His Whole Campaign Was a Lie

Politifact has deemed the following the lie of the year:

It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.

People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.

PolitiFact has selected Romney’s claim that Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.

Virtually everything he said was a lie, so I am not sure how you choose one over the other.

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75 replies
  1. 1
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    That whole 47% seemed rather earnest to me…

  2. 2
    TrabbsBoy says:

    Polifact tries to regain credibility when it no longer matters.

  3. 3
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Who gives a shit what the fact-checkers think? They’re a bunch of equivocating turds who try not to hurt anyone’s fee-fees too hard.

  4. 4
    PaulW says:

    The easiest lie to refute is the one Politifact will promote. All the other lies remain hidden in the haze of “oh dear we need to be fair and balanced and call them ‘opinions’ rather than ‘b-llsh-t'” that the self-appointed fact-checkers use as guidelines.

  5. 5
    Keith says:

    My pick would have been “both sides do it.”

  6. 6
    Joey Maloney says:

    “Every word he spoke was a lie, including ‘forty-seven’ and ‘percent’,” with apologies to Mary McCarthy.

  7. 7
    PaulW says:

    Why are we getting warnings about missing arguments? I think our arguments are spot-on! /rimshot

  8. 8
    dmsilev says:

    Personally, I’m going to go with “fact-checkers matter” as the lie, or perhaps delusion, of the year.

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    the xenophobia has an appropriately Montgomery Burns-ish twist to it (“The Italians are coming! Smithers, send a wire to President Harding!”), but I gotta stay with the welfare ad. Of course, pointing out racism makes the Village Rotarians very nervous.

  10. 10
    Joey Maloney says:

    Whoa! Best FYWP evah

    Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /home/jcole1/public_html/bal/wp-content/plugins/wp-ajax-edit-comments/lib/class.core.php on line 470 and defined in /home/jcole1/public_html/bal/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 990

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    I’m not sure I like this new ‘Warning: Missing argument 2’ commenter. Very repetitive.

  12. 12

    Keep in mind that the Jeep ad was released late, apparently in an effort to thwart efforts to refute it (which, oddly enough, failed). So they knew damned well it was false. But we haz the innernets now.

    In hindsight, the Romney camp’s strategy really didn’t go much beyond “Surf into the Oval Office on a Tsunami of Bullshit”. Worked for Reagan, didn’t it?

    Probably planned to govern that way, too. Much as Reagan did.

  13. 13
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Looks like WordPress is rebelling hardcore right now…

  14. 14
    Zam says:

    @Keith: I would give anything for that to be the lie of the year.

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    Lying was the core of the Romney campaign strategy. Period. The only time Romney ever retreated was over the 47% remark– which, of course, was the only time he was telling the truth as he saw it.

  16. 16
    Gravenstone says:

    Perhaps this is simply a matter of “last lie standing”?

  17. 17
    Culture of Truth says:

    Q: Why did Politifact choose this one out of all the others?

    A: Because even Chrysler, red of blood, all-merkin, applepiesh, hotdoggy, businessmisters, said it was a lie.

  18. 18
    NonyNony says:

    Virtually everything he said was a lie, so I am not sure how you choose one over the other.

    Ah, this is one where he slandered a multinational corporation and forced that corporation to send out a spokesperson to say “he is lying” in corporate spokesperson-speak.

    I think we can see why this one would rank high up there for Politifact.

  19. 19
    gene108 says:

    Well, they could’ve made Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment the lie of the year.

    At least they had the decency to use an actual lie for their lie of the year.

    Wasn’t it last year or the year before they made Democrats saying Republicans would end Medicare with changing it to a voucher based program the Lie of the Year?

    Or was it another fact checking group?

    I can’t remember.

    Point is, at least this year the honed in on an actual bonafide lie.

  20. 20
    J R in WV says:

    You could tell when Willard was lying – his lips were moving, and he was smiling that terrible false smile.

    It is true that Politico just picked one, but to pick all of them would diminish the award somehow, and while everyone can see that this was plainly false, many of the most pernicious lies could be debated by people who believe the thrust of Republican lies.

    So I’m good with this choice, even though it does minimize the fact that it is all lies, all the time from most all Republicans.

