TPM Reader JB mulls the liar issue …
I am beginning to think that the major undercurrent of this campaign is the use of lies, false quotes, and fabrications surrounded by a covering of nonspecific bromides against a sitting President with a below average economy.
I do think there is a Republican case to be made. The Republicans in Congress engineered a nose-dive in public employment to ensure a high unemployment rate and the President let the housing problem hold back the economy. But, I feel like I am listening to Jon Lovitz on SNL whenever I must listen to the argument to elect Mitt Romney. Yes, he killed Osama bin Laden…after going on an apology tour around the world! Yes, the economy was bad, but he made it worse! In short, it is clear that the Romney campaign doesn’t believe it can win on the current facts, it needs a better case. And that is a sign of weakness. That should be an attack point for Democrats. Don’t complain about the lying, which looks whiny and weak, use it to show weakness. He lied about the factory in Janesville because he is too afraid to tell you the truth: 1) One it closed under President Bush and 2) Paul Ryan begged for a Federal bailout. Mr. Reduce the Government wanted welfare, etc. What a crybaby. And when Democrats highlight every lie, over and over as a sign of weakness, then the MSM will have a story to pick up and run with. There should be a price to be paid for lying and waiting for the MSM to do your dirty work is waiting for Godot. Either the Democrats make every lie a marker of fear or it won’t get done.
I worry that there will be no tipping point? If we hit October and Mitt is still thought of as honest, but lying continuously, then what? If the Romney campaign continues to lie with impunity, then I think the President needs to stare him down at the debate. I think the President needs to look directly at Mitt Romney and say, “Governor, in every speech you say that I have apologized for America. Well, tell me to my face: when did I apologize for America. Right now, in front of the American people, tell me. Tell us.” And then he should just wait. Mitt is very bad at unexpected moments. The silence (or, better yet, jabbering) will be deafening. And Romney will be rattled for the rest of the debate. It would be another moment, on the biggest stage, when Obama would look dominant.
Be clear, the Obama campaign can’t complain about the lying. That looks weak. He needs to use it to show that Romney thinks he will lose without the lies.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.