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Mitt Romney Can’t Handle The Truth

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (AP)
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (AP)

It’s said that a lie is halfway round the world before the truth can get its boots on. Mitt Romney never even looks for his boots. On matters large and small, he has twisted, hidden, exaggerated, misremembered, dissembled, destroyed, falsified, rationalized, denied, contradicted, deflected or refused to discuss his positions and actions.

He is simply incapable of telling the truth.

About leaving Bain in 1999. According to sworn statements he filed with the SEC, he was still chairman, CEO, single stockholder and president until 2002. Other corporate documents obtained by the AP show Romney's personal signature at least 10 times on large stock transactions or ownership statements tied to Bain investment deals at the time. This matters because of what Bain did in 2000 and 2001.

About not being in charge after 1999. Bain owned GST Steel in Kansas City, Mo.; 750 workers lost their jobs when Bain drove it into bankruptcy in 2001. KB Toys of Pittsfield, Mass., which Bain bought in 2000, yielded a $121 million dividend for Bain partners before they took it into bankruptcy, closed its 600 stores, and laid off 3,500 workers.

About saying he created 100,000 jobs. Many came after he left the firm allegedly in 1999; others, like Staples, grew jobs after Romney had left Bain; he also did not subtract jobs lost when companies failed, cut back, or were steered into bankruptcy.

About who created the jobs. He told a St. Louis TV station, “We invested in businesses that created the jobs. We didn’t create them ourselves. They did.” Now you tell us.

About the optometrist in Pennsylvania that Romney said had to complete a 33-page change of address form for Medicaid. It’s two pages.

About his first TV spot. It falsely attributed a quote to President Obama on the economy being a losing idea. It was an aide to John McCain in 2008 who said it; top Romney mouthpiece Eric Fehrnstrom declared it was done “intentionally.”

About federal taxes he dodged using offshore tax havens. Without his tax returns, we know about only one year, 2010; i.e., next to nothing.

About how he turned around the Olympics. While getting $2.7 billion in a federal bailout plus “sweetheart deals” that John McCain called “a national disgrace.”

About being completely tied up with the Olympics. When his Massachusetts residency was challenged as he prepared to run for governor, he remembered coming back “four or five times a year for board meetings.” But not to Bain, he claims, the place he founded, made him rich, and handled his investments. Bain has refused to provide notes or minutes of its board meetings from that period.

About promising “complete transparency” when he arrived at the Salt Lake City Olympics. Many key records won’t be released or have already been destroyed.

About the destruction of State House records when he left office as governor. His top aides bought their state computers and took them home, emails were wiped from the server, and hard drives were removed.

About not remembering how he led an attack on a student at Cranbrook to cut his hair; the victim later came out as gay. Those involved remember it vividly.

About seeing his father march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit. Never happened, according to three news organizations, one in Detroit.

About opposing a bailout for the Detroit auto industry... Then saying it was his idea all along. Perhaps the bailout, like the trees, wasn’t the right height.

About being a hunter “pretty much my whole life.” He finally admitted he’s hunted rabbits, squirrels and “small varmints” more than twice — without a license.

About the NRA: “I don’t line up with the NRA.” He bought a lifetime membership in the NRA for $1,000 in 2006.

About his position on abortion rights. He told Don Imus, “I was pro-choice. I am pro-life. You can go back to YouTube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I changed my position.” Say, what?

About being a “severely conservative” governor. He signed an assault weapons ban, worked with Ted Kennedy on a health care reform law with a mandate, supported embryonic stem cell research, and said climate change is occurring.

About a new TV commercial that he “approved,” which stars a New Hampshire businessman who claims he built his company with his own hands. The Manchester Union Leader found those hands got $1 million in government loans, including $800,000 in tax-exempt bonds from the state, plus $500,000 in a small business administration loan in the 1980s. Who screened this guy, the same person who interviewed Sarah Palin?

This program aired on July 30, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Dan Payne Twitter Democratic Political Analyst
Dan Payne is a Democratic political analyst for WBUR.

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