Gingrich Camp: Romney a 'Pavlovian' Liar

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012 05:10 PM

By Martin Gould

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Mitt Romney resorts to lying every time he is cornered, two former congressmen who support his rival, Newt Gingrich, claim in a letter sent to influential newspapers in Super Tuesday states.

Former Reps. Bob Walker and J.C. Watts asked the papers to bear in mind 18 instances in which either Romney or his super PAC, Restore Our Future, have spouted what they call “falsehoods.”

“Governor Romney’s negative attack mentality, unfortunately, is a reflection of his own persona,” Watts and Walker say in the letter sent to leading newspapers in Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington state. All have primaries next Tuesday except Washington, which holds caucuses on Saturday.

“If you closely examine the record you will see that we are not discussing here lapses of memory. We are saying that the evidence is clear that Governor Romney has a near-Pavlovian reflex of lapsing into falsehoods in order to rearrange reality to his liking.

“The record shows that when publicly challenged or at a loss for an answer, Governor Romney shows a deeply engrained habit of mendacity.”

Walker, a 10-term congressman from Pennsylvania, is Gingrich’s national campaign chairman. Watts, who served four terms from Oklahoma, is a senior adviser. Both were in the House while Gingrich was speaker.

Walker told Newsmax that voters should be wary of voting for Romney because “how you campaign tends to be how you govern.”

“The public should be concerned about a candidate who is willing to engage in a sustained and systemic campaign of mendacity.”

Walker said the amount of money spent and lies told by the Romney campaign “undermines the entire electoral process.”

But he said he does not believe the former Massachusetts governor will change his ways. “Every time he speaks policy, such as his economic speech in Detroit this week, it turns into a disaster. The only thing his campaign can rely on is what works, and clearly that means his campaign is willing to be very destructive in the primary process to gain the nomination.”

But Walker said that bodes ill for the fall campaign against President Barack Obama if Romney is successful, because he feels Romney cannot sustain such negativity.

In their letter, Watts and Walker make it clear they are not asking the papers to endorse Gingrich but want to point out that Romney’s tactics are turning off voters. They point out that in Iowa and each of the three states that Romney has won, voter turnout has been down by double-digit percentages compared to 2008, while in South Carolina, which Gingrich won, turnout was up by more than 20 percent.

Among the “falsehoods” that the two congressmen say Romney has told include five from one debate, held in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 26. They are:

• He has never voted Democrat when he could have voted Republican
• All of his investments have been tied up in blind trusts for the past decade
• He hadn’t seen an anti-Gingrich attack ad, when he himself approved the message
• Half of those covered by his healthcare plan in Massachusetts paid for it themselves
• 92 percent of people in Massachusetts already had insurance before the law was passed

Other times, the two say, Romney lies involved his claim that his company Bain Capital did no work for the government; that Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts were given a conscience clause so they didn’t have to provide the morning-after pill; that Massachusetts Citizens for Life sent him a letter describing him as having a solid pro-life record; and that he had never seen one of his own super PAC ads – despite quoting it word-for-word.

Nine more alleged lies come from his super PAC. Walker told Newsmax that Romney could easily have denounced those ads but chose not to. In their letter, Watts and Walker point out the massive cash advantage Romney has over their candidate, and the estimated $20 million-plus that Romney spent on anti-Gingrich ads.

“These advertisements and a spending advantage of 5-1 are widely credited with having eliminated wide Gingrich leads both in Iowa and Florida,” the former congressmen write.

And they warned the papers in the five states, “As you are probably also aware the Romney forces are purchasing massive amounts of advertising time in your own state to continue their false attacks.”

Watts and Walker end their letter with an appeal to editorial writers and publishers: “The purpose of this letter is to ask you to look at the facts we include and if you agree about the threat they pose to the integrity of the electoral process we ask that you use the mighty voice of America’s newspapers to warn voters about Governor Romney’s attempt to use money and mendacity to secure the Republican nomination.

“We ask you to speak out against a candidate with a great sense of entitlement and very little sense of accountability. We ask you to protest a candidacy and a campaign without a conscience. We ask you to censure and thwart a way of politics that if left unchallenged could corrupt our electoral process and democratic system for a generation.”



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