Fact-checking Mitt Romney’s speech after narrow Michigan primary win

What better way to celebrate a narrow victory in a state you should have won in a landslide that by giving a speech and lying to your supporters? That’s what Mitt Romney did after squirting past Rick Santorum in the Michigan primary Feb. 28.

Let’s fact check some of the speech.

A week ago the pundits and the pollsters were ready to count us out.

Except, no they weren’t. Most serious pundits said that a Michigan loss would be an embarrassment to Romney, but that he would have the resources and will to continue and would remain the odds-on-favorite to win the nomination. In fact, most of the people leaving rat-shaped holes in the water surrounding Mitt’s sinking ship were his fellow GOP supporters.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Rep. Peter King, (R-NY), among others.

You know, a lot of people say that if you’re running for office, you can’t speak honestly with the American people.  Well, I did – and I will – because this is a decisive moment that requires real leadership.

Well, one guesses that depends on what the meaning of “speak honestly” is.

Mitt lies about why he crossed over to vote in Democratic primary in 1992.

Mitt “misremembers” event that happened nine months before his birth.

Mitt “misrecalls” seeing his father march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


This president likes to remind us that he inherited an economic crisis.  But he never mentions that he also inherited a Democratic Congress.  With majorities in the House and Senate, President Obama was free to pursue any policy he pleased.

Oh, please. His “Democratic majority” in the house was bolstered by timid “Blue Dog” Democrats who voted with Republicans on social issues because they were afraid of losing re-election in their home districts for supporting Obama. They were swept out anyway in 2010. And one would think Mr. Romney would understand the workings of the Senate, how a 60-vote super majority is needed to get anything done. It never existed, and Obama was most certainly not “free to pursue any policy he pleased.”

Back to the speech.

Did he get Americans back to work?  No.

If this had been a comedy movie, this is where lightning would have hit him.  “Did he get Americans back to work?” What’s the opposite of “no”?

(Maryland) Gov. Martin O’Malley mounted an aggressive defense of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy Sunday morning, pointing to 23 consecutive months of job creation and dismissing Republican attempts to blame the administration for the rising price of gasoline.

Appearing on CBS'”Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer, O’Malley got in zingers at GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, as well as at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also appeared on the show. — Baltimore Sun, Feb. 26

There is certainly much more to be done.  But we’re heading in the right direction. Twenty-three consecutive months of job creation. The Dow Jones Industrial closing above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008.  (An interesting side fact — the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at around 8,077 the day President Obama took office.  It was at 10,650 when President Bush took office in January 2001.)

It’s getting more and more difficult for Republicans to lie about how Obama is damaging the economy and do so with a straight face.  But, lord, don’t they try?

These days, when he’s not spending our money or infringing upon our rights, President Obama is busy running for re-election.  He believes he ranks among the top four presidents in history.

The president can’t spend your money.  Only Congress can do that.  They give the President the authority to spend.

Of course he’s running for re-election.

And that would be a bold self-assessment… if Obama actually said it.  Which he didn’t.

Mitt Romney said that Barack Obama thinks he is one of the top four presidents of all time, but here is what he really said to Steve Croft on 60 Minutes, “The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do. And we’re gonna keep on at it.” — PoliticusUSA.com, Feb. 28

Back to the speech.

President Obama believes he is unchecked by our Constitution.  He is unresponsive to the will of our people.

Really?  He believes that? The PoliticusUSA Blog entry for Feb. 28 begs to differ.

Romney considers Obama’s “unconstitutional acts” to include the 29 recess appointments that Obama made in order to get around congressional Republican obstruction. He also considers Obama’s appointments to the NLRB unconstitutional, and he considers Obama’s birth control compromise unconstitutional too. It seems that Mitt Romney thinks that anything that Obama does that Republicans don’t like, which is everything, is unconstitutional. The fact is that all three of the above actions were constitutional whether Mitt Romney likes them or not.

Moving on…

For an encore, he wants to raise taxes on job creators and small businesses and families.

Except for the fact that, no he doesn’t.

Again, from the PoliticusUSA blog.

