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Things Reporters Aren’t Supposed to Say: Mitt Romney is Lying About the EPA


RNC 2012-53It’s not that Mitt Romney doesn’t have his facts straight about the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s not that reasonable people can disagree with the Environmental Protection Agency about the best approach to solving a set of problems. Mitt Romney is choosing to lie about the Environmental Protection Agency because he thinks that will give him a political advantage.

But as Paul Krugman said on ABC’s This Week, “The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths,” so you get articles like this in Politico today:

The GOP presidential nominee is telling voters in Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia that Obama’s EPA is to blame for wiping out the coal industry. Romney and his surrogates are warning Iowans of EPA plans to regulate for farm dust and railing against the agency for flying airplanes over livestock operations to spy for dirty water.

In many instances, Romney’s EPA attacks stretch the boundaries of what the agency actually does or can do. The EPA has repeatedly denied any plans for new farm dust rules, and the planes have been used as a cost-cutting enforcement measure dating back to the George W. Bush administration. Energy experts say the coal industry’s problems are a byproduct of all-time lows in natural gas prices rather than new air pollution requirements that have been subject to legal battles for more than a decade.

Mitt Romney says something that’s not true. Even after widely-available facts to the contrary are pointed out, Mitt Romney keeps repeating the untruth. We’ll have to leave it there.  

How can you tell Romney’s lies are calculated and deliberate? Because he often shifts between lies and the truth depending on his audience. Talking to the Republican National Convention? Global warming’s a joke. Talking to scientists? Global warming’s serious business.

Tom Perriello knows Romney’s strategy:

Former Rep. Tom Perriello, a Virginia Democrat, slammed Romney on Friday for his tough pro-coal talk now even though he opposed extending the life of a coal-fired power plant as Massachusetts governor: Romney said in 2003 that the aging electric utility in Salem, Mass., “kills people.”

“Virginians don’t trust people who say one thing on one side of the mountain and another thing when they’re on the other side of the mountain,” Perriello said during a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee. “They expect you to be on the level.”

Lying is part of the fabric of his campaign, as Romney’s brazen lies in the first presidential debate about his $5 trillion tax cut plan and letting insurance companies deny coverage to sick people showed.

Romney is counting on articles like this – presenting his clear-cut lies as debatable. As media critic Jay Rosen writes, “a post-truth campaign for president falls into the category of too big to tell.”


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