"Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity" Claims to Show More Than 500 Romney Lies

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If a lie is "a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive," as dictionary.com has it, it's impossible to accuse any politician of lying, because only they know what their intentions were. Perhaps that's why a regular series on MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's blog, "Chronicling Mitt's Mmendacity" by Steve Benen, has started to collect the "Mitt Romney falsehoods of the week" rather than referring to them as lies at first.

The list recently got to its 30th installment, for a total of more than 500 "lies." Here's a look at what Mitt Romney is saying, which has been fact-checked as being untrue.

"We are the only people on the earth that put our hand over our heart during the playing of the national anthem"

The first installment of Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity to be posted on Maddow's blog opened with this statement. Benen called it "both untrue and rather strange," and linked to a Glenn Kessler essay for the Washington Post which showed YouTube videos of other countries' Olympic athletes putting their hands over their hearts for their national anthems. One of Kessler's colleagues reports that this line has, nonetheless, "been a regular staple of Romney's stump speech" during the campaign.

"This president said he'd cut the deficit in half. He's doubled it."

Benen points out that the United States' federal deficit was $1.3 trillion when President Obama came into office, and has remained mostly constant since then. The Congressional Budget Office projects that it will dip to $1.1 trillion this fiscal year, and that it will remain there unless the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans are allowed to expire.

In another speech, Romney claimed that the deficit hit $1 trillion under Obama's presidency for the "first time in the history of our country," but this actually occurred during George W. Bush's last year in office.

Looking at it as a whole

The "Obama doubled the deficit" claim was rebuffed a second time in episode 20 of Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, and other untruths it's indexed may be duplicates as well. A few other "lies" it reports on are either exaggerations or statements of opinion, or could charitably be seen as instances of Romney speaking off the cuff. Most of the over 500 statements, however, are false; and as the "welfare" TV ad shows, the Romney campaign has made objectively untrue statements a part of its mainstream campaigning, and not just the local stump speeches which make up the bulk of Benen's material.

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