Mitt Romney's aides explained with unusual political bluntness today why they are spending heavily — and ignoring media criticism — to air an add accusing President Barack Obama of "gutting" the work requirement for welfare, a marginal political issue since the mid-1990s that Romney pushed back to center stage.It's not just fact checkers like:
"Fact checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers," he said. The fact-checkers — whose institutional rise has been a feature of the cycle — have "jumped the shark," he added after the panel.
* The Washington Post ("Four pinocchios");Even MSNBC's conservative host Joe Scarborough, who was a former uber-Republican congressman, concluded: "I've been looking for a week-and-a-half to try to figure out the basis of this welfare reform ad," Scarborough said. "I've scoured the Wall Street Journal editorial pages … the ad's completely false. It's just completely false."
* CNN ("Fact check: Romney's welfare claims wrong");
* FactCheck.org ("It's simply not true"); and
* Politifact ("The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance. Pants on Fire!").
What does it say about your candidate when his entire campaign is based up on a lie? Not just the welfare ad - but the candidate himself?
Mitt Romney isn't running for president. Some guy, who isn't Mitt Romney at all, is running.
The guy who's running is a social conservative who's against the Massachusetts health care reform law, who isn't more pro-gay and pro-abortion than Ted Kennedy, who loves guns and Ronald Reagan, and who now is apparently very concerned that President Obama "gutted" welfare reform when everyone agrees that President Obama did no such thing.
What does it say about Mitt Romney when his team admits that "Our most effective ad is our welfare ad"? It means that the truth about Mitt Romney must be pretty bad, and the truth about President Obama must be darn good, if the best argument Team Romney has for why Mitt should be president is a lie.