Mitt Romney — March 22, 2012 at 8:50 am

Why the Etch A Sketch Will Lead to Even More Lies From Mitt Romney


George W. Bush saved the economy almost exactly the same way he caught bin Laden.

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Yesterday should have been Mitt Romney’s day.

He’d won Illinois handily. And then he received the endorsement from Gallant to George W.’s Goofus—Jeb Bush. Then, you know: the Etch A Sketch thing.

Comic John Fugelsang asked Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom if Mitt had moved too far to right. Fehrnstrom then compared his boss to to a device that constantly erases itself. This was a flub, a real Washington gaffe in that someone accidentally told the truth.

As Jonathan Chait tweeted: “Political cynicism is smart. *Open* political cynicism is not.”

By lunch, Santorum and Gingrich were handing out Etch A Sketches. Suddenly, the perfect metaphor for the con Mitt Romney is trying to pull on America had been found—by the Romney campaign.

What did team Mitt do? They went back to strategy they’ve been relying on since they began their 2012 campaign: lying.

As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show last night: “But the degree to which Mr. Romney lies, all the time, about all sorts of stuff, and doesn’t seem to care when he gets caught is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign.”

The question is no longer IF Mitt Romney is lying but rather what’s he lying about now.

And the answer to that is stunningly: George W. Bush. Bush has gotten the Voldemort treatment, like TARP, for most of this primary. Then suddenly, Mitt busts him out on Etch A Sketch day.

“I keep hearing the president say he’s responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression,” Romney said at a town hall in Arbutus, Maryland. “No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush…”

You know who really saved us from a depression? George W. Bush. You know, the same way Richard Nixon saved us from a constitutional crisis or Herbert Hoover saved us from…got nothing for Hoover.

This is amazing revisionist history. George W. Bush deserves credit because he only put 15 million people out of work? We only lost half of the value of the stock market? We didn’t invade several more countries that never attacked us?

Romney ALSO praised the bank bailouts, which he supported while opposing the auto bailouts since that saved union jobs. This shows an amazing pivot in the Romney campaign. He has now effectively defeated the Tea Party and can revel in his Bushness.

What is this about? Can it be George W. Bush is actually more popular than Mitt Romney, the least popular nominee ever, and Mitt wants to hitch his mom jeans to that star? @PPPPolls confirmed this morning that George W. Bush has far higher approval ratings than Mitt Romney.

But with a majority of Americans still blaming Bush for Bush’s recession, that can’t be his strategy.

Greg Sargent tweeted and Jed Lewison noted yesterday yesterday, “Now, however, [Mitt] wants everybody to forget that President Obama inherited an economic catastrophe.”

Mitt Romney’s lies are a two-pronged strategy:

  1.  They deflect the charge that he’s a flipflopper — an Etch A Sketch — by making his critics seem overwrought.
  2. It helps him run against a President who caught Osama bin Laden, prevented a Great Depression and is now presiding over a recovery.

Mitt Romney’s campaign just stubbed themselves on the first prong. So you have expect a lot more lies about this President. They are Mitt Romney’s only hope.