THE BLOG

Obama v. Romney: Who Can You Trust?

11/02/2012 04:00 pm ET | Updated Jan 02, 2013

With fewer than 100 hours remaining before the election, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been visiting swing states selling his 5-point plan to fix the economy and promising "real change on day one." Meanwhile, a desperate Romney campaign has been flooding the airwaves with false advertising in an effort to squeeze out a last minute victory.

No Republican in modern time has won the presidency without carrying Ohio. President Barack Obama has been able to maintain a lead in the polls despite heavy campaigning by his opposition. This is in part due to the fact that the president's bailout of the American auto industry saved thousands of jobs in the Buckeye state. Romney opposed the bailout, instead calling for Detroit to go bankrupt.

But now Romney's supporters have gone to the airwaves in key Ohio cities with a patently false ad. "Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China." Both Chrysler and GM immediately took the unprecedented step of harshly refuting the ad. Nonetheless, the Romney campaign is still airing it in Ohio and Michigan.

The presidential election will be close in Florida, where the rapidly growing Hispanic population is likely to determine the outcome. So the Romney campaign has gone to the Spanish language airwaves with this outrageous spot featuring Venezuela's President and tyrant Hugo Chavez:

NARRATOR: Who supports Barack Obama?
CHAVEZ: "If I were American, I'd vote for Obama."
NARRATOR: Raúl Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro, would vote for Obama.
CASTRO: "I would vote for President Obama."
NARRATOR: And to top it off, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency sent emails for Hispanic Heritage month with a photo of Che Guevara.
CHAVEZ: "If Obama were from Barlovento (a Venezuelan town), he'd vote for Chávez."
ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.

The Romney campaign needs the overwhelming support of white voters in order to win the election. So the campaign is still running an ad that falsely claims, "If you want to know President Obama's second term agenda, look at his first: (he) gutted the work requirement for welfare." In fact, the president gave those governors who requested it more flexibility on welfare in exchange for higher targets for reducing their state's welfare rolls. (Romney had made such a request when he was a governor.)

In an effort to get attention away from the GOP plan to voucherize Medicare, Governor Romney has time and again claimed the president has cut Medicare by $760 billion to "pay for Obamacare." Once again the Republican candidate is lying. The president's Medicare reductions target providers not individuals, and some of the funds are being reinvested into programs that benefit seniors. Never mind that Representative Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, supported the exact same amount of Medicare reductions.

Even Romney surrogates are misleading voters in order to help their candidate. Romney is on record, and on tape, promising that he will overturn Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that currently governs abortions. In a last ditch effort to close Romney's gender gap, surrogate and former Senator Norm Coleman, said in Ohio of Roe v. Wade, "It's not going to be reversed." What is Coleman's rational? "President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn't reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks, Roe v. Wade wasn't reversed." But, wait, that's not what Romney said!

Of course, Romney is a flip flopper who will say whatever it takes to win over an audience. Like at a Florida fat cat fundraiser earlier this year, when he said that, "47 percent of the people who will vote for the president... believe they are victims and government has a responsibility to take care of them?" When he found out the "47 percent" includes senior citizens, members of the military, veterans and millions of other hard working Americans, he changed his tune. "In this case I said something that's just completely wrong," he told Fox News. But does he really think he was wrong?

Romney claims to have been a bipartisan governor who succeeded in Massachusetts. If Romney was so successful as governor, why is President Obama currently leading him in three recent statewide polls by an average of about 25 percent? If Romney was so bipartisan, why did he have a separate elevator designated for his use in the state capitol in order to avoid Democrats? No wonder he was only a one-term governor.

Candidate Romney's 5-point economic recovery plan includes few specifics. One key point is a 20 percent personal income tax cut, which he says will be offset by ending some deductions and closing loopholes that he will not specify. That's $5 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years. Romney says he doesn't want to give up any negotiating power with Congress by naming what deductions he intends to eliminate. Or does he have a conflict of interest? After all, he has released only two years of his own personal tax returns, despite the outcry from members of both parties. Romney has also failed to explain how he created a $100 million trust fund for his sons, $10's of millions more than the IRS allows someone to legally set aside.

It is comforting to know you can trust someone, even if you disagree with some of their ideas. One earns trust by being honest, truthful and consistent. There is only one candidate who has been trustworthy throughout this campaign. And then there is the other candidate, who once said, "I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said. Whatever it was."