highly satisfactory record, from an Israeli point of view," said Israeli President Shimon Peres.

  16. "And - and - we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they - they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges and get that much closer." Obama hasn't wasted time on Iran. In July 2012, Obama signed into law the most effective sanctions ever put into place against Iran, targeting the country's oil and financial sectors. These sanctions were imposed unilaterally by the U.S. and come in addition to the four rounds of sanctions the UN has enacted since 2006. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the sanctions "very effective," and Romney has said he would continue them if elected.

  17. "I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil, can't come into our ports. I imagine the E.U. would agree with us as well." Almost no Iranian oil has come into the United States since Ronald Reagan signed an executive order in 1987 banning all U.S. imports from Iran. The nation received a small amount of oil from Iran after the first Gulf War, in 1991.

  18. "I see jihadists continuing to spread, whether they're rising or just about the same level, hard to precisely measure, but it's clear they're there. They're very strong." Obama's policies appear to have gravely weakened al Qaeda Central, the lead arm of the organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan principally responsible for 9/11.

  19. "It's not government investments that makes businesses grow and hire people." The Romney campaign routinely touts government military spending as a way to create jobs and boost businesses.

  20. "My plan to get the [auto] industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need - these [auto] companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy." Romney's plan for the auto bailout would have ensured the collapse of the auto industry. In his editorial titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," Romney advocated for letting the private sector finance the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Auto insiders, however, have said that plan was "reckless" and "pure fantasy."

  21. "Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tanks is great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not." Ryan's plan, which Romney has endorsed, "could cut spending on non-defence-related research and development by 5%, or $3.2 billion, below the fiscal-year 2012 budget, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Over the long term, Ryan's small-government approach would shrink funding for research and development to historically small sizes."

  22. "One is a path represented by the president, which at the end of four years would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece." The U.S. is not headed down a path like that of Greece. Greece, contrary to popular belief, had a revenue problem rather than a spending problem. While its spending was high compared to US standards - 50.4 percent of GDP compared to 38 percent of GDP in the US - its spending was average among European nations. As CAP's Michael Linden and Sabina Dewan note, "Over the past 10 years, Greece has consistently spent less, as a share of GDP, than the European Union as a whole." However, it generated less that 40 percent of GDP from revenue - one of the lowest rates in the EU.

  23. "I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle." Given Romney's 844 vetoes as governor, Massachusetts legislators dispute this claim. As the New York Times has noted, "The big-ticket items that Mr. Romney proposed when he entered office in January 2003 went largely unrealized, and some that were achieved turned out to have a comparatively minor impact."

  24. "We should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment, and that of our friends, we should coordinate it to make sure that we - we push back and give them more economic development." Romney's website promises to "Reduce Foreign Aid - Savings: $100 Million." "Stop borrowing money from countries that oppose America's interests in order to give it back to them in the form of foreign aid," it says. In November of 2011, Romney said he would start foreign aid for every country "at zero" and call on them to make their case for U.S. financial assistance. your social media marketing partner


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+63 # MindDoc 2012-10-23 23:27
Bravo. Myths may be based on a kernel of truth; blatant lies are just that. Not knowing whether something is a truthful or a lie is downright dangerous. Not caring would be still worse.

Truthfulness is a good thing. Facts are facts, for most of us. Integrity, judgement and understanding reality are (or should be) basic requirements for those we entrust to lead us and our nation of people and families.

Only 24 lies in 41 minutes? .59 lies per minute is in fact an improvement over the last debate(s). But... Shouldn't a President be better aligned with reality than Romney's own words reveal him to be?

Facts are *not* stupid things (as Reagan proclaimed and Bush reiterated) ... let's hope the voters embrace honesty and understanding of real people, and vote for a President whose facts and positions last longer than a speech or news cycle.
+59 # eddiethelip 2012-10-23 23:40
This man is such an obviously empty headed talking robot programmed to say whatever the Koch brothers, Karl Rove et al think will get the Republicans back into control that it is a total mystery how some Americans can buy into the BS. Didn't the reckless partying under GWB show them what to expect if Romney is elected?
+27 # GreenBee 2012-10-24 00:54
Didn't the reckless partying under GWB show them what to expect if Romney is elected?

