9 Things That Show Mitt Romney Is Morally Bankrupt
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The very theme of the first night of the Republican National Convention was built around a deliberate misrepresentation of the president's words regarding the role of government in building small businesses -- a false narrative that Romney repeated often on the campaign trail, alleging that the president had insulted the work of small business owners, saying of their businesses, "You didn't build that." (Actually, Obama said they hadn't built the roads and bridges that brought customers to their doors.) The convention was themed "We built that," and featured a deceptively edited video of Obama's inelegant attempt to echo a message originated by Democratic U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren, Mass., meant to shine a light on all of the infrastructure built by government that is necessary for economic success: roads, bridges, railroads, schools.
On the very day of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, Romney falsely accused the president of sympathizing with the attackers. Stevens' body had not yet been returned home for burial.
Then there was the race-baiting welfare lie, in which Romney falsely accused the black president of removing the work requirements for welfare recipients that were enacted in the Clinton-era welfare reform law. That was one particularly despicable lie, since Romney seized upon an effort by the administration allow states new ways of increasing the numbers of welfare recipients who worked, and twisted it to suggest that the black president was on a mission to give handouts to people on welfare, who, among members of the Republican base, are mistakenly believed to be primarily black.
This is a mere sampling of the mendacity the Mittster has served up along the trail. In the debate alone, ThinkProgress counted 27 myths delivered by Romney over the course of 38 minutes, and AlterNet's own Alex Kane picked his own list of Romney's top 10 debate lies. And lest you think this Romney lie narrative to be an alternative-media conspiracy, just look at what CNN found when its fact-checkers examined Romney's statements.
I've only scratched the surface here on the Romney lie front, but I know you don't have all day.
8. Claims to have the "best interests of the African American community" in his heart while running a race-baiting campaign. When Romney appeared before the annual conference of the NAACP this summer, he assured its members that, if they knew what was good for them, they would vote for him. (For some reason that didn't go over all that well.) "I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president," Romney told the skeptical crowd.
The speech is remembered mostly for the boos Romney received with his promise to "repeal Obamacare" -- boos he surely expected to elicit. Given the context, it's hard not to read Romney's very appearance before the crowd as a cynical, race-baiting exercise, performed to reinforce the racial resentment of the white, right-wing Republican base. Part of that context was provided just hours after that appearance by the candidate himself when, at a fundraising event, he referred to the less-than-appreciative audience as a group who wanted "free stuff" from the government.
But from the get-go, Romney has run a campaign heavily laced with racial coding, from comments by his surrogate, John Sununu, depicting Obama as " lazy" and " foreign," to Romney's own appearance at the side of the birther Donald Trump. Asked to repudiate Trumps claim that Obama was not legitimately the U.S. president, Romney refused, saying that he needed 50.1 percent of the vote. As if that was an excuse. A month later, he made a crack that no one has ever asked him for his birth certificate.