Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

December 3, 2011

FactCheck: Dems go too far in web video

The Democratic National Committee casts Mitt Romney as an untrustworthy flip-flopper in a lengthy Web video, but pads a long list of examples with some falsehoods and distortions. It's true that Romney has changed or modified his position on some major issues — including abortion, a federal assault weapons ban and Reaganomics, as the DNC says. But the video strains the truth to build a case against Romney by including some dubious claims:

-  The DNC said Romney flip-flopped on the Wall Street bailout — when, in fact, he has consistently supported its original intent but opposed Obama's decision to extend TARP and use its funds for other programs, including the auto bailout.

-  The DNC also claims Romney changed his position on the auto bailout. The fact is Romney consistently called for a "managed bankruptcy" similar to what was later undertaken, but he opposed the use of federal funds by both Bush and Obama.

-  The video casts Romney as a one-time supporter of Obama's stimulus. In fact, Romney favored a smaller stimulus and opposed the "excessive borrowing" of Obama's plan as the "wrong course."

n- The DNC video also portrays Romney as supporting the Obama health care plan. Not true. He has consistently defended his Massachusetts law as right for his state, but opposed imposing it on other states by federal law.

-  Similarly, the DNC claims Romney supported Obama's education program, Race to the Top. But, again, Romney supported some of the program's goals, but he said those kinds of issues ought to be handled at the state level, not federal.

n We also found the DNC video wrongly accuses Romney of reversing his positions on the minimum wage, stem-cell research, don't ask don't tell, and whether he hired illegal immigrants.

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