On Oct.3, we as a nation got to see a virtuoso display of political dishonesty.
When Mitt Romney hit the stage for the first of three presidential debates in 2012, he looked confident, energetic and in control of the entire event.
By contrast, President Barack Obama looked timid, tired and not too thrilled to be there.
When the debate was over, political pundits on each end of the spectrum were quick to pro- claim
Romney the night’s winner.
Romney’s performance definitely passed the eye test. But, while you were focused on how everything looked, Mitt Romney straight up lied to your face, repeatedly.
He claimed that he wouldn’t cut tax rates on rich people or cut $5 trillion in taxes that would go to the federal government. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has said that was false.
He claimed his health care plan would cover people with preexisting conditions. Post-debate, Eric Fehrnstrom, a top Romney campaign adviser, stated that wasn’t actually true.
But hey, Mitt looked convincing when he said it, so it must be true.
The truth is, Mitt Romney is one of the least principled politicians of all-time. He has held numerous positions on abortion and birth control. He has completely flip-flopped his position on gun control. He insists he is committed to cutting the federal deficit, yet at the same time he regularly advocates for mass revenue cuts and increased defense spending.
The truth about Mitt Romney is that he is willing to say anything, to hold any position, and betray every past conviction to get elected president.
Romney comes from the business world and it informs his way of thinking. The pursuit of the dollar is everything. It all comes down to the one all-consuming ultimate goal.
In his mind, Mitt Romney is running to be the first CEO of America. He sees everything as a series of pluses and minuses with dollar signs attached. Taking multiple positions on an issue will never be a problem for him.
Romney is a savvy enough politician to know that many voters only care what a candidate says right now, especially if it agrees with their chosen position. Most people don’t have the time to judge and critique every statement a politician makes.
So, instead, in the most recent debate Romney chose the set of positions which benefited him most at that time. He then presented it in a way that played well on television.
He was firm, aggressive and engaging.
Viewers ate it up.
Mitt Romney has been running for president five years straight, beginning his first campaign in 2007.
He’s had plenty of time to hone his debate skills. Barack Obama has been governing the United States of America for the past four years.
It’s much easier to say what you’re going to do when you’re not in a position to actually try and do it. President Obama on the other hand has a complex, constantly unfolding record of reality to defend.
The president’s performance was baffling to say the least but was at best less dishonest than Romney’s.
But while people were staring at Romney’s one hand — the other hand was concealing an easily discredited record.
It was a magic trick. A good one. It worked.
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