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If you're a senior Romney adviser....and Fox anchors start challenging your candidate's truthfulness....well...either your candidate hasn't been telling the truth, or.....telling the truth has very little significance in your candidate's campaign.
Ed Gillespie answering Romney-tax-plan questions from Fox's Chris Wallace yesterday....
GILLESPIE: Six different studies have said this is entirely doable.
WALLACE: Those are very questionable. Some of them are blogs, some of them are from AEI, an independent group.
GILLESPIE: These are very credible sources.
WALLACE: One of them is a blog from a guy who was a top adviser for George W. Bush. These are hardly non-partisan studies.
GILLESPIE: Look Chris these AEI and other studies are very credible sources of analysis
Background....at the first presidential debate, one of the first topics discussed was the R&R tax plan which proposes to reduce income tax rates by 20% across the board, be revenue neutral, not increase the deficit and not raise taxes on middle class Americans. In other words, fiction.
When challenged by President Obama, who cited the Tax Policy Center study which said the arithmetic didn't add up....Mitt responded...
"There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it's completely wrong."
It is those "six" studies which Chris Wallace raised yesterday as questionably partisan. Here's why:
Two of the six studies are Wall Street Journal editorials that repeat familiar Republican talking points without crunching any numbers. Wallace pointed out a third study from former Bush adviser Harvey Rosen, which assumes Romney’s plan would generate enough economic growth to pay for the revenue loss, the same tax logic used by George W. Bush. Yet another one of the six studies is a white paper from the Romney campaign itself. Even an AEI tax expert suggested Romney’s math wouldn’t work, saying “he’s going to need to cut rates significantly less than 20 percent if he wants to honor his other goals.”
Even Fox's Chris Wallace was willing to state that those "six studies" were "hardly non-partisan studies." Because they're not, and, of course, R&R, and Ed Gillespie, know that. But, you see, it doesn't matter. Truth about conflict-of-interest studies, truth about....well...anything....Does. Not. Matter. Not to the R&R campaign.
Perception is all that matters.
That is why Ed Gillespie can point to two Wall Street Journal editorials which don't crunch any numbers, one "study" from an ex-Bushie, one from the Romney campaign itself, ....and claim, without his nose growing, that those "studies" are from "very credible sources."
Sure, those studies are credible to conservative partisans. And to Gillespie, that's all that matters.
That's how deceptive the R&R campaign has been. When Gillespie says that those very partisan studies are actually "very credible sources"....what he actually means is that they are very credible sources for Republican partisans. Not for anyone who is not a Republican partisan....mind you....but who cares about any of that? Reality is now in the eye of the beholder.
This small example, out of dozens, is part and parcel of what I've been sharing lately here on the blog. Mitt Romney will say anything if he thinks it will help him attain the presidency.
Yes, there is spin....and there's hyperbole....and there's convenient omission of contrary evidence. And then there's lying and deceptive answers.
Chris Wallace called Romney's campaign out for just such deception yesterday. Good for him.