The EFM Feature
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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.


Comments and Discussion

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17 Responses to Perry’s Latest Ad Grotesquely Misleading

  1. Tim says:

    If Romney was so proud of RomneyCare you would think that he would have left that sentence intact for the paperback. Why did he feel compelled to edit it? Maybe it’s because conservatives don’t want the government involved in their healthcare…whether it be RomneyCare or ObamaCare (which, as you know, Axelrod saysRomneyCare was used as a template for ObamaCare).

    • A Smarter Tim says:

      Romney is proud of the process that he used to get all but 2 legislators, the private sector, health care professionals and even the Heritage Foundation behind this bill. This is a state solution for a state specifi problem. If he was running away from it, he would have done so long before now. Those that want him to flop on this can’t have it both ways ;)

    • Vineyard says:

      Read the statements again. The two are the same. The second sentence from the paperback cuts to the chase so that there is absolutely no confusion on where Romney stands.

    • Jonesy says:

      The editing occurred because the hardcover was written before Obamacare was law & when the “public options” seemed to be the centerpiece of Obama’s proposed program. However, the public option was removed when the bill actually became law, making about a page of what Mitt had written criticizing the public option pointless. As a result, it made sense for Mitt to edit the public option critiques from the new edition. That was the bulk of the eidting. The rest was primarily stylistic or to correct tenses since events in the future of the first edition had occurred in the second.

  2. JediMormon says:

    The hard cover version: “…and it can be done without letting government take over health care.”
    The paperback version: “And it was done without the government taking over health care.”

    Both snippets make the same points: state specific with no federal control. Romney has said all along that the Massachusetts plan was never meant to be applied on a federal level, and that the states should have the authority to decide what’s best for them individually.

    I see no problem whatever with the upgraded wording in the hard cover.

  3. Frozone says:

    Thought experiment of the day:

    Let’s say you want to get someone to actually read the page that contains Romney’s take on MassCare (if 28% still support Perry, many of them are clearly not watching the debates…). Why not make a trivial edit change to the paperback version of your book, manufacture a “controversy”, then start your own whisper campaign. Those that read the entire section will put this quote in context and walk away with the same take that the Luntz group had at the end of the last debate: “Well, that makes sense. No problem there.”

    Could this be brilliant political ploy? Has Team Perry played right into this? The more play this gets, the better it will be for Team Romney. Keep it up!

    • Brandon from NJ says:

      There have been Tea Party factions arguing for years as to claiming to federal healthcare, the problem is, plenty of political pundits blur the distinction between state and federal levels. This comparison is not made, or understood. I would be willing to believe that Romney at least is willing to argue, and include variables that plenty of people probably don’t consider when arguing that it should work at a state level. States can vary in their statistics and demand for health insurance coverage. For instance, being in New Jersey, my Southern neighboring state of Delaware has an incredibly higher per capita of people affected by AIDS, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. This means that there would likely be a cost difference as to how to raise whatever money neccessary to provide coverage in both states, and thus differing systems to implement.

      The important part here is the fact that Romney did contest plenty of the legislation we consider liberal or leftist. Massachusetts legislature and public approval tanked on him for it, but I would rather have a politician who could contest in an arena largely against him, and a man of complex experience, than one who is in a conservative echo chamber. Being someone who lives in a similar region of the United States, I keep arguing to plenty of conservative activists this same important principle, we must find confrontational, candidates who will contest legislature for public office.

  4. Jon says:

    So Charles (Mitchell), do you still respect Governor Perry. I person find it very hard to respect anyone who is as disingenuous (dishonest) as he is. I am of course referring to a previous post of yours. Is there someone that you are afraid of offending?

      • Jon says:

        Hi Tim,

        I don’t agree with you on that point, but if you feel that way about Romney, your best options at this point (IMO) are probably Herman Cain or Ron Paul. I am not sure how either one would fare as President, but I do believe they are honorable men.

