Mitt Romney spent his first full week back from Europe attacking President Obama for policies he has supported in the past.
On Tuesday, the campaign accused Obama of gutting welfare, even though the administration had merely granted governors the kind of flexibility Romney himself had requested in 2005. On Thursday, Romney ignored his own record of mandating all health organizations in Massachusetts to offer women the morning after pill and portrayed an Obamacare measure that requires insurers to offer women birth control as a war on religion. And on Friday, the campaign capped off the week by incredulously arguing that Obama had “already taken over” the energy industry.
This latest distortion touts a soundbite from Obama’s campaign speech about the auto industry turnaround, falsely suggesting that the president seeks to bail out every industry with government funds. In a press release, Romney claimed that Obama has already started the process with the energy sector.
But the idea of a “government takeover” of energy is ridiculous. The reality is that domestic oil production has experienced a renaissance, reaching it’s highest level since 2003 under Obama as imports have declined to under 50 percent. The largest oil companies also recorded record profits last year. The coal layoffs and shuttered plants Romney points to can be blamed on economic forces, not regulations, as utilities have moved toward attractive investments in cheap natural gas. And the campaign points to solar loans and wind energy tax credits as evidence of “energy takeover,” although Romney himself endorses continued $4 billion in annual subsidies for the oil industry.
As governor, Romney supported cap and trade, and stricter regulations on coal pollution “that kills people.” He also created a multi-million-dollar green energy fund in his home state where the solar industry now “flourishes.”
But now that he’s running for president, Romney is engaging in dishonest attacks, teasing, ‘I know you are, but what am I?‘