    But some people actually believe the innertubez can only tell the truth, so what are you gonna do?

  21. 21
    NonyNony says:

    Whoa – FYWP just barfed up the PHP it had for dinner last night.

  22. 22
    MFA says:

    They likely chose it because they think this particular obvious lie cost him Ohio, and therefore any chance to win the electorate.

  23. 23
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I wondered why the MSM was so upset over that lie and so tolerant of the other lies.

  24. 24
    Zam says:

    Oh good other people see this warning too. For a moment I thought I broke BJ.

  25. 25
    Cermet says:

    Here is a complete lie by Politi-lie … uh, fact. Ohio did not matter at all for President Obama – when the President won Florida, that made both Ohio and even Virginia to became totally irrelevant.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    In the spirit of Hannukah, what makes this lie different from all other lies?

    Oh wait, that’s a seder. Never mind.

  27. 27
    japa21 says:

    Romney really didn’t pay a price for any of his lies, including this one. Ohio was already lost to him so his staff decided to go all out on a Hail Mary kind of strategy. It didn’t work, but it wasn’t as if his lie (or lies) actually cost him the election.

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I deleted my comment ’cause I thought I somehow broke the blog, but this one is safer than a lot of the others, notably the welfare ad. Pointing out racism makes the Village Rotarians very nervous.

  29. 29
    Mudge says:

    Yes choosing the worst lie is tough..but the prestigious “Liar of the Year” award has yet to be announced. That should be an easy choice.

  30. 30
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I see that Tunch has finally released John and is sitting on the server instead. I am getting some weird warnings over the comments. Please feed the kitteh, ASAP.

  31. 31
    Lex says:

    @Keith: You, sir, win the Internet. Now, everyone give a cat a cheeseburger so we can all go do something productive.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    Virtually everything he said was a lie, so I am not sure how you choose one over the other.

    You pick the one with the best documentation and the worst results, which seems to be what they did.

  33. 33
    Zifnab25 says:

    Over a month after the election is over, and Politifact finally feels secure enough to start calling Romney out.

    SO BRAVE!

  34. 34
    Cervantes says:

    Now hold on here — he did say he wouldn’t release his tax returns, and he didn’t.

    So that was true.

  35. 35
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: ” the Romney camp’s strategy really didn’t go much beyond “Surf into the Oval Office on a Tsunami of Bullshit”.”

    Yes, but you should not go against a Hawai’ian when Surfing is on the line.

  36. 36
    gogol's wife says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    I thought, “including ‘a,’ ‘and,’ and ‘the,'” and then I thought, better read the thread, somebody will get this in 6.

  37. 37
    Anonymous says:

    If Politifact’s lie of the year next year isn’t something some liberal said, I will buy everyone here a pony. And a rainbow.

  38. 38
    GregB says:

    Please stop with these partisan attacks you are making Cokie Roberts very uncomfortable.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I see that Tunch has finally released John and is sitting on the server instead. I am getting some weird warnings over the comments. Please feed the kitteh, ASAP.

    The errors on older comments are disappearing, so I’d guess that something in the database is taking a long time to update.

  40. 40
    Balconesfault says:

    I think that picking this one is so perfectly illustrative of the Romney campaign – grabbed from a nebulous internet source, slapped down by facts almost as soon as it surfaced, and the Romney campaign went ahead and featured it in their ads even as news media was pointing out that it wasn’t true.

    For just sheer, brass balls brazen lying, this one was pretty hard to top.

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    The Republicans must give great parties with rivers of booze, that must be the reason the Villagers are always shilling for them and are so careful not to upset them or hurt their fee-fees.

  42. 42
    schrodinger's cat says:

    The Republicans must give great parties with rivers of booze, that must be the reason the Villagers are always shilling for them and are so careful not to upset them or hurt their fee-fees.

  43. 43
    danimal says:

    I’m disappointed. I was rooting for this one.

    “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and you wouldn’t have to train for a job,” the ad continues. “They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare …”

    It’s a flat-out lie, he tried to make it a major part of his campaign, and it has an ugly base of racial resentment lurking right behind a thin layer of deniability.

