Let's review the timeline, shall we? After the Obama campaign pioneered a nasty and non-factual attack linking Mitt Romney to the death of a cancer-stricken woman, the president's officially-endorsed SuperPAC (operated by a former White House spokesman) repeated the transcendently false story in a television ad. The spot is running in swing-states as part of a $20 million buy. Despite universal criticism from media outlets and fact-checkers, the Obama campaign refused to condemn the hit, as numerous surrogates denied knowledge of -- and ducked responsibility for -- the smear. Chief among the 'don't-blame-us' crowd was Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter, who told CNN that she didn't know any specifics about the family tragedy featured in the ad. She lied. It soon emerged that she'd hosted an official campaign conference call with the woman's husband, Joe Soptic, in May -- during which he relayed the account of his wife's passing. Audio of the call, complete with Cutter thanking Soptic for sharing his story, provided open-and-shut evidence of Cutter's falsehood. On ABC News' This Week yesterday morning, host Jake Tapper confronted Cutter on this -- shall we say -- honesty disconnect:
The Romney campaign simply clipped together Cutter's chuckling "who me?" routine with the audio of the call she hosted on May 14th. The truth is laid out plainly for all to see, yet Cutter brazenly chooses to deny, deny, deny. Rather than sheepishly apologize -- or at least concoct some sort of follow-up spin to explain the previous misstatement -- she stares into the camera, laughs, and repeats the exact same story. She behaves as if the evidence with which she's being called out doesn't exist. It's extraordinary to watch; I'm not sure what else to call this woman other than a liar. George Will may not have been too far off with his use of the word "sociopathic." Though Cutter clearly hasn't updated her mendacious talking points on the 'cancer' ad, she has hit the refresh button on Medicare. Last week she hailed Obama's $716 Billion in Medicare cuts as an "achievement," even as David Axelrod called the charge a Republican "lie." (The president himself has confirmed the cuts on national television). Cutter has re-calibrated her version of the truth to echo Axe's distortion. Let's play Cutter vs. Cutter:
I'll thoroughly address the substance of the Obama campaign's incorrect Medicare assertions (ie, these aren't cuts, and they don't affect current seniors) in an upcoming post. In the meantime, I hope Team Obama keeps trotting Ms. Cutter out on television to speak on Obama's behalf. She's sneeringly unlikable, prone to big mistakes, and sloppy with her lies. I suppose she represents her campaign rather well, actually.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography