Guy Benson

As well he should.  Independent fact-checkers have rendered multiple verdicts on the subjects of Bain, Romney and outsourcing, and Obama keeps lying, unfazed.  As Chicago unleashes yet another negative ad premised on repeatedly discredited claims, Boston is firing back with a new spot of its own:
 


This isn't a bad offering, but I think it only grazes the critical point: Obama's ads aren't just relentlessly negative -- they're knowingly and stubbornly factually inaccurate.  (David Brooks touches on this briefly during his portion of the ad).  Team Obama has earned a conga line of 'Pinocchios' for "misleading, unfair and untrue" commercials based on "no evidence."  They've doubled and tripled down on their dishonesty, yet Democrats have the gall to demand that Romney quit "whining" about being baselessly slandered as either a felon or a liar:
 

"No, we won't be apologizing," Obama said in an interview with a Virginia television station WAVY. "Mr. Romney claims that he's Mr. Fix-it for the economy because of his business experience. And so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know, well what exactly was that business experience?" Obama said. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's former chief of staff, was more succinct. "Stop whining," Emmanuel said on ABC's "This Week" program. "If you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card to the White House, then defend what happened at Bain Capital."


No one is arguing that Romney's record at Bain is off limits.  Indeed, Bill Clinton has lauded Romney for his "sterling" private sector career.  What the Obama campaign is trying to do is cherry pick a few Bain flops that occurred after Romney left and attribute them to him.  That does not provide voters with any idea of what the Republican's business experience entails.  It provides them with false information that distorts Romney's record.  Yes, Romney should "defend what happened at Bain Capital" -- when he ran it.  Obama's attacks make no such distinctions, leading to the poor reviews from fact-checkers.  Also, I seem to recall Democrats whining endlessly when John Kerry's military colleagues truthfully called out their former compadre for his record and slanderous attacks on US troops.  The Left even turned it into a pejorative verb: "Swiftboating," a campaign of which CNN now suggests Obama is mounting against Romney:
 

FOREMAN: The White House clearly wants to portray Mitt Romney's time at the helm of Bain Capital as a weak spot. In ad after ad, Democrats are suggesting Romney is a fat cat job outsourcer, an opportunistic financial predator, and a leader's out of touch with the working class. Never mind that many of those claims appear to be backed with little or no evidence.


In a report we highlighted on Friday, John King revealed that four separate sources at Bain -- including three Democrats -- have confirmed what Romney has said (and what all the fact-checkers have found):
 


 

This comes in addition to the taxpayer-funded inquiry into this exact subject that Massachusetts Democrats convened in 2002.  That commission's conclusion?  Romney left Bain in February 1999, just like he's asserted for more than a decade:
 

The Obama campaign is blowing smoke here.We realize that Bauer gets to the word “criminal” by mentioning “investigation,” but that distinction might be lost on most listeners.  Meanwhile, the weight of evidence suggests that Romney did in fact end active management of Bain in 1999. He stated that in a federal disclosure form he signed, under threat of criminal penalties. He said he was a “former employee” in a state disclosure form. A state commission concluded 10 years ago that he did, indeed, leave Bain in 1999.

 
The good news for Romney is that he's telling the truth and his opponents are not.  To their credit, many in the mainstream media seem to be reporting that fact relatively fairly.  The bad news is that other partisan operatives posing as journalists are working overtime to conceal the facts.  Take, for instance, Jim Kuhnhenn of the Associated Press, whose story on this controversy is a luminous beacon of journalistic malpractice:

An unrelenting President Barack Obama jabbed at Mitt Romney's record with a private equity firm in an ad Saturday that aimed to keep his rival on the defensive just as the Republican challenger's campaign hoped to take advantage of poor economic data to gain an edge on the incumbent. Obama met Romney's plea for an apology for the attacks with a mocking ad that charged that the firm shipped American jobs to China and Mexico, that Romney has personal wealth in investments in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and that as Massachusetts governor, he sent state jobs to India. "Mitt Romney's not the solution. He's the problem," the ads says as Romney is heard singing "America the Beautiful."

Pressure was building on Romney from within his own party to be more forthcoming with his finances, a day after he declared he would not release past income tax returns beyond his 2010 tax records and, before the November election, his 2011 taxes...A soaked Obama, campaigning in a downpour in closely contested Virginia, hewed to his middle class-centered pitch in remarks in Glen Allen, which lies in the district represented by one of his top Republican nemeses, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Obama didn't dwell on Romney's business record, leaving the sharpest attacks to his campaign and the new television commercial. Still he played up the charge that Romney and the private equity firm he founded in 1984, Bain Capital, sent jobs overseas.  The intensifying attacks and the calls for greater openness came amid stepped up attention to discrepancies between Securities and Exchange Commission filings and Romney's recollection of his role at Boston-based Bain Capital.

At stake is Romney's chief contention that as a former businessman, he has the experience to create jobs and spur a struggling economy. The Obama campaign has countered that Romney ran a firm that pioneered the practice of sending American jobs out of the country and that his background is one of an investor...Romney insists that he stepped down from his private equity firm years earlier than federal records indicate...And he demanded an apology from Obama for the attacks. "This is simply beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States," Romney told ABC. Backhanding the request, the Obama campaign responded with a Web video that shows Romney criticizing Obama in speeches and interviews.


Nowhere in the entire 1,300 word story did Kuhnhenn mention that Romney was demanding an apology for Obama's campaign suggesting that he might be a felon, backed up by zero evidence.  Nor did Kuhnhenn choose to mention that fact-checkers have sided with Romney over and over again on these points, opting instead to cast the dispute as a typical he-said-she-said partisan squabble.  (Obama says this, Romney insists that.  Oh well, who's to say what the truth is, really?)  The net effect is Obama coming off as the valiant actor, bravely speaking truth in the pouring rain while "backhanding" Romney's sniveling and hazy requests for an apology.  It's horrible, shoddy journalism, but it furthers the goal of re-electing Barack Obama.  Parting thought: If the Romney campaign ran three ads based on previously-debunked lies, and started wondering aloud if Obama were a felon, would Democrats and their media allies countenance those attacks with a "no whining and carry on" attitude?  Or would the indignant race-card machine get fired up hotter than ever?  Hmm, what an impossible riddle.


UPDATE - Both the New York Times ("indeed, no evidence has yet emerged that Mr. Romney exercised his powers at Bain after February 1999 or directed the funds’ investments after he left") and the patron saint of liberal journalism, Bob Woodward ("demonstrated pretty conclusively that Romney didn't have his fingerprints on this particular period"), have sided with Romney on the facts.  Undeterred, DWS is repeating the "felony" line.


UPDATE II - "Falsehood and dishonesty:"


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography