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Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1:29 AM

Republican Debate a "Nine-Dimensional Truth-Stretching Wonder"; Perry and the "Pinocchio Test"

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Tuesday evening I had the displeasure of watching the Republican debate. Here are the lowlights.

  • Herman Cain touted his "9-9-9" economic tax plan at every conceivable opportunity as if nothing else mattered.
  • Most of the other candidates trashed "9-9-9" at every chance, enough to make the debate a "nine-dimensional wonder".
  • Mitt Romney sounded like "Slick Willie" tiptoeing around Obamacare, for and against it. Romney would abolish Obamacare even though his plan while Governor of Massachusetts was the basis for Obamacare.
  • Ron Paul seldom got to speak. It was as if he did not exist. When he did speak, in the candidate-to-candidate questioning, Ron Paul had his facts wrong about things Cain said about the Fed. Cain blasted Paul in response.
  • In a moment that should be enough to make anyone with economic sense keel over in agony, Cain praised Alan Greenspan. Good grief.
  • Mitt Romney, as president would take it upon himself to label China a currency manipulator, with all the bad consequences thereof.
  • Mitt Romney repeated his pledge for a strong military which of course means wasting more money we do not have on perpetual war-mongering.
  • Everyone treated Perry as if he was irrelevant (which he probably is given numerous recent bouts with foot-in-mouth disease). However, irrelevant is better than ignored. Perry (unlike Paul) got to speak. He just never said anything worth hearing.

Romney’s Advisers Met With Obama to Help Craft ‘Obamacare’

Fox news reports Romney’s Advisers Met With Obama to Help Craft ‘Obamacare’
Three of Mitt Romney’s advisers went to the White House at least a dozen times in 2009 to consult on the former Massachusetts governor’s health care plan that President Obama used as a model for his initiative -- now a federal law that all the Republican presidential candidates want to repeal.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday he was "not in a position to comment on specific meetings." But in a remark that won't help Romney in his pursuit for the 2012 Republican nomination, Earnest repeated that Obama took cues from the Massachusetts legislation.

Romney also worked closely with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Massachusetts health care plan and Kennedy was the lead author of the national legislation. Kennedy had said that the Romney plan was a model for the national one.
Republicans Stretch Truth in Debate

Bloomberg reports Republicans Stretch Truth in Debate Salvos on Jobs, Health Care
Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and the other Republican presidential candidates stretched the truth on health care, job creation and the deficit in a debate last night as they attacked each other and President Barack Obama.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said Obama’s health-care law would increase spending by $1 trillion, while Texas Governor Perry said he would make America energy independent. Former pizza executive Herman Cain pledged to present a balanced budget a year after taking office.

Those are among the statements by the White House contenders that strayed from the truth as the candidates sought to distinguish themselves on jobs and the economy, the focus of the debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, sponsored by Bloomberg News and The Washington Post.
Bloomberg cites more truth-stretching than I can excerpt, but the article is worth a read.

How Accurate is Rick Perry’s New Ad about ‘RomneyCare’?

The Fact Checker investigates Rick Perry’s new ad about Mitt Romney and ‘RomneyCare’
Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched an ad Monday attacking Mitt Romney on the healthcare-reform law that not so affectionately bears his name among conservatives. The overall theme of the ad--that Romney’s health care law is intellectual father of Obama’s law--is correct. But then it goes even further than that.

The ad, strikingly similar to a Hollywood movie trailer in terms of its quality and dramatic effect, paints “RomneyCare” as an economic disaster similar to the way conservatives portray Obama’s national healthcare law. (Much of Obama’s law has not been implemented yet, so that is a bit premature.)

The ad also flashes images of Obama, Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, delivering an almost subliminal message that Romney is akin to those liberal icons.

We’ve already scrutinized Perry’s attack on the Romney book edits, so we won’t spend any more time on that. Suffice it to say we awarded three Pinocchios to the Texas governor for manufacturing a phony issue.

