Mitt Romney entitled to his own facts?

Last night towards the end of the first presidential debate between President Obama and “challenger” Mitt Romney, Romney said

‘Mr. President, You’re Entitled to Your Own Airplane, Your Own House, But Not Your Own Facts’

There is something delicious about accidental irony. In a debate light on a lot of specifics from either candidate and where President Obama frankly didn’t have the most charismatic nor controlling performance, Romney continues to be his own worst enemy.  Last night during the debate, I found 9 false or misleading ‘factual’ claims that Romney made:

  • Romney’s plans don’t include a tax cut: FALSE Bloomberg News describes the Romney tax cut for the wealthy. 
  • Obama raised taxes on the middle class: FALSE unless you count cigarette and fake baking (sun tanning) taxes from Politifact
  • Green energy gets more tax incentives than the oil industry: MISLEADING Particularly for start up companies as Star Tribune noted, so even though there has been a substantial investment in green energy big oil still wins on tax breaks for start up companies (you know, the small businesses Romney loves).
  • Tax cuts to green energy = 90 years of tax cuts for oil: FALSE CNN Money explains that at the moment, while tax cuts to green energy are about $24billion, the oil industry gets about $4 billion annually.
  • POTUS takes away coverage from Medicare: FALSE Minnesota Public News explains the cost reductions having nothing to do with taking away benefits, but improving inefficiencies. More importantly, in a head-to-head comparison about all of the Romney v. Obama claims on Medicare, Politico found that while Obama spins the changes in the most positive light, Romney’s just deceptive.
  • Obamacare costs families about $2,500 more than status quo: FALSE explains how the penalties will really work. It may cost some families more, but not that many and for working Americans likely not that much.
  • Pre-existing conditions covered in the status quo and Mittens’ positions: FALSE The LA Times explains that absent Obamacare, there is no protection for pre-existing conditions (and there are a lot more and better sources confirming this as well if you look or take a peak at the bottom of the post). Moreover, Romney’s own speech confirms that his plan would likely exclude such protections.
  • Absent Obamacare, young adults are still going to get coverage: Incredibly MISLEADING Sure, as CNN reported if you belong to one of the two companies who said they’d voluntarily offer this AND if they made good on their promise in the long term.
  • Romney has no plans to cut education: FALSE As the Ohio Education Association reports, his plan not only makes cuts, but he has a history of slashing support for education.
  • Romney’s policies caused Massachusetts to be the best schools in the country: FALSE Politifact calls foul.
But it gets worse. This morning I woke up to discover that there were 9 additional fake facts that the Huffington Post identified (using other sources to support their claims) that Romney claimed (18 for the math impaired between HuffPo and me). Then came the more damning evidence — the New York Times reviewed the factual assertions from both candidates and President Obama’s assertions generally check out. Their fact checking on Romney reveals a trend of dishonesty.
So Mittens, while the president may be entitled to his own airplane and house, neither of you are entitled to your own facts. Perhaps for the second debate you’ll spend more time learning ‘facts’ and less time learning zingers.

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