Last night in Tampa, Mitt Romney spent an extraordinary amount of time introducing himself to the American people. One would think that, after more than six-years campaigning for President and after two heated primary campaigns, Mr. Romney would have accomplished this basic task well before his nominating convention speech. It would have been nice if Romney had spent time providing some evidence of his vision for America if elected president this November.
Romney had little choice than to expend his time re-inventing himself after the primary campaign. He knows that the far-right agenda he spewed during the primary is so far out of step with American values that, absent an etch-a-sketch rewrite, his campaign is doomed.
Newt Gingrich, appeared on the stage last night to express his support for Romney’s candidacy. But in the primary campaign he pointed out a basic truth about Mitt Romney. He called Romney “someone who will lie to you to get to be president,” and added, “He’s not telling the American people the truth.”
It’s not surprising that Romney’s campaign has acknowledged that they “will not be dictated by the fact checkers” or that Paul Ryan’s speech has been widely panned as “breathtakingly dishonest” and full of “brazen lies.” Last night, Mitt Romney doubled-down on his lies to the American people.
Last night Romney declared that he will create 12 million new jobs in his first term if he is elected. The problem? This would be the same number of jobs that independent economists project we will add under current policies. While Mitt Romney said that we need “jobs…lots of jobs”, even independent economists have said that his policies would cost jobs and slow down the recovery.
Mitt Romney reiterated his goal of making North America energy independent by year 2020. But this goal is impossible with his policies, which, Romney admits, was written by his Big Oil advisors for Big Oil interests. The plan would squash energy efficiency and cut incentives for homegrown alternative energy development.
“Energy independence will require more than just drilling — it will also depend on efficiency standards that Romney has opposed. Mitt Romney’s plan spends a lot of time talking about drilling. But it’s worth noting that both the EIA and Citigroup credit the Obama administration’s new fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks as a major part of America’s lurch toward energy independence. By 2025, the increased CAFE standards are expected to reduce U.S. oil consumption by about 2.2 million barrels per day. Without those rules, energy independence looks nearly impossible. And Romney, for his part, has pledged to overturn those fuel-economy rules.” [Wonk Blog, Washington Post, 8/23/12]
“An individual close to the Romney campaign said that Mr. Romney’s staff drafted the proposal in consultation with industry executives, including Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire who is the chairman of the campaign’s energy advisory committee and chief executive of Continental Resources, an oil and gas driller. Just this week, the oil and gas industry gave nearly $10 million toward the Romney election effort in two fund-raisers. The Romney aide, who said she was not authorized to speak on the record about the plan, said that any consultation with industry officials was simply to tap their expertise and did not mean the proposal was being shaped to serve their interests. Mr. Romney’s proposal drew immediate praise from the industry, which has complained that gas production on public lands has slowed under President Obama, even while it has surged on private lands.” [New York Times, 8/24/12]
Mitt Romney spent a great deal of time highlighting his accomplishment in saving the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. What Romney tell us last night is that he didn’t build that success on his own. After three days of attacking federal resources and assistance, the facts show that Romney received an unprecedented taxpayer bailout to help his effort—so much taxpayer funding that Sen. John McCain called it a “national disgrace.”
While Mitt Romney said tonight that he would be good for American women, we know that’s not true. He wants to take women’s health care decisions out of their hands. He has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides contraception and essential health services like cancer screenings to women across the country. And he fails to stand up for women as we fight for equal pay.
Obama For America Campaign Manager Jim Messina summed up Romney’s speech with the following statement:
“Much like the entire Republican Convention, Mitt Romney’s speech tonight offered many personal attacks and gauzy platitudes, but no tangible ideas to move the country forward. What he didn’t share were his actual proposals, which would take our country backwards: another $5 trillion in budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by the middle class; transforming Medicare into a voucher program on the backs of seniors; an end to fuel efficiency standards and tax credits for renewable energy; deep cuts in student grants and loans; and the rollback of Wall Street reforms. And in an almost 45-minute speech, Mitt Romney didn’t find a moment to mention Afghanistan. With no new plans and evasion about his real plans, Mitt Romney leaves this convention no stronger than he came.”