The Perry campaign deceives the audience by chopping off the footage at exactly the right moment from the Dec. 16, 2007 interview on “Meet the Press.” If the campaign had aired a few more seconds of the interview, viewers would hear Romney reject a national mandate and jump into his usual spiel about states tackling rising health care costs through reform plans of their own.

The Pinocchio Test

Perry’s ad relies on a pair of studies from a group with a predictable agenda: fighting new taxes and healthcare reform. That doesn’t mean the reports are false, but it does suggest they’re slanted.

It’s not the worst sin a candidate could commit, and in fact is fairly typical in these kinds of attack ads. But the Texas governor also gets bad marks for his deceptive use of the snippets from Romney’s book and interview with Russert.

Much as Romney dislikes to admit it, his law helped set the intellectual underpinings of Obama’s law. But Perry puts his foot on the scale by manipulating the Russert video and recycling the discredited material about Romney’s book. We don’t do half-Pinocchios, but the ad leans more toward three than two Pinocchios.

Three Pinocchios

Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.
For an explanation of the Pinocchio Scale, please see About the Fact Checker

The debate itself was painful enough to watch. A little fact-checking after the debate made the debate even more distasteful.

Governor Veto

Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, and arguably the best Republican candidate for president, was not invited to the debate.
Johnson served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, where he made a name for himself as a staunch libertarian. His anti-interventionist foreign policy, his support for gay rights (he has said he supports gay unions, suggesting the government shouldn't be involved in marriage at all), and his support for marijuana legalization have drawn comparisons to Republican Rep. Ron Paul, another possible 2012 presidential contender.

While his position on those issues sets him apart from most other candidates, Johnson holds up his record as governor of New Mexico as proof of his small-government, fiscal conservative credentials. He pointed out in his statement today within two terms as governor, he erased New Mexico's budget deficit and reduced the state workforce by over 10 percent.

"Saying no to waste, corruption and political games is easier than you think," Johnson said.

He also pointed to his record of vetoing hundreds of bills that passed through the New Mexico legislature, which earned him the nickname "Governor Veto."

That nickname, coincidentally, draws another comparison to Paul, who's known in the House as "Dr. No" for voting against so many bills.

"America needs a 'President Veto' right now," Johnson said in his statement today, "someone who will say 'no' to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington."

Wikipedia offers these facts on Gary Johnson.
Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an American businessman, former Governor of New Mexico, and candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, and is known for his low-tax libertarian views and his regular participation in triathlons.

Founder of one of New Mexico's largest construction companies, Johnson entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a conservative, low-tax, anti-crime platform. He beat incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget by using his gubernatorial veto on half of bills in the first six months. His use of the veto over his two terms gained him the nickname "Governor Veto".

He sought re-election in 1998, winning by 55% to 45%. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms, as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization. During his tenure as governor, he adhered strictly to an anti-tax, anti-bureaucracy program, and set state and national records for his use of veto powers: more than the other 49 contemporary governors put together. Term-limited, Johnson could not run for reelection at the end of his second term.

A fitness enthusiast, Johnson has taken part in several Ironman Triathlons, and he climbed Mount Everest in May 2003. He announced his candidacy for President on April 21, 2011.
Instead of someone like Ron Paul or Gary Johnson we face a possibility of disastrous foreign policy decisions by Mitt Romney. For details on the major mistake Romney's trade wars would bring, please see ...

Trade War Threat Looms Once Again; Senate Takes Up Bill to Punish China for Manipulating Currency; How Many Jobs Would Tariffs Create?

Ben Bernanke Fans Fires of Protectionist Legislation to Senate Joint Economic Committee; Expect Global Depression if Obama Signs On

This country desperately needs an anti-tax, anti-bureaucracy, anti-public-union candidate who will bring the troops home and otherwise let people make their own lifestyle choices in peace. We have two potential candidates, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, but neither has a chance.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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