Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks, Steve Benen documents them

I’ve written about or linked to a great deal here “chronicling Mitt’s mendacity” — to borrow Steven Benen’s phrase.

Mitt Romney says many, many things that are not true. He says this despite being in possession of the correct facts of the matter.

Which is to say that Mitt Romney lies. A lot. He lies more than any other national candidate for office in my lifetime. And I was born before the Nixon administration.

This is documented. Proven. Validated, verified, demonstrated, catalogued and quantified. Mitt Romney lies.

Here are 30 — 30! — of Benen’s weekly “chronicling” posts. These are all backed up and sourced. These are not assertions, interpretations or allegations. These are facts, actual instances.

Over the past 30 weeks, Mitt Romney has told lie after lie after lie: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX.

Click those links. Read the lists. List after list of lie after lie. Hundreds of them — 533, to be exact, although Benen does not make any claim to providing a comprehensive chronicle.

This is unprecedented. “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, said.

This has produced what James Fallows calls the “post-truth” age — a relentlessly dishonest onslaught of brazen falsehoods with which the media and the political system are struggling to cope. What do you do when every article, every “fact-check,” every arbiter denounces a lie and corrects it, but then a politician just keeps repeating it?

It’s remarkable to behold.

One of the weirder aspects of this for me is watching this unfold in the politically conservative culture of my evangelical world. The most partisan evangelical conservatives are also those most likely to rant against “relativism” and to trumpet their status as defenders of “absolute truth.” Those same folks will dismiss this post — and all 30 of Benen’s posts above — as mere partisan attacks without ever bothering to examine the 533 factual instances of Mitt’s mendacity, chronicled.

That’s the only cognitive defense they have, I guess. Jam fingers in ears and shout la-la-la-you’re-being-partisan!

Because, you see, the fact that Mitt Romney said something he knew to be false is a partisan fact. And the fact that he has done this at least 533 times in the past 30 weeks is also partisan.

I suppose the other approach for Romney defenders who cannot bear to face the fact of those 533 facts will be to angrily pore over all of Benen’s lists, reading each one with a lawyerly eye.

Have at it. Please. Cherry-pick. Spin. Split hairs. Hand-wave away whichever lies you wish as mere misdemeanors and not full-fledged felonies against honesty.

But how many of those charges do you think you can get dismissed? 10 percent? 20 percent? Maybe, if you’re that sort of person and you work really hard at it — if you’re willing to get even more pedantic and semantic and technical than even you are usually comfortable with — maybe you could half convince yourself that 50 percent of those lies somehow shouldn’t really count against Romney.

That still leaves more than 260 lies. That still leaves Mitt Romney as a convicted liar, 260 times over. And at that point you’ll have to join your friends with their fingers in their ears.

But you’ll still know.

Because everyone knows. Mitt Romney lies. A lot. That is what he does. That is who he is. And friend or foe, he does not care if you know it.

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  • EllieMurasaki

    What precisely did Obama say that constitutes an apology? ‘We have made mistakes and we will endeavor to fix those mistakes and not repeat them’ does not, fyi, constitute an apology.

  • bioengineer

    According to the dictionary the word “apology” is defined as expressing one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow.  Do you disagree with this definition?  For examples of Obama expressing regret, remorse, or sorrow re US foreign policy, go youtube all his speeches in the spring of 2009.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Provide quotes in which Obama said ‘I am sorry for what the US has done wrong’ or words to that effect. Quotes in which Obama said ‘the US has done wrong’ are missing an important bit that they need to have in order to be apologies.

  • bioengineer

    LOL.  And the sad part is I’m sure you got an A in English!  Please provide for me a definition of the word apology from ANY major dictionary where it reads “expression of regret, remorse, or sorrow prefaced by the phrase ‘I’m sorry'” 

  • EllieMurasaki

    You seem to comprehend English reasonably well: why have you yet to comprehend the difference between ‘this is a thing that happened’ and ‘this is a thing that happened and I really wish it hadn’t’, and why have you yet to provide a single quote?

