Greg Sargent: In a surprise appearance before reporters at the White House just now, Obama made a striking, if perhaps long overdue, charge: He pushed back on GOP claims he’s running a dirty campaign by arguing that Romney’s entire campaign is based on flat out lies.
…. it remains the case that we are seeing nothing from the Obama side that’s anything like what Romney is attempting. Romney right now is premising one of the central arguments of his whole campaign on a complete lie. The notion that Obama “gutted” the work requirement in welfare reform has been debunked again and again by independent fact checkers and by the president who signed the law Obama supposedly gutted (see Clinton, Bill).
But Romney has now run three ads — one, two, three — making this claim. Incredibly, the Romney campaign is doing this, even though he himself said that campaigns should pull ads that are called out by fact checkers. Romney and his surrogates have repeated the welfare lie in forum after forum after forum.
…. The folks working at the big news organizations know Romney is lying with abandon. What should they do about it? I’m sympathetic to political journalists — it’s not easy to keep up with all the falsehoods, and at a certain point, the same lie told again and again loses its news value. But perhaps Obama’s comments today will prompt at least a bit of media discussion about what it means that one candidate — yes, far more than the other — is running a campaign of such epic dishonesty.
Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s post on Todd Akin here
Greg Sargent: The national battle over Todd Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” has shed light on a “personhood” bill, co-sponsored by Akin and Paul Ryan, called the Sanctity of Life Act. Much of the chatter today has focused on whether Ryan opposes abortion in cases of rape. The Romney campaign confirmed today that Ryan does personally oppose it, while clarifying that a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose it.
But what about the other legal implications of the bill Ryan and Akin co-sponsored? In an interview just now, Dem Rep. Louise Slaughter, one of the leading pro-choice voices in Congress, raised two startling possibilities.
“One of the questions around this legislation is, Could a rapist who impregnated a victim sue that victim if she decided not to carry that baby and to have an abortion?” Slaughter said. “Another question: Could in vitro fertilization be outlawed?”
Student Loans: In April, Akin cited a law Democrats passed in 2010 that saves billions of dollars by preventing private banks from profiting, risk free, on federally backed student loans as an example of the notion that “America has got the equivalent of stage three cancer of socialism, because the federal government is tampering in all kind of stuff it has no business tampering in.”
When offered the chance to clarify, he declined, saying “I called a spade a spade.”….
First Amendment: In June 2011, Akin told Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.”
Marital Rape: In 1991, as a state legislator, Akin questioned whether anti-marital rape legislation might be used “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.” He ultimately voted for the bill.