In a blast at Mitt Romney's campaign team's foreign policy pronouncements, Walter Pincus takes note Tuesday morning of Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann's much-discussed essay in which they say the media should stop reporting "evenhanded, unfiltered opposing views" and ask instead: "Which politician is telling the truth?"
But, c'mon, you say, it's campaign season and these are professional liars who have hired other professional liars for big bucks to tell big lies for them. So what else is new? Just business as usual. True enough. The lies are deep and wide from here to the horizon. However, while the temptation is strong to adopt the move-along-nothing-to-see-here approach in these matters, it's always worth deconstructing the specifics of the lies. And to point out that, with the Mitt Romney crew, even when the lie has been brought to the attention of the liars, who could at least defend themselves by saying he or they "misspoke," they instead lay low for a few days or weeks or months, and then repeat the lie.
That, in fact, has been Romney's and his team's method of operation from the get-go on all manner of subjects. One could almost call it "pathological." Indeed, some have called it just that.
Pincus points specifically to the Romney press call last Thursday in which Republican John F. Lehman, a secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and co-chairman of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s defense panel, issued a bundle of lies about President Obama's foreign policy.
This included the statement that the administration "is proposing reductions down to 300 nuclear weapons." A lie. Obama has instead asked the Pentagon to evaluate whether the U.S. can afford to maintain its nuclear arsenal at the current level 1,550 deployed warheads, cut it to 1,000 or reduce to a range of 300 to 800 warheads. The president is not proposing a reduction to 300.
Lehman said the administration is heading for "unilateral disarmament" and has proposed in the most recent budget cuts of over $1 trillion to our defenses. A lie. The administration has proposed a $487 billion cut in Pentagon spending between now and 2022. A deal reached last August said that if overall budget couldn't be cut by a bipartisan commission by $1.2 trillion, then $500 billion would be automatically sequestered. But Obama did not propose making another $500 billion cut.
Repeating Romney's lame comments about the reduced number of Navy ships, Lehman claimed that "we did not have a single combatant" in the Mediterranean Sea "when the Libya crisis broke" in March 2011. A lie.
But Lehman is just shilling for a boss who has told the same and other lies since his campaign began.
Romney said the president "went around at the beginning of his term and apologized for America around the world, it made us just heartsick." Never happened. A lie. "The president is planning on cutting $1 trillion out of military spending." A lie. Romney said President Obama "went before the United Nations" and "said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained in on Israel from the Gaza Strip." A lie. Romney said, "[T]his president should have put in place crippling sanctions against Iran, he did not." A lie. Romney said Obama "failed to communicate that military options are on the table" with regards to Iran's nuclear program. A lie. Romney said Syria is Iran's "route to the sea." A lie, and a dumb one since Iran doesn't share a border with Syria and has more than a thousand miles of its own coastline. Romney said Obama "decided to give Russia their number one foreign policy objective—removal of our missile defense sites from Eastern Europe—and got nothing in return." A lie. Romney said: "You know how many trade agreements this president has negotiated? Zero." A lie.
When the presidential primary calendar still had some steam, David S. Bernstein wrote:
I think we've seen, over the past couple of months, an important tipping point where much of the national political media now recognizes -- as the McCain team did during that January 2008 St. A's debate -- that, in the Romney campaign, they are dealing with something unlike the normal spin and hyperbole. They are realizing that Romney and his campaign simply cannot be trusted, in any way, about anything.These lies combined with Romney's profoundly ignorant views on foreign policy, in general, need to be called out every time they show up.
You would think that the right-wing would shy away from decrying the Obama team for stating the facts and showing a bit of pride about finding and killing Osama bin Laden. In fact Obama did what President Bush said he would do but didn't with—bring bin Laden back dead or alive. You would think that Romney himself would shut up on the subject entirely. He has repeatedly claimed that any president would have done what Obama did, so what's the big deal. But, of course, that is just another lie since he said in his previous campaign for the presidency that "it's not worth moving heaven and earth" to get bin Laden.
Six more months of these lies. Whoever publishes the definitive book, call it Mitt's Mendacity, will have to put it out in two volumes.