As we have seen during three presidential debates and in his campaign speeches, Mitt Romney will say anything – even when he knows it is untrue – in his effort to dislodge President Obama from the White House.
Romney charged in the second presidential debate that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Obama denied it, urging Romney to “Get the transcript.”
FactCheck.org observed. “The transcript does show that Obama said in a Rose Garden speech on Sept. 12: ‘No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.’”
In the same debate, Romney said a gallon of gasoline in Nassau County, N.Y. was $1.86 when Obama took office. It’s now “4 bucks a gallon.”
As fact checkers for USA Today stated, “Gas prices were going through a period of exceptional volatility when Obama took office – largely because, as Obama noted, gas prices plummeted as the recession took hold and people drove less…But gas prices are still 34 cents below their all-time high during the Bush administration. In the summer of 2008, the national average hit $4.05 a gallon.”
FactCheck.org noted, “Mitt Romney falsely claims in a series of TV ads that President Obama ‘will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000.’ That’s nonsense. The ads cite a conservative group’s study, but even the group itself doesn’t say Obama will raise taxes on middle-income taxpayers. It says his budget could result in a ‘potentially higher tax burden’ over the next 10 years.
“In fact, the group’s study considered two other budget scenarios – current law (allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire as scheduled at the end of this year) and current policy (extending current policies into 2013, including extending the Bush-era tax cuts) – and determined that Obama’s budget ‘provides a middle ground between these two extremes.’”
Romney said during a Republican debate on Feb 22: “I said today that we’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20 percent, including the top 1 percent.” However, during a debate with Obama, he said, “I’m not looking to cut taxes for wealthy people.”
In that same debate, Romney said: “In the – in the last four years, women have lost 580,000 jobs. That’s the net of what’s happened in the last four years. We’re still down 580,000 jobs.”
FactCheck.org found: “Actually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the net loss of women’s jobs since January 2009, when the president took office, is 283,000. Even the 283,000 figure is an overstatement. The BLS also has announced that its routine annual benchmarking process will result next year in adding 386,000 total jobs – men and women – to the official historical figures. It did not say how many of those would be women’s jobs, but about 49 percent of total employment is currently accounted for by women. So about 190,000 will probably be subtracted from the 283,000 figure. That would put the current loss at 93,000, making Romney’s figure six times too high.
“We assume Romney’s reference to ‘four years’ was meant to cover only Obama’s term. For the record, the number of women’s jobs lost in the last four months of the Bush administration was 833,000, according to the BLS. So the total over four years would come to 1.1 million, with the large majority lost before Obama was sworn in.”
Romney has repeatedly charged that Obama has “cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare.” But FactCheck.org concluded: “Various incarnations of this claim have cropped up in Romney’s campaign speeches – including claims that Obama is ‘cutting’ ‘funneling’ or ‘raiding’ $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the health care law. But Medicare money isn’t being taken away.
The Affordable Care Act calls for a $716 billion reduction in the growth of Medicare spending over 10 years, a move that – if successful – would keep the hospital insurance trust fund solvent for an additional eight years… Furthermore, as we explained in detail in our story ‘Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank,’ ” Medicare doesn’t have $716 billion sitting around that could be ‘raided.’ The president can’t take money out of the trust fund – which had $244.2 billion at the end of 2011.”
Even on those rare occasions when Romney is telling the truth, there is deception. For example, he claims that he will create 12 million new jobs in his first term.
But as fact checkers for USA Today pointed out, “Romney’s pledge to create 12 million jobs has been hotly contested in large part because economic forecasters, including Moody’s Analytics, predict roughly 12 million jobs will be created over the next four years – no matter who is elected president.”
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA) and editorial director of Heart & Soul