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Mitt bashes Santorum in advance of Tuesday votes

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Below, from the Romney campaign...


"As is typical for Washington politicians, Rick Santorum has a complicated relationship with the truth. During this campaign, he has resorted to telling frequent and absurd falsehoods about Governor Romney's record. Senator Santorum can't seem to get his facts straight. If Americans can't trust him to tell the truth on the campaign trail, how would they trust him as president?" -Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

Santorum's Exaggerations And False Statements About Governor Romney

Senator Santorum Has Previously Called Himself "Often Wrong, But Never In Doubt":

Santorum, Admitting What Others Know: "Often Wrong, But Never In Doubt." "'Often wrong,' [Santorum] called himself in one column. 'But never in doubt.'" (David A. Fahrenthold, "Rick Santorum's Inquirer Columns Offer A Window Into The Candidate's Mind," The Washington Post, 2/22/12)

Santorum Frequently Attacks Governor Romney With Claims That Have Been Utterly Debunked By The Washington Post's "Fact Checker":

Santorum Falsely Accuses Governor Romney On Federal Insurance Mandates. "Santorum went on the offensive Thursday night against his rival Mitt Romney, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of 'deliberately' misrepresenting his record on health care ... 'That he never advocated for an individual mandate, that government at the federal level require people to buy insurance, and now we find on several occasions, just in the past week, article after article, interview after interview, where Governor Romney did just that in 2009.'" (Lucy Madison, "Santorum: Romney 'Deliberately' Misrepresenting Health Care Record,", 3/9/12)

The Washington Post: "Romney Has Been Consistent In Saying That He Would Apply A State-Based Approach To Health Care ... He Has Never Advocated Or Supported A Federal Mandate." "Romney has been consistent in saying that he would apply a state-based approach to health care. He has said the individual mandate worked well for Massachusetts, he may have even predicted that most other states would eventually adopt it, but he has never advocated or supported a federal mandate - as contained in the president's law. This alone would earn the DNC at least three Pinocchios, but we were also disturbed by the manipulative editing in this ad. There is no excuse for the DNC to simply ignore, in the same 2008 debate, Romney's firm reaffirmation that he preferred a federalist approach." (Glenn Kessler, "Mitt Romney And The Individual Mandate: A Highly Misleading DNC Ad," The Washington Post, 3/12/12)

Santorum Has A History Of Making Gross Exaggerations And Outright Untrue Statements About Governor Romney's Effort To Reform Health Care In Massachusetts: Senator Santorum's Claim That Governor Romney Instituted A "Government-Run Health Care System" Is "Not True." "Santorum wrong on 'government-run' health care: Santorum called [Romney's health care] law 'a government-run health care system.' That's not true." ("South Carolina Smackdown,", 1/20/12)

PolitiFact: "We Rate Santorum's Claim Mostly False." "Santorum called Romney's health law 'a top-down, government-run health care system.' ... We rate Santorum's claim Mostly False." (Molly Moorhead, "Rick Santorum Calls Massachusetts Health Law Top-Down And Government-Run,", 1/27/12)

The Washington Post Found "No Proof" Of Senator Santorum's False Attacks On Health Care Costs. "Santorum suggested that Romney's reform law exacerbated the problem of sick people missing out on care because of high costs. He's only right to the extent that any amount of unmet need poses a problem. But the fact remains that Massachusetts has shown improvement in this area, at least according to the latest statistics we could find. We found no proof of the candidate's one-in-four claim." (Josh Hicks, "Rick Santorum's Claims About Massachusetts Health Reforms," The Washington Post, 1/30/12) Declared That Senator Santorum Was "Wrong" When He Repeated Discredited Attacks On Governor Romney's Book. "In a Republican presidential debate on Oct. 11, 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry attacked Romney saying that in his book No Apology, Romney called the Massachusetts health care reform he enacted a model for the nation and said that he deleted the passage from the paperback version. During an Oct. 18 debate in Las Vegas, it was Rick Santorum on the attack. 'It was in your book that it should be for everybody,' the former Pennsylvania senator told Romney. 'You took it out of your book,' he added." (Molly Moorhead, "Rick Santorum Has It Wrong On Mitt Romney's Book,", 10/18/11) Found Senator Santorum's Claims On Insurance Premiums In Massachusetts Were False. "Santorum wrong on premium costs: Santorum claimed Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the country, 27 percent more than average. Neither claim is true." ("South Carolina Smackdown,", 1/20/12) Senator Santorum "Gave A Misleading View Of The [Health Care] Law's Impact On Waiting Times To See Doctors." "Santorum also gave a misleading view of the law's impact on waiting times to see doctors ... Those numbers come from reports by the Massachusetts Medical Society, which said in 2009 that the average wait time in the state for both family medicine and internal medicine was 44 days. But the group has been lamenting long wait times and doctor shortages for many years, since before the law was enacted ... The medical society said that 'primary care shortages continue in Massachusetts, but they predate health reform by many years, and mirror shortages in many other areas of the country.' ... It's hard to draw firm conclusions on the law's impact." ("South Carolina Smackdown,", 1/20/12)

