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POLITICS: Campaigns

The Left tagged Mitt Romney as the big liar in 2012, giving Obama a pass

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Barack Obama,President,2012 Elections,Campaigns,Analysis,Mitt Romney,Media

In retrospect, the most amazing thing about the 2012 election was that President Obama's team managed to brand it as a referendum on truth itself, with their man as its champion.

Obama wasn't just running against a Republican with the wrong ideas, the meme went: He was running against a man with no regard for the facts at all. To preserve the truth as a virtue, Obama had to win. The liberal blogosphere eagerly joined in the cause.

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson wrote: "Romney too often fails. Not to put too fine a point on it, he lies. Quite a bit."

Time's Mark Halperin was quoted in the New York Times as saying: "[The] Romney campaign is besting them in making these distortions and untruths a bigger part of their message."

Mother Jones's David Corn said: "This election was not only about a clash of political civilizations; it was about the end of political truth" because Romney had "pushed the envelope."

The American Prospect, The Nation, and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart joined in, too. After Obama's win, Slate's Will Saletan triumphantly declared: "Lies failed. Truth prevailed."

A Daily Kos blogger wrote: "This election, for me, came to be a referendum on truth. The truth prevailed."

Let's stipulate that -- like any candidate running for office — Romney made claims that were exaggerated and occasionally said things that were false, even if some of those charges were unfair.

Nevertheless, one would have thought that the current administration would be subject to stricter scrutiny. After all, what it says usually involves actual policies and actions, not just campaign rhetoric.

This was not the case. As a result, the president was able to lie brazenly about matters big and small. That he did this repeatedly on the question of whether or not everyone would be able to keep their insurance under Obamacare is only one example.

His appointees lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi, Libya. Obama lied about Citizens United allowing foreign corporations to pour money into elections.

Obama lied about whether his administration would hire lobbyists for key positions — he has hired dozens.

The president's legal representatives changed their position on whether the law's individual mandate was a tax depending on what stance was most useful at the moment.

Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself before Congress regarding the administration's probe of Fox News reporter James Rosen.

With all due respect to Will Saletan, I believe the message of the last election was that aggressive lying pays off.

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