    But, as Cole alludes, how do you reduce a liar to just one, specific lie?

  44. 44
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Tunchen has been fed, the blog is back to normal. Sorry for the double comment, I don’t know how that happened. I blame WP or Tunch or both.

  45. 45
    Brachiator says:

    Virtually everything he said was a lie, so I am not sure how you choose one over the other.

    That Romney was a liar was, I suppose, noteworthy.

    But what amazed me is that he was such a shameless liar, and that he refused to back down from his lies when they were so blatant and so easily refuted.

    He sincerely believed the Fox News promise, that lies don’t matter, that the wingnut base would easily lap up whatever crap conservatives spewed, that other people would be too confused to separate fact from fiction, and that the media would be too timid to call bullshit for what it was.

    And what amazes me now is that Romney is still in shock that his bullshit didn’t work.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    WP seems to be going nuts.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Apparently FYWP dipped into the nog this morning.

  48. 48
    The Dangerman says:

    Lies of the Year:

    (1) Romney saved the Auto industry through managed bankruptcy

    (2) Tunch went on a diet

  49. 49
    Chyron HR says:

    @danimal:

    Yeah, but Those People are all lazy, shiftless moochers regardless, so PolitiFact rates it as HALF TRUE(tm).

  50. 50
    Rosalita says:

    That lie was the icing on the shit cake of lies he told throughout the campaign in terms of timing. I’d say the 47% lie was the most ugly.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    when history looks at this campaign, I do believe Steve Benen will be seen as a hero. While the MSM did their best to ignore that Willard was the first post-truth candidate, Benen, and his weekly chronicle of Willard’s Lies, just kept on building and building the obvious.

  52. 52
    ThresherK says:

    @TrabbsBoy: In the far north country of New England we chatted a bit with a fellow who turned out to be a volunteer fireman.

    Half-sarcastically, given the narrow and winding roads, water system, terrain, and long winters, he joked “We’re really good at putting out foundations.”

    Hence, my favorite quote for anybody who can be counted on to only do what’s expected of them after it no longer matters, to save their reputaion.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Balconesfault:
    Well. the Mitt campaign did say they weren’t going to be bossed around by the fact-checkers. Nobody was going to tell their big, badass, presidential Mitt what was truthful enough for him to say, nosirree!

  54. 54
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @The Dangerman: Tunch is not fat, he is in shape, round is a shape.

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yutsano:
    Apparently it’s just had another nip. That must be some tasty eggnog.

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: Extra rum in it as well.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    @NonyNony:

    forced that corporation to send out a spokesperson to say “he is lying” in corporate spokesperson-speak.

    IIRC, a Chrysler VP called it “bullshit”. Which isn’t the normal corporate spokesperson-speak.

  58. 58
    Kane says:

    This lie was so obvious with the public that not even Politifact could muck up the water.

  59. 59
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    What bothers me about the latest go-round is that unchallenged lying became institutionalized as a campaign tactic. To me, it wasn’t just the Jeep story, it was also that neither Romney nor Ryan were ever pressed for the details of their respective plans for the nation. Both of them offered nebulous generalities and the media fell all over itself to tout their seriousness and their economic acumen. The putative emperor didn’t just have no clothes he was waving his dick at us and daring anyone to call him on it.

  60. 60
    jeffreyw says:

    Lists? We don’t need no steenkin lists! We have teh Google.

  61. 61

    @Snarki, child of Loki:
    “ROMNEY DON’T SURF” would be an excellent band name…

  62. 62
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    A: Because even Chrysler, red of blood, all-merkin, applepiesh, hotdoggy, businessmisters, said it was a lie.

    Maybe that was part of it. I think another part of why the press finally called out this lie is that no other Republican/conservative entity that was recognizably outside of the campaign was willing to endorse it.

    The press never declares that a Republican is lying if another Republican, who the press considers somehow independent, is willing espouse it, too. For instance, the press never called any of number of things in the Ryan budget a lie because other Republicans who were not directly involved in the campaign were willing to say that Ryan’s plan was good policy. See, if two Republican agree to say something, but the rest of the sane world says it’s a lie, well then, that just policy differences.