Santorum's Claim That Governor Romney Supports Cap-And-Trade Was Rated "False":

PolitiFact: "When Asked For Evidence Of Romney's Support For Cap And Trade, The Santorum Campaign Failed To Produce Any. We Rate The Claim False." "When he could have signed it into law, he declined. And more recently, Romney has repeatedly said he's opposed to it. And when asked for evidence of Romney's support for cap and trade, the Santorum campaign failed to produce any. We rate the claim False." (, 2/14/12)

Santorum Claimed Romney's New Hampshire Primary Victory Was Due To Crossover Votes, But Romney Crushed The Field Among Self-Identified Republicans:

Santorum Made A Confusing Statement That Seemed Intended To Accuse Romney Of Winning New Hampshire Because Of Independent And Democratic Voters. "POLITICO's Juana Summers reports from a ropeline in Perrysburg, Ohio with Rick Santorum, about Mitt Romney's complaints that Democrats are flooding the outcome in Michigan: 'If I appeal as a conservative to conservative Democrats, that's kidnapping the process? Did you ask him whether the 53 percent of the people in New Hampshire who voted that weren't Republicans, was that kidnapping the process? He didn't seem to complain about it then.'" (Politico, 2/28/12)

Romney Beat Santorum By A 4-1 Margin Among Republicans In New Hampshire. Governor Romney far outpaced the field among Republicans in the New Hampshire primary, earning the support of 49% of self-identified Republicans compared with 13% for Santorum. (, 1/10/12)

Romney Earned Record-Setting Republican Support. "Romney's 49 percent is the highest mark among self-identified Republicans for any presidential candidate since New Hampshire moved its primary forward in the calendar." (The Washington Post, 1/13/12)

Last Month, Santorum Claimed His Campaign's Overtly Negative Robocall To Michigan Democrats Was, In Fact, A "Positive" Call:

Santorum: "It's A Very Positive Robocall." "The former Pennsylvania senator explained that his team was simply 'calling Democrats who are eligible to vote for here to vote for us, encouraging people to vote for us because we talk about our manufacturing plan and what we're going to do to create jobs,' adding, 'It's a very positive robocall.'" (MJ Lee, "Mitt Romney Rips Rick Santorum's 'Dirty Trick' Robocalls," Politico, 2/28/12)

The Truth: The Call "Sounded Like It Could Have Come From A Union Targeting Romney." "It's a controversial tactic. Bill Ballenger, a longtime Michigan politico and the editor of Inside Michigan Politics, spoke with TPM about the call earlier in the day. He said the call piqued his interest because it sounded like it could have come from a union targeting Romney ahead of the Feb. 28 primary. The call focuses on Romney's opposition to the auto bailout and calls on Democrats to vote for Santorum Tuesday because of it." (Talking Points Memo, 2/27/12)

Santorum's Allies Made Up An Untrue Claim That Romney Left His State "$1 Billion In Debt":

PolitiFact: Santorum's Allies Are "Inaccurate Or Misleading In Several Ways ... We Rate The Claim False." "An ad sponsored by the Red White and Blue Fund -- a pro-Rick Santorum super PAC -- attacks former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over his record of fiscal stewardship while in office. The ad says that Romney 'left Massachusetts $1 billion in debt.' ... That is inaccurate or misleading in several ways. The Red, White and Blue fund cherry-picks the highest number from a range of estimates. Also, it was not a 'debt.' It was just one projected shortfall for the upcoming year - and one that ultimately didn't materialize. ... We rate the claim False." (PolitiFact, 3/2/12)


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 12, 2012 2:43 PM.

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