I am a fan of Robert Reich. In this article Reich is interviewed by Joan Brunwasser of Citizen’s for Election Reform (CER). Ms. Brunwasser asks the question of Reich that many of us ask over and over to almost anyone – How does Romney get away with the constant lying? This is an excerpt. Please click the link to read the full (and quite interesting) article.
My guest today is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at UCal Berkeley, Robert Reich. Welcome to OpEdNews, Robert. You’ve been writing a lot lately about the many shortcomings of Mitt Romney. Your latest piece essentially calls him out for his constant lying. All candidates exaggerate and stretch the truth. Aren’t you being a little harsh?
To the contrary, I may not have been harsh enough. While every presidential race is guilty of exaggeration, to some extent, and some have told half-truths, I’m aware of no previous presidential candidate or campaign that has told such brazen lies — which the media have reported as false — and yet continued to tell them even after having been outed. Romney’s and Ryan’s repeated claims that President Obama ended the work requirement in welfare, and that the Affordable Care Act reduces Medicare payments to beneficiaries — to take but two examples — are outright lies. They’ve been called “falsehoods” by the New York Times, “misstatements” by USA Today, and “wrong” by numerous non-partisan fact-checking organizations and sites. But Romney and Ryan continue to tell them, and use them copiously in their ads.
So, how do they get away with it? Once, such lying that could have precipitated the downfall of a candidate.
They’re getting away with it because the GOP has figured out how to bypass all neutral fact-checkers, the mainstream media, and any other trusted, non-partisan source. They’ve done this by, first, raising a huge amount of money through a network of super PACs and political nonprofits that’s being spent on negative ads — so many ads that the public can’t differentiate between truth and falsehood; second, by discrediting the mainstream media in the eyes of many Americans; and third, by using a disinformation industry composed of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and his various wanna-be’s, the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and the right-wing blogosphere to legitimize their lies or at least give them a patina of respectability.