After winning several more presidential primaries this week, Mitt Romney delivered a speech his campaign billed as the unofficial kickoff of the general election. And while making his pitch as the presumptive Republican nominee, the former governor said President Obama intends to "run a campaign of ... distortions."
I very nearly fell out of my chair. After watching Romney closely for years, I've never seen any candidate in either party run a campaign of distortions as shamelessly as this guy, and this claim seemed to take the "I'm rubber, you're glue" tactic to new levels.
To appreciate the scope of Romney's distortions, consider the 15th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity.
1. Romney argued in Pennsylvania earlier this week that President Obama has "apologized for America."
The fact that Romney continues to repeat this lie every day is pretty depressing.
2. The Romney campaign argued this week that college tuition costs are going up because "this president decided to take over the student loan market."
As a matter of policy, that's ridiculous, and as a matter of accuracy, it's completely untrue.
3. Romney continues to push the line that under Obama, "the number of new business start-ups per year has dropped by 100,000 per year."
That's not even close to being true.
4. Romney said in New Hampshire this week that he wants to help rescue "the mom and dad who never thought they'd be on food stamps."
He neglected to mention that he endorsed a budget plan that slashes food stamps.
5. He also said he wants to look out for "grandparents who can't afford the gas to visit their grandchildren."
Romney plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program, which increases costs for seniors. He's also vowed to bring back Medicare Part D's "donut hole," which will quickly raise prescription drug costs for grandparents nationwide.
6. In the same speech, Romney said, "With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy."
That's the opposite of the truth.
7. Romney added that under Obama, "we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society."
No one can seriously believe such nonsense.
8. Romney vowed, "[W]e will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next."
That's misleading in important ways. Romney's platform calls for massive tax breaks that he can't pay for, which necessarily means growing the national debt.
9. The Romney campaign argued this week that the candidate hasn't endorsed "self-deportation" as an immigration policy.
Romney, earlier this year, explicitly endorsed "self-deportation."
10. The Romney campaign argued this week that under Obama, "the youth unemployment rate is double the unemployment rate for all Americans."
That's wildly misleading, too.
A few months ago, Fox News' Brit Hume, reflecting on Romney's flip-flops, said, "You're only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character."
I'm curious -- is Romney also allowed a certain number of falsehoods before people begin to doubt his character? And if so, what is that number?