Hardball | December 12, 2012
>>> welcome back to "hardball." each year the editors and reporters at politifact, the fact checking website run by the tampa bay times , shows their lie of the year. and there was plenty of competition this year, of course. we're going to count down to the winner tonight. we selected a few nominees that got a lot of coverage here on "hardball." the first is that under -- actually that under president obama welfare recipients would get welfare checks without doing anything. the romney campaign turned it into an ad. here's part of it.
>> under obama 's plan you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. they just send you your welfare check. and welfare to work goes back to being welfare.
>> and the winner of politifact's lie of the year is johnathan allen. michael , what do you think of that one? that was welfare you get the check out the work. turns out several republican governors had said we want to change the rules so we get more education to work permanently and it'll be more effective. nothing about welfare without work requirement.
>> yeah. i think it was a couple republican governors. this was a minor thing they wanted waivers from the administration. the administration said they might be willing to give them if they came up with good plans. and the ad -- what was so misleading about the ad was the implication that obama had this plan. the implication was obama had this plan that would undo the welfare from the '90s. they might give waivers to a good plan in the states presented. but there was no sweeping plan. so there was a grain of truth to it but the basic overall message was wildly misleading.
>> let's face it, made the president look like he was in favor of the people who are welfare cheats basically. i want to give them something free, right?
>> of course that would be a great position for him to
>> also separated from clinton, which was smart, i guess. the one that got a lot of mileage out there was mitt romney 's assertion that president obama had gone on an apology tour overseas. romney even included it in his acceptance speech at the republican national convention . let's look at this one.
>> i will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. president obama began his presidency with an apology tour. america, he said, dictated to other nations. no, mr. president, america has freed other nations from dictators.
>> you like if way he gets a little lack ri moes? he gets teary-eyed.