    Of course, if two Democrats agree on a lie, well, that’s just lying.

  63. 63
    jeffreyw says:

    Warning: Missing argument…

    This is not arguments, arguements are down the hall. First door on the left. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  64. 64
    japa21 says:

    Romney never paid a price for any of his lies. Politico makes it sound like he did pay a price for this one (which apparently is the only reason they singled it out).
    He didn’t lose Ohio because of the ad. Ohio was already lost and his staff decided to go for a Hail Mary with this ad.

    Now the question can and should be asked, “Should he have paid a price for all his lies?”

    IMO, the answer is “yes” but because a) the media chose not to point out the lies and b) a lot of people were looking for reasons (other than they hate the blah guy) to vote for Romney many people believed the lies.

  65. 65
    Tonal Crow says:

    Whaaat? The lie of the year last 40 years was the media’s implication that Republicans should be treated as anything but objects to be pointed at while laughing hysterically.

  66. 66
    smintheus says:

    Romney’s welfare reform ads were worse lies in almost every way, were repeated over and over for weeks…and were racist dog whistles to boot.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    J R in WV says:

    After careful reconsideration, I think you all are right and that the worst lies were the combination of welfare lies, because of the nano-micron thick cover beneath which was the racist pools of bubbling filth. And of course, the 47% was part of that syndrome.

    But the Jeep lie was so much easier to point out, and so much clearer from the outside of the echo chamber that I understand why they selected it for special attention.

    Keep on banging on the Republican’ts box, all!

    And thanx for your attention, however brief…

  69. 69
    NonyNony says:

    @J R in WV:

    After careful reconsideration, I think you all are right and that the worst lies were the combination of welfare lies

    But the welfare lies were lies about government. Lies about things that Democrats and Republicans argue about. Therefore instead of being “lies” it’s more “Democrats walk like this, but Republicans walk like this” in the eyes of the fact checkers. Calling out the welfare lie would therefore be a “value judgment” to take the word of the Democrat over a Republican – even if the facts all support the Democrat you’re taking sides.

    But the Chrysler lie was like taking the word of a Democrat and a corporation (who as people get to count as are honorary Republicans) over a Republican. Since “both sides” said it was a lie, so it must have been a HUGE LIE. Therefore Lie of the Year.

    For the same reason “You Didn’t Build That” wasn’t a contender for Lie of the Year. Because Democrats said one thing and Republicans said another so that’s just “politics”.

  70. 70
    Fred says:

    The lies and doublebackflip self contradictory lies were all of a muddled piece. In the end who can tell what was a lie and why should anyone care? Certainly Mitt didn’t care. That was his problem.
    I think it was Thom Hartmann that said, Mitt has to live with the fact that he sold his soul and it turned out not to be worth a thing.

  71. 71
    TG Chicago says:

    @Anonymous: Agreed. And in fact, if Obama had lost the election, they’d have picked something he said to be Lie of the Year.

    Seriously, if Romney had won, do you think they’d have the balls to call the new president-elect on a Lie of the Year? No way.

  72. 72
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Romneybot lied so much during his campaign that I agree with Cole that it’s impossible to focus on just one lie. It would be easier to figure out what he said that was true, if anything.

  73. 73
    TheronWare says:

    Hmmm, I wonder what happened to the sin of bearing false witness.

  74. 74
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Zifnab25: Ha! Your comment gets two big thumbs up.

  75. 75
    ankh hotep says:

    @MikeJ: By Bernie Woodall DETROIT, Nov 1 (Reuters) – A Chrysler executive told Donald Trump in a Tweet on Thursday that the real estate executive and television personality was “full of shit” for repeating a notion that Chrysler is shipping U.S. Jeep production to China, which the automaker refutes. Ralph Gilles, the head of product design for Chrysler, became the second top Chrysler executive in three days to strongly deny the claim, which was first made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney last week to a crowd in Ohio. Trump, from his Twitter account, said, “Obama is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China–and will!” To which Gilles, from his Twitter account, responded to Trump: “You are full of shit!” In a second Tweet, Gilles added: “I apologize for my language, but lies are just that, lies.”

    Easily the most honest statement heard in the entire campaign.

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