Rick Perry has a new attack ad on Gov. Romney, accusing him of deleting key sentences the text of his book “No Apology” between the 2010 hard cover edition and the 2011 paperback. He claims Gov. Romney is trying to hide the fact that he used to advocate for an Obamacare-like federal fix-all, based on his Massachusetts plan. However, the Washington Post did a fact check on the ad and determined that someone is not telling the truth. Who earned their “three Pinocchio” award for deception?
The key sentence that Perry focuses on in his ad is this one, which is in a chapter on Romney’s successful drive to bring universal health care to his state: “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care.” (Page 177.)
In the paperback, the sentence is simply this: “And it was done without the government taking over health care.”(Page 192.)
Now readers should always be suspicious when a politician clips little snippets of a quote and blows them up into an ad. For instance, what is in the paragraph just above this sentence, unchanged in both editions of the book? You will find these two sentences (which can actually be spotted in the Perry ad, if you look quickly enough):
“My own preference would be to let each state fashion its own program to meet the distinct needs of its citizens. States could follow the Massachusetts model if they choose, or they could develop plans of their own.”
In other words, Perry is simply making up the claim that Romney advocated his health-care plan as a model for the rest of the country — and that he deleted words praising it. Perry’s claim is directly contradicted on the very page from which he draws his gotcha quote. (You can see this clearly if you click on this PDF of Pages 176-177, courtesy of our friends at PolitiFact.)
There’s more to the article, which nicely links to several media appearances showing that Gov. Romney has consistently explained Massachusetts health reform as state-specific and not a federal solution.
In the “Battle of the Books,” Romney wins.