Posts Tagged ‘pants on fire’

Mitt Romney: Liar, liar, pants on fire. Said he didn’t care about poor people, now brushes it off as “I misspoke”

February 3, 2012

Mitt Romney said he’s not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net. And if the safety net needs repair he’ll fix it.

This proves he doesn’t care. If he thinks the safety net is OK he’s out of touch, and his out-of-touchness proves his lack of concern.

The safety net leaves millions of minimum- or low-wage earners without enough to feed, clothe, and shelter their families, leaves them dependent on emergency room visits for any medical care, and—if they’ve been unemployed for a long time—facing termination of their unemployment checks. And candidate Romney, along with nearly unanimous Republican Senators and members of Congress, are reflexively opposed to “fixing” the safety net.

But appearing so heartless can be costly to a Presidential candidate. So Romney tried to lie his way out of it, saying he misspoke. But he didn’t misspeak. Misspeaking is when I call my granddaughter by her sister’s name. Misspeaking is when John McCain tells a Romney gathering that he’s confident that President Obama will cure the nation’s ills. Misspeaking is not saying something, then when challenged explaining what you said. He didn’t misspeak.

The interview that got Romney into this mess went like this:

The candidate told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday that he’s “not concerned about the very poor,” explaining that he’s concerned about the middle class (more…)

The President spoke unethically, even lied, at his news conference

July 3, 2011

President Obama came out swinging at his news conference on Wednesday. Opinion is divided as to whether or not it was good tactics to attack the Republicans and to compare their sense of responsibility unfavorably to 13-year old Malia and 10-year old Sasha. In my opinion it violated a fundamental rule of political ethics, the dictum of Reinhold Niebuhr:

“The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”

But beyond the temper of the fight, there’s no question that the President crossed another, simpler, ethical line: tell the truth.

PolitiFact.com gave him a “Pants on Fire” rating for claiming his regulatory review is unprecedented, when in fact it’s a faint copy of the 1993 review that was a major part of the effort to reinvent government. (Full disclosure: I personally guided the preparation of President Clinton’s executive order and led the effort to slash 16,000 pages from the Federal Register and change the way government interacted with business.)

I think PolitiFact was unfair to the President. He certainly spoke an untruth, but it was only “pants on fire” if he knew he was speaking untruthfully. My guess is he didn’t.

However, he really deserved—and still deserves—“pants on fire” for the way he’s constantly mis-characterizing his tax proposal. For example (more…)