Press Gave Romney A Pass On Using Fabricated Quote, So Other Campaigns Doing Same

Dave Johnson

Apparently the press is not calling the Romney campaign out for using a fabricated quote in their new ad. Seeing this, at least one other campaign has launched an ad that also fabricates a quote.

Got Away With It — So Doubled Down On Deception

The Romney campaign got away with running an ad last November that claimed President Obama had said something he did not say. They were caught using a quote in an ad portraying Obama as saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose,” when Obama had really said (four years previously), “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”

They got away with that, even won the nomination after doing that, so they felt empowered to take it to the next step. They doubled down on the deception. The Romney campaign is running an ad that edits together different pieces of a campaign speech by President Obama, even taking out words, to make it sound as if he said something that he did not say, and then attacks him for it. They edited sentences to change President Obama saying that business owners did not build the roads and bridges that help them be successful, into sounding like he is saying business owners think they’re so smart, but they didn’t build their businesses!

In Deceptive New Romney Ad Is Key Test For Media I asked, “How will America’s news media respond? Will the public be informed that they are being lied to? And if not, what comes next — “photos” of the President robbing a bank?”

Now we know what’s next.

Got Away With It Again — So It Spreads

They got away with that, too, and now at least one other campaign is doing the same thing. The Scott Brown Massachusetts Senate campaign is now using a similarly fabricated quote in an ad, attacking its opponent for “demonizing” business owners based on the fabricated quote.

As you watch the following ad, keep in mind that this is what President Obama actually said:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

In the ad, that is edited to this:

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well it must be cause I was just so smart … cause if you got a business you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”

Look at this Scott Brown for Senate ad, Let America Be America Again, scroll the bar to 1:31:

You business owners think you’re so smart.

Flat-out fabrication, flat-out deceit. And flat-out sure the media won’t call them on it.

This can only get worse, unless the press starts doing its job.

Comments