COMMENTARY | When Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama "did nothing" about immigration reform during his first 3 1/2 years in office prior to last week's executive order, that's an outright lie. The truth is on the record.
Romney's claim, which he repeated to a conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, is more than simply a misrepresentation or a half-truth. It's a complete falsehood, and most journalists are failing to expose Romney's lie. So much for the alleged liberal lamestream media. Reporters instead have focused on the Latino vote, as though Hispanics are monolithic and only care about immigration.
Obama has tried to do something, and this isn't an opinion, it's a matter of fact. In December 2010, Obama gained 55 senators' support for legislation known by acronym as the DREAM Act -- Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors -- but he lost to a 41-vote filibuster dominated by Republicans.
We can agree or disagree on the DREAM Act, or on the merits of persistent Republican filibusters, but we can't say Obama "did nothing." In fact, Obama today spoke to the same group and vowed to continue his pursuit of the law, while noting that Romney has pledged a veto.
It's dismaying when politicians make obviously misleading statements, but misleading is one thing. Lying is another.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." It's become trite to quote the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but politicians continue citing their "own facts" more often. Romney is a prime example.
The Tampa Tribune's nonpartisan "Politifact" reviews politicians' statements of politicians. Ratings of "half true," "mostly false" or "false" when a statement is incorrect or misleading to various degrees. But when Politifact encounters major hot air, "pants on fire" indicates strong inklings of an outright lie.
Politifact has rated Obama 365 times, with five "pants on fire." Romney has been scored only 122 times, but already has compiled 13 "pants on fire." Romney's ratio of lies is nearly eight times higher.
This isn't my opinion, it's simply the score. Disappointed readers shouldn't blame the scorekeeper, but perhaps they should reconsider their support for Romney if he can't stop setting his trousers ablaze.