It was heartening that Mitt Romney's habitual dishonesty generated far more attention than usual this week, but the scrutiny doesn't appear to have discouraged the Republican frontrunner, who had an incredibly mendacious week.
Indeed, Jamelle Bouie noted the other day, Romney "is running against policies that haven't happened and an Obama that doesn't exist. Exaggeration is normal in politics, but this goes beyond garden-variety embellishment."
To help drive the point home, take a look at the 11th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity. Unfortunately, it's one of the longest editions to date.
1. Romney argued this week, "There's no question that when [President Obama] ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up."
2. Romney told Fox News, "[President Obama] said that energy prices would skyrocket under his views and he selected three people to help him implement that program: the secretary of energy, the secretary of the interior, and the EPA administrator."
That's not even close to being true.
3. Romney also told Fox News' Bret Baier this week about President Obama, "This is a president [who] simply does not have experience in tough situations."
That's ironic coming from a coddled multi-millionaire from a powerful, wealthy family, but it's also blatantly untrue. Obama has experience leading the nation during a time of multiple ongoing crises. Love him or hate him, the economic crisis, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the strikes on bin Laden and al Qaeda, and the offensive in Libya count as "tough situations" -- tougher than anything Romney has ever seen in his entire life.
4. In reference to Iran, Romney told Fox News, "It's quite clear that the president wants to avoid in any way a discussion about a military option."
It's quite clear Romney's not telling the truth. Obama recently told AIPAC, in a speech Romney heard and critiqued, "I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: A political effort ... a diplomatic ... an economic effort ... and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency."
5. In making the case against the Affordable Care Act, Romney said, "Now we find out from the Congressional Budget Office that [Obama administration officials] underestimated its costs -- multiple trillions of new federal spending is simply not something people can afford."
That's just not what the Congressional Budget Office said.
6. In the same appearance, Romney said his first problem with the health care reform law is the "$500 billion cut in Medicare."
Romney loves this line, but it's simply not true.
7. In his University of Chicago speech, Romney said, Obama administration "bureaucrats" are telling "farmers what their 15-year-old sons and daughters can and can't do on the family farm."
That's plainly false.
8. In the same speech, Romney said, "Under Dodd-Frank, [entrepreneurial pioneers] would have struggled to get loans from their community banks."
Romney has to know that's not true.
9. In the same speech, Romney promised, "Instead of raising taxes, I will cut them."
Well, he'd cut taxes for most folks, but for those working families struggling most, the Romney plan calls for a tax increase.
10. In his victory speech in Illinois after the primary, Romney said, "The government would have banned Thomas Edison's light bulb. Oh, that's right. They just did."
This isn't just a lie; it's a dumb lie.
11. Romney told voters in Maryland, "[O]ne of the things that just broke my heart was watching the president go around the world apologizing for America."
12. Romney told a Wisconsin radio show this morning that Paul Ryan's budget plan "does not balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the elderly."
That's the exact opposite of reality.
13. In the same interview, Romney said the Ryan plan "preserves Medicare."
Actually, it ends Medicare, and replaces it with vouchers.
14. Romney argued in a separate appearance this morning, "The Catholic Church is being told that they have to provide insurance that covers morning after pills, sterilizations, and contraceptives. Despite the fact that these very features violate the conscience of the Catholic Church itself.
He's lying. That's not what the Catholic Church -- or any other house of worship -- is being told at all.
Rachel argued this week that Romney lies "all the time, really easily," adding, "He says things that are not true with unnerving frequency, arguably more than any modern candidate for major office, and there are a lot of creeps among them. Some dishonesty in national American politics is frankly routine. It's too bad, but it's true. Romney-style dishonesty is a sight to behold. It's different. He's bending the curve."
And as this morning's lies help demonstrate, the candidate doesn't even seem to care about being caught. I've never seen anything like it.