  • bioengineer

    ‘this is a thing that happened and I really wish it hadn’t’ is an apology.  This is an expression of regret.

    I did provide a quote, I reference Obama’s speeches in spring of 2009.  You want me to paste those transcripts here?  The entire tone of these speeches are how America did wrong and he’s here to change things.  I’m sure you know how to use google, lots of videos of these speeches.

  • bioengineer

    Correct if I’m wrong but isn’t that the meaning of curious? Interest in things that are unlikely…

  • bioengineer

    You made my day! :D

  • EllieMurasaki

    ‘this is a thing that happened and I really wish it hadn’t’ is an apology. This is an expression of regret.

    YES. And ‘this is a thing that happened’ is NOT.

    Yes I want you to paste in the relevant bits of the transcripts. The bits where Obama says he wishes the US had done differently, not just the bits where he says the US did wrong and he doesn’t plan to continue that. Idea is for you to read the transcripts yourself instead of relying on the Fox News summaries.

  • Lori

    Correct if I’m wrong


    but isn’t that the meaning of curious? Interest in things that are unlikely… 

    No, it is not. Where in the world did you get the idea that it was?

    curious  adj

    1. Eager to learn more
    2. Unduly inquisitive; prying.
    3. Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness

  • Lori


    ‘this is a thing that happened and I really wish it hadn’t’ is an apology.  This is an expression of regret.   

    Your vocabulary needs some work. An apology and an expression of regret are not the same thing. You can regret something for which you do not apologize. For example, if your friend (assuming you have one) loses his job for reasons that have nothing to do with you and you say, “I’m so sorry you lost your job” that would be an expression of regret which is not an apology.

    Beyond that, please provide a coherent explanation of why it’s wrong for America to apologize when we’re wrong. Do you think America is never wrong or do you think having the biggest military means never having to say you’re sorry or what? What exactly is so terrifying to Fox News viewers about the notion of America apologizing for being wrong?

  • bioengineer

    Are you for real?  I feel like I’m talking to a lawyer.  You already acknowledged it yourself.  In your words Obama said “We have made mistakes and we will endeavor to fix those mistakes and not repeat them” 

    I agree with this assessment of his speeches.  And, drum roll, That is an apology! 

    Saying the phrase “I’m sorry” isn’t a requirement to fit the definition of an apology.  I could paste a quote and your response will be “I don’t see the words I’m sorry in that quote”.    The whole speech is an apology, in the tone and context of everything he said.  His speeches were received as an apology in the countries in which they were given, and interpreted as apologies by the vast vast majority of Americans familiar with them.

    See his speeches in France, Spain, Turkey, Cairo, etc.  In his Cairo speech he doesn’t say a single word denouncing terrorism but goes on and on about how wrong our war on terror is, how wrong gitmo is, and listing all the things he’s going to do to fix these injustices. 

    If you truly, genuinly don’t think he was apologizing I flat out disagree with you.  As do most people who have heard these speeches.  Arabs in the Middle East sure thought he was apologizing.  I live in the Middle east currently, been here for years.  This is their interpretation of what he said.  And they regard him a liar as he’s done nothing he promised since then.

    Either way, this still means Romney isn’t lying.  While you may interpret Obama’s speeches in one way, the fact that your interpretation is wrong doesn’t make Romney a liar.  At best it makes it a difference of opinion.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think I figured out what the issue here is. You think it is not possible for me to say ‘I have been stupid about money’ and/or ‘I will spend more wisely in future’ without also meaning ‘I wish I hadn’t spent so much money’, and I think that while I have been stupid about money and I do mean to spend more wisely in future, there isn’t actually anything I wish I hadn’t spent money on.

    (Except the foot-long Subway the other week where I ate half and realized I was no longer hungry. Or the eight cents a gallon of gas on Friday that I wouldn’t have spent had I instead bought gas Monday. These are recurring themes in my life, but summing them up and deleting that amount from my ledger wouldn’t actually appreciably reduce my debt.)

    Point is, Obama saying the US has done wrong does not, even with the addition of Obama saying that under his leadership the US will not repeat the wrong, constitute Obama apologizing for the US having done wrong.

    Sidebar: given that the US has in fact done wrong, to the tune of a hundred thousand Iraqi civilian deaths on the lowball estimate (among other tunes), what the fuck would be the problem with Obama apologizing for it?

  • bioengineer

    Your money example is an apples to oranges comparison. If Obama had been talking about matters internal to the USA I would agree with you. That wasn’t the case though. Obama went to nations the USA supposedly had wronged and spoke specificially of those wrongs. A more appropriate comparison would be if you went and spoke to someone that your brother had robbed. In not so many words you apologize by saying what your brother did was wrong, and then you pay back the debt.

    Ok, here we go, specific examples. Obviously these are huge speeches, so I’m just snipping tiny clips to illustrate the point.

    In Cairo Obama doesn’t say a single word against terrorism, but he goes on and on about how wrong our War on Terror is describing it as “contrary to our ideals”. He spoke about how Gitmo is wrong and promised to close it, which he didn’t of course.

    In Turkey Obama speaks about things we’ve done wrong and apologizes for this by saying we are a new and imperfect democracy and “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history”

    In Spain Obama apologizes for America’s arrogance, saying, among other things, “While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms”

    In France Obama apologizes for mistreating the EU, saying things like “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive”

    To any rationale person with common sense these are all apologies. Obama is POTUS, he represents the USA, he is speaking in the context of “WE”

    Moreover, again, the people in these host countries regard those speeches as apologies. Go read opeds on Obama’s Cairo speech in Arabic. The Islamic world received his Egypt and Turkey speeches as apologies. go read opeds in Europe, his Europe speeches were received as apologies.

    If you say he wasn’t apologizing, what was he doing? What was the point? If he had other intentions then he failed miserably.

    And again, either way, back to the subject, even if you disagree, there is nothing “wrong” with Romney’s interpretation. His interpretation is in the majority. Romney isn’t lying to interpret Obama’s behavior they way he is.

    Re your sidebar, that is a different subject. The issue is whether Romney lied about this, which clearly, he didn’t. I would even go so far as to say it’s a lie to say Romney is lying.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You continue to confuse Obama stating facts with Obama expressing regret for those facts.

  • bioengineer

    Obama is POTUS. His speeches were in the context of WE and US. He speaks on behalf of America, not as a 3rd party. He didn’t say Bush did ABC and I’ll do differently. He said WE, America did ABC.

    And yes, you can regret something without apologizing for it. But if you express that regret, that is, by defintion, an apology.

    Re the other point, again, this discussion has nothing to do with whether America has done wrong and whether we should or shouldn’t apologize. That is an entirely different subject. The subject is whether Romney has lied about Obama’s speeches. He has not, he does not. It’s perfectly reasonable to refer to Obama’s 2009 speeches as apologies.

  • bioengineer

    Read your own defintion “Arousing interest because of novelty or strangeness” This is the same meaning as what I said.

  • bioengineer

    “Facts” as he sees them. I notice you don’t answer the questions. If he didn’t mean to apologize what was the meaning of his words? What is your response to the FACT that his speeches were interpreted as apologies?

    Also I thought liberals were supposed to be open minded and try to reach common ground and all that nonsense. Even if you disagree on the nature of Obama’s speeches, at a minimum, it should be perfectly reasonable for you to understand how Romney, myself, and millions of others would interpret those speeches as apologies. Disagree with us, fine, that doesn’t make us liars.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’m only going to look at one of your examples, because I really ought to be heading for bed:

    he goes on and on about how wrong our War on Terror is describing it as “contrary to our ideals”. He spoke about how Gitmo is wrong and promised to close it

    In what way is it supportive of US ideals to “give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety” (remember what Ben Franklin said about people who do that?), to hold people for years without trial, to waterboard and sleep-deprive, to kill over a hundred thousand civilians? Because if you can provide reasons why it is in fact in support of US ideals to do those four things, I will happily retract my assertion that Obama is stating facts when he says that those four things are contrary to US ideals.
    I will also immediately begin investigation into requirements for immigration to Canada and Australia and the UK and Ireland (haven’t seriously investigated which I’d most want to live in), because I can live in a flawed country but not in a country that considers that flaw its crown jewel, but I will certainly retract my previous assertion.

    Also, re people interpreting Obama’s statements as apologies: how a statement is taken doesn’t necessarily have a damn thing to do with how the statement is meant to be taken.

  • bioengineer

    *Sigh* Again, you don’t answer the question. The issue is whether Romney lied or not. We’re not discussing whether Obama was right to say what he did. You are completely changing the subject. I will take this as a tacit admission of defeat. Have pride. If you think it is right for Obama to apologize, then why are you so fearful of Obama’s words be characterized as an apology? If an apology is warranted, I totally agree, we should apologize.

    As for your other remark about leaving the USA, crown jewel and such, lol, what in the world are you talking about? What is this flaw you speak of that is our crown jewel? I truly don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Lori


    The issue is whether Romney lied or not.

    Yes, he did, but you’re clearly going to remain bogged down in mischaracterizing regret as apology, so let’s move on. Mitt Romney is a serial liar. Even if we concede the “apology tour” lie (which we don’t) Romney has still told lie, after lie, after lie. Mitt is still a liar.

  • Lori


    This is the same meaning as what I said.   

    No, it’s really not. Not worth getting into though.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Obama did not apologize. Therefore, when Romney said he did, Romney was lying. This is true even if Obama should have apologized, which he really should have.

  • The point is, the way Romney puts it, it’s like he thinks the USA shouldn’t have to ever apologize for ANYTHING. And you apparently agree with that kind of thinking.

    And as a Canadian, seeing the USA throw its weight around on the world stage gets more than a little tiresome, especially when our politicians seem eager to ape that kind of behavior.

    As Linda McQuaig puts it, “Holding the Bully’s Coat”.

  • Tpventures


  • The Republicans must have read Brave New World in addition to Atlas Shrugged–if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted truth.

  • Did you see Obama’s rather subtle jab at Paul Ryan? It is definitely my experience that Atlas Shrugged seems to have its largest following among people who picked the book up as a teenager and, like teenagers since time immemorial, decided the thing they read meant they knew ALL THE THINGS and based their life philosophy around it not for just a while, but their whole life.

    It’s one thing to be 17 and shouting, “up with Objectivism!” particularly if you think it might give you a better shot at things.

    It’s another to be a grown adult using it as a justification for being in power and using that power to nakedly enrich the rich and afflict the poor.

  • EllieMurasaki

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: *The Lord of the Rings* and *Atlas Shrugged*. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

  • That never fails to make me laugh. XD

  • RHShel

    You probably won’t believe this but both sides share amazingly good debate points from my perspective.  It is fun for me anyway to do the reading of some intelligent people for a change.  Most point and counterpoints you read do not have this much quality, but these actually do! Congradulations to both sides of these issues!

  • jonathanmilo

    Did YOU interpret those comments as apologies? Or did someone else interpret them that way, and then you agreed with them?
    Regretting a past administrations policies is not “apologizing for America”. If you can’t see that, then you don’t want to see it, which puts you firmly in the fingers-in-ears camp. 

  • jonathanmilo

    That is just not so. You have never regretted something, but didn’t feel it warranted an apology? Never? Really? I can think of a million scenarios.

    My senile mother doesn’t follow common courtesies at the supermarket. I regret that, but have no need to apologize. She can’t help it. 

    I bought an item, then saw it on sale the next day. Definitely regret it. No need to apologize.

    It seems clear, unless you’re trying to fit a “gotcha” frame around something, that Obama meant “Where we’ve been is off course. Let’s get on course.” I think if you step away from trying to put a derogatory frame on it, you’ll have to be honest and admit that’s what he was saying.  

  • I reiterate: The people carping and whining and moaning about the OMGAPOLOGYTOUR – their real problem is that they think the USA should never have to apologize for anything. Because waving around that big billy stick called the US military is at all times and at all places entirely called for and anybody complaining about it is just some weak-assed dumb motherfucker.

  • Here’s the Fox “News” transcript of  Obama’s “apology tour”:

    Middle Eastern Leader Guy: (Apu accent) Hello, my friend!
    President Obama:  I’m sorry that America is awesome! I totes apologize for how cool and rich we are. But most of all, I regret that we win more medals than you at the Olympics, which by the way, Mitt Romney completely saved from the brink of collapse.  Kill whitey! Praise Allah! Assalamu alaikum!

  • The sad part is that Republicans aren’t far from doing that when they think they’re being all cute by emphasizing the “Hussein” in Barack Obama’s name.

  • IDSprout

    Trying to paint Romney as a liar compared to Obama is a laugher – he has to resort to schoolyard politics because his record is horrible as POTUS – no leadership, gutless, chief-apologizer, Marxist, racist, etc.  He has run every campaign the same way (attack his opponent with anything he can find instead of bringing a real solution to the table)

    When President Romney turns the Economy around (after all it is the ONLY thing that matters to alot of people) – the Left will be scratching their heads on how to negatively spin his successes – BUT the Americans will see through this and two things will be achieved – America will regain her position as the world leader AND the Liberal Media will finally collapse from within.

    Keep calling him names, keep using the scare tactics you always resort to – enjoy those last few months living in the White House…but hey, look at all the time Obama will have for Golf, Parties with Beyonce & Jay-Z, and his favorite sport…throwing people under the bus

  • TonyinMO

    And the biggest liar is the author of this very weak hit piece. You have failed miserably just like your little tin god 0bama

  • I would expect that from RMoney. In his religion he believes that when minorities die and go to heaven they end up as slaves again.

  • I doubt the truth really matters to people like RMoney

  • Lori

    Thank you so much for correcting us by linking to Breitbart, that bastion of truth and light in the cold darkness of encroaching IslomofascistCommieStalinism. Your efforts are so appreciated.

    Also, what the hell is up with the wingnut obsession with Obama’s golf game? Golf is pretty much the official sport of the GOP so it’s an odd thing for them to obsess over. It’s because black people are supposed to carry the clubs, not play the game isn’t it? It’s OK to have a one-off star like Tiger Woods, but there’s no call for black people to start thinking they’re allowed to play just like anyone else, right?

    It certainly can’t be the time issue, considering that W spent more time on vacation than any other modern president, but a significant margin.

  • As a Mormon Mitt Romney is actually instructed to lie by God to non-mormons in order to make America into a Mormon nation

  • Larickman

     The Heritage Foundation.  Really?  The Heritage Foundation.  The ultra-conservative think tank who has always cherry picked the facts.     There is a big difference between apologies and diplomacy. The world apology tour that we need to prepare, is if Mitt is elected.  “We are sooo sorry we inflicted this guy on the world” . . . “We deeply apologize for our idiotic mistake” . . . “Imagine how embarrassed we are . . .” 

  • Lori

    We already has to do that for W.

    I’d really like to at least go a few more years before we have to do it again.

  • Could I offer you libs a few more straws to grab onto?

  • Obama SO APOLOGIZED to other nations—-just because he didn’t use that word, doesn’t make it so.  He does not act proud of our great country to other nations and it’s an embarassment to all that our forefathers fought for!

  • So….wondering where the long list of Obama lies are??????

  • It’s called foreign policy. Could he go in with guns blazing every time someone “disrespected” the US of A? SURE! But it would be incredibly stupid and amateurish. Much like Romney is on every level.

  • Please. He lies every day. 2 days ago he started telling people Jeep was sending all of their jobs to China when in fact Jeep was ADDING 1,000 american jobs in Ohio.

  • spectrewriter

    When the US Embassy apologized to the people in the middle-east during the attacks on the embassy, that was GOOD SENSE IN PRACTICE, trying to calm the situation and mitigate damage, injury and loss of life.  After 8 years of GW Bush, the US has plenty of reason to get off of the high horse, eat a bit of humble pie, and start to recognize we’re not any better than any others.  That you have a problem with that is YOUR problem.  That President Obama and the others saw the wisdom of doing so is good leadership and international politics.  Get a clue.