Eddiethelip; Sometimes I really don't think they care at all about the deficit (or the human cost of wars etc.) -they just use the deficit to scare voters- while they line their pockets. Sometimes i think they don't care if the whole country is completely destroyed, because they would just move to some other industrialized nation where they can continue their "empire building" i.e. building heir own wealth empires. They feel insulated from the social upheavals that ensue, living in their gated communities with their bodyguards and private jets. You heard Mitt say in the final deebate that part of his "comprehensive strategy" to turn militant Islamists into peace loving, American friendly folks is to work on "economic development" in that region...You can bet he and all his backers would make lots of money on that project. It's second coming of Dick Cheney.
+29 # Professorjane Gilgun 2012-10-24 08:45
Why are so many people saying they are going to vote for him? What is going on in their heads? What can we do to show them what a fraud this most entitled of men is?
+25 # bmiluski 2012-10-24 08:48
Hey, people fell for reagan. All he had to do was go on TV and show people that he wasn't scary (shich he was). That's all romney did on Monday. He had to lie through his teeth to do it, but then lying has never been a problem for him.
+28 # RMDC 2012-10-24 04:32
The use of the word "myth" in the title is misleading, dishonest, and cowardly. Why not use the word "lies" if that is what you think Romeny did?

I would prefer to say Romeny is an idiot and a salesman. He will say whatever he thinks he needs to say to close a deal. He makes anything up as he goes along. Yes, this is lying. There are dishonest salesmen and he is one. That's what business execs to for a living. That's how they talk. That's how they manipulate others into doing what they want.

Myth and Mythology are entirely different subjects. None of what Romeny said above has anything to do with mythology.
+7 # oldibtgdy 2012-10-24 08:31
yes to the "idiot and salesman". no to the "(all the) business execs do it" excuse. they don't. only the idiot salesmen among them do --- and, after Reagan blocked access to the Bachelor's for most of the middle class, we've got more than our share of "idiot salesmen" as "business execs". wasn't always so.
+31 # Barbara K 2012-10-24 06:04
Romney has lied all the way thru his campaign, the RNC and the debates. How does anyone think he is good for the country? We, nor the world, could ever believe in him or in what he says about anything. We need truth and facts, something he thinks don't matter. But to us it does and better matter if we don't want to spend time trying to figure out if what he says is fact or fiction, truth or another lie. He has given no reason to trust or believe in him. He is the King of the Liars Club and we need to remember that. He is a bully and so accustomed to having his own way that he throws a tantrum when something isn't done his way, like the tantrum he threw because not enough supporters showed up for a speech and he wanted to bus in supporters from other states. How pathetic is that? He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and spent his whole life in an Ivory Tower, not knowing what we go thru on a daily basis, that is dangerous for us. He shows open disdain for the 47% of us, remember the secret tape? Keep that tape in mind, as that showed the true Romney, and it isn't a pretty picture. He would just love to see us all die in the streets, plans to "just forget about them". We already know how he feels, and telling lies to try to cover up that piece of truth is no more credible than the other lies he tells. Romneyhood and his band of Liars, Crooks, and Thieves, can just head back into the forest and leave us alone. We already have a great President Obama.
+31 # fredboy 2012-10-24 06:10
And the drooling teabaggers believed him. As one recently quipped, "He may be a liar, but he's OUR liar!"
+34 # walt 2012-10-24 06:12
Romney is a classic example of the complete dishonesty of the entire world of big money--the 1% vulture capitalists. Nothing new here as they have cheated and stolen at every corner. What we saw in 2008 is proof of that.

So Romney's lies in the campaign are expected. And just look at how the other candidates in his own party said he is a "LIAR."

What is shocking is that he can actually garner votes! That's a sad commentary for the country.
+12 # BicParker 2012-10-24 07:41
MYTH Romney!!!
+15 # Texas Aggie 2012-10-24 07:43
"it generated less that 40 percent of GDP from revenue "

And the reason for that is that so many wealthy Greeks were hiding their money to avoid taxes. Seems to me that there are certain people who, if elected, would send the US down the same pathway.

"If Romney is worried about the national debt, why does he want to increase military spending from 3.5 percent of GDP to 4 percent? "

As pointed out above (GreenBee), these people give a hirsute rodent's gluteal section about the national debt. As long as the money is going into their pockets via the MIC, the US can burn and die for all they care. They're off to Singapore, Bali, Switzerland, or some other "paradise" where they can bask in comfort and watch the rest of the world be destroyed. Or they hope to use the unrest to further consolidate their gains as in Ms. Klein's Crisis Capitalism.
+11 # wilhelmscream 2012-10-24 08:29
A Romney win means my bulls**t wage of $7.75/hr gets reduced to $.85-$1.25/hr. My hrs have been cut but, gouging my wage won't increase my hrs. It will just make Larry Kohler more Profit. He doesn't care about his crew in any of his Maine restaurants. Which is why am ripping up my next paycheck for 4.10 hrs and next weeks for 4.04 hrs. they're not worth cashing!!
+1 # wilhelmscream 2012-10-25 13:32
I ripped up my paycheck 2day for 4.10 hrs.
+17 # kanihai1950 2012-10-24 08:32
The ONLY reason this fake has garnered ANY support at all is because his sheeples watch Bill O'Reilly and Fox.