Mitt really must not follow current events much, because President Obama proposed a tax reduction plan that is loaded with benefits for small businesses, including bigger tax breaks for start ups, equipment, and health insurance costs. Obama had previously signed eight small business tax cuts into law.

Here’s the list:

1). A New Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
2). A New Tax Credit for Hiring Unemployed Workers
3). Bonus Depreciation Tax Incentives to Support New Investment
4). 75% Exclusion of Small Business Capital Gains
5). Expansion of Limits on Small Business Expensing
6). Five-Year Carryback of Net Operating Losses
7). Reduction of the Built-In Gains Holding Period for Small Businesses from 10 to 7 Years to Allow Small Business Greater Flexibility in Their Investments
8). Temporary Small Business Estimated Tax Payment Relief to Allow Small Businesses to Keep Needed Cash on Hand

Maybe Mitt was absent the day these were announced. Ignoring them doesn’t mean they don’t exist here in the reality-based universe.

What else?

In referring to the Keystone XL pipeline, Romney tore into Obama for blocking construction and departed from his prepared text and said, “I’ll get us that oil from Canada that we deserve.”

We “deserve?” He’ll “get us that oil from Canada?”

Would someone explain to Mr. Romney that the oil from the Keystone XL pipeline will only be in America for as long as it takes to be refined, loaded onto transports and sent everywhere else in the world?  We won’t “get” that oil. Everyone else will.

And what’s more, Obama approved partial construction of the pipeline on Tuesday. Maybe Mr. Romney hasn’t gotten the word yet, being all busy with campaigning and stuff.

On Monday, the White House offered its support to TransCanada after the company announced that pipeline construction would begin from Cushing, Okla. to the Gulf Coast. The company also reapplied for a Presidential Permit to begin construction on an approved pipeline route from the U.S./Canada border south to Steele City, Neb. An alternative route that would avoid Nebraska’s Sandhills has not yet been agreed upon by the state and TransCanada.

The same GOP that has been hounding the president for not approving the pipeline is now blasting him for approving it.

“It’s interesting to see the president now,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters. “He was initially for the Keystone pipeline, then he was against it and now we’re told today he’s for a portion of it. It is this kind of leadership, or lack thereof, that frustrates the American people.”

But why leave a good lie untold, eh, Mr. Romney?

What else?

President Obama has yet to offer a single serious proposal for saving Medicare or Social Security.  I have a plan to save both – and, unlike him, I have the courage to put my plan on the table.

That’s nice. Will they look anything like the serious proposals for saving Medicare and Social Security that President Obama already had the courage to put on the table?  You haven’t really been all that specific, Mr. Romney.

President Obama does have a plan to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. It is called not allowing the Republicans to privatize it. Obama opposes Romney’s plan to privatize Social Security and Medicare. The Obama plan involves raising the earnings cap, so that wealthy people pay more money into the system, but the truth is that Social Security is not in any danger of collapse. It is solvent through 2037. The mythical imminent collapse of Social Security is a straw man designed to push the program towards privatization. — PoliticusUSA.com, Feb. 28.

We understand why Republicans need to lie. It’s not because they’re evil, necessarily. It’s because if they told the truth about who they are and what they stand for and who will benefit from their policies, nobody making less than a million bucks a year would vote for them.  So they have to lie, to skew facts, to twist truth into unrecognizable shapes to fool the people who don’t care enough about politics to fact check. The mainstream media certainly doesn’t have the time, money or inclination to check the veracity of candidates from either side. That’s not their job. Their business is to keep your eyes glued to the screen to score impressions and ratings to show the advertisers. That’s the “news business” in the 21st Century.

Citizens who want to be informed about the facts by media that is not owned by corporate interests seeking to control them have fewer and fewer choices.

Still, if you have “the Google” on your computer, you can easily do it yourself. One just needs the will to be informed instead of automatically believing comfortable lies that fit with one’s preconceived notions.

TAKE ON THE NEWS: Who is more to blame for the blatant lying in American politics?

The liars who lie?

Or the media for failing to check facts?


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