        Just curious. Would you vote for Romney if he were the nominee? Or would you vote for Obama? Or would you just sit this one out?

        I am not trying to bait you. I personally cannot stand the lack of civility in most political forums. I like to discuss things rationally. I try to treat others and their opinions with respect, even though I may strongly disagree. Sometimes my own position is solidified, and other times it is challenged. It’s a healthy process overall, as long at the conversation remains civil.

        • Tim says:

          Jon,
          Thanks for the response. I really appreciate it. If any of my previous posts were uncharitable in any way please forgive me.

          Now, I realize we will not come to an agreement on our opinions of Romney but that is ok. I’ve always felt that Romney only made decisions based on what was politically expedient. There are a lot of reasons as to why I feel that way but I won’t get into it since I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.

          In regards to Herman Cain and Ron Paul…I like Cain a lot but I think he hasn’t thought through many of his positions carefully enough. I also do not think he has a lot of experience. I give Ron Paul credit for sticking to his guns but I just disagree with him on too many issues.

          To answer your most important question…if the race is between Obama and Romney I won’t be thrilled. With that said, if I am faced with that choice I will stand behind Romney. I did the same thing in ’08 when I voted for McCain. Obama has just been a terrible President. I wouldn’t have sour grapes and sit out if Romney was the nominee. He might not be my first or second choice for President but he is still better than Obama. With that said, I would like him to stand up for his principles and not change his positions so much. I’m willing to cut slack to people that I disagree with. I would just rather they own up to it and be honest about it. For example, I disagree with Giuliani on many issues but I give him credit for not wavering and trying to pander to me. I feel like it is an insult and that politicians think that I am stupid when they do that to me. Hopefully, that gives you a little insight as to why I have some reservations about Romney.

  5. Hannah Rebekah says:

    I have a great video idea has to do with how Perry is trying to capitalize on his own made up “Romney flip-flops” but he is not the only one who is trying to make this label stick. It looks like the Democrats are gearing up to use this tactic:

    Mitt Romney responds to flip-flopper charge
    USA Today
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/09/mitt-romney-flip-flop-rick-perry-presidential-race-/1
    (excerpt)
    “Before speaking at Saint Anselm College near Manchester, Romney was greeted by New Hampshire Democrats who are collecting flip-flops to mark the former Massachusetts changing positions.”

    I think Romney needs to turn it around When he says that “Obama Isn’t Working” he needs to add, “He has Flopped….time to flip this flopper….Vote Romney.”
    Go through a complete list of all of Obama’s failed (flopped) campaign promises he failed to deliver on as well as his failed programs and policies. He’s nothing but a big “Zero” and isn’t working and nothing but a big flopper. Instead of a fade out between each item on the list make the screen flop hard as a transition.

    Other ideas:

    Bumper Sticker:
    Obama Isn’t Working….He has flopped
    Time to Flip this Flopper….Vote Romney.

    or

    Obama has flopped and we are going to flip this situation.

    or

    When talking about Perry’s “Pinocchio Problem”…and his problem with the truth…stress how again he has flopped and it’s been flipped back on him. Truth matters. His nose keeps getting bigger and he’s tripping all over it. (cartoon graphic of Perry flopping and then a flip over his nose .)

    If repeated enough in this context a whole new definition can be created to “flip-flopper.” Anyway….maybe others can brainstorm with this idea and get some real mileage out of it and make it absolutely great. Doing this can take a negative about Romney and turn it into a positive for him and take the wind out of the others sails.

  6. Jeff Wright says:

    I’m certain this is the only place online where folks are shocked…shocked! to learn that there are actually people in the world who think Mitt Romney is a chronic flip-flopper.

    Did Romney remove: “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country”? There’s a reason he removed it from the book. As Andrea Saul admitted, the political climate changed. And, as usual, so did Mitt.

    Jeff Wright

  7. rawhide says:

    What about the interview with Tim Russert where he said exactly what he is being accused in Perry’s ad of doing (and fairly could be interpreted as doing)?

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