The scariest thing is "where is the conscience of the repugs?" How do they sleep at night. My heartburn will stop only when Obama wins a 2nd term.....can't come soon enough.
+25 # Philso 2012-10-24 08:33
If the Repubs win this election, we'll never get them out. They now have an evil formula : suppress the vote, bust unions, lie boldly, take in huge donations, slander the opposition, pour major money into any state election, appoint 2 new Supreme Court judges and manipulate elections. We're seeing it unfold before our very eyes, and half the country is buying it.
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-25 16:07
1930's Germany

"Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini
+24 # JHP 2012-10-24 08:53
+7 # LiberalRN 2012-10-24 11:38
Quoting JHP:

Not likely - at least, not in the way we'd like to think. Those machines are privately owned and leased out (yes, we pay for it!) during elections, and it's up to the owners to be sure they're working the way the owners want them to work. Guess who owns them. (Hint: see the C. Gibson piece of 10/23 titled "America: Land of Shady Elections," pointing out yet another Romney family investment...)
+4 # wilhelmscream 2012-10-24 10:40
If trickle down works, where's my pay raise?
0 # carpepax 2012-10-25 16:55
Any time somebody mentions supply-side or trickle-down economics to me with a straight face, I tell them to go piss up a rope.
+5 # David Starr 2012-10-24 11:35
Quoting: "If Romney is worried about the national debt, why does he want to increase military spending from 3.5 percent of GDP to 4 percent? This amounts to a $2.1 trillion increase over a ten year period that the military says it does not need and Romney has no plan to pay for it."

That's evidently one of the inherent characteristics of the GOP. Always priotitize war over peace, in "epilectic fits" of ultrantionalism .
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-25 16:09
"Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini

Remember the MILITARY/INDUST RIAL complex/ all the war profiteering of Cheney's Halliburton, KBR etc.?
0 # wilhelmscream 2012-10-24 13:38
Too Bad Greedo isn't real or he would ZAP Tagg Romney (like he tried 2 zap Han Solo) 4 wanting 2 take a swing @ Obama last week after the 2nd debate. That's proof that the Right has no respect 4 the left (exp. Paul LePage 2 Obama: "go to Hell")
-1 # wilhelmscream 2012-10-25 13:29
[quote name="wilhelmsc ream"]Too Bad Greedo isn't real or he would ZAP Tagg Romney (like he tried 2 zap Han Solo) 4 wanting 2 take a swing @ Obama last week after the 2nd debate. That's proof that the Right has no respect 4 the left (exp. Paul LePage 2 Obama: "go to Hell") Let's reconize sarcasim
-18 # jtatu 2012-10-24 14:08
What do you think about the whopper being told by the Obama administration about the two former Navy Seals who were killed in Benghazi with our ambassador being a part of the ambassador's security detail? Obama wants us to believe that he has solved the problem of Al-Quaida.
+6 # suzyskier 2012-10-24 15:30
Philso you are so right and it is so damn frightening. This mix of corporate and government entanglements is basically Faschism. It happened in Germany and I am afraid if Romney wins it will happen here, actually it probably already has, Rove and the Koch brothers are fine little nazis. Rove especially reminds me of propagandists, he is pure evil. A fat little toady obviously full of hate. Too many right wing idealogues and willingness to control us, the people.
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-25 16:09
"Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini
+4 # jmac9 2012-10-25 12:09
Republicans destroyed America.
You saw the result of 8 years of Bush-Cheney Republican agenda.

Romney- lying Ryan - are no different, they're agenda is no different - so the outcome will be the same.
How dumb can Republican voters be? Here's the Republican-tea bags putting out fears of guns, religious extremism, and women bashing to stir up the right wing nut base - and at the same time the results of Republican-tea bag agenda --- steals the money right out the of the pockets of the Republican voters.
+3 # ghostperson 2012-10-25 23:05
Food For Thought: If you were an attorney who produced a witness that told as many different stories as Romney has on every issue, and he had just been crucified on cross examination, how would you rehabilitate him so that his testimony could be credited?

Answer: You couldn't.

The man is a liar, lacks a fixed ethical center and is contemptuous of those not of his economic class. He takes positions that relegate women to brood mare status, has no regard for people on the ropes and is obviously an inveterate bully as evidenced by the hair shaving episode that he lead because someone did not meet his personal standards of masculinity. Romney thinks it is okay for people to go broke just to get medical treatment.

Would you trust a man who hid out in France while his age-cohort was drafted to go fight and die, to be the man with his finger on the button--especia lly when he is advised by the Bush-Cheney neocons that got us into 2 wars--none of whom saw action--except for Cheney shooting a fellow hunter?

Basically, we are Lamminites to his god-like deity.

Romney and Ryan, like Limbaugh, Norquist and Rove, are unfeeling, unthinking ideologic monsters who make a mockery of what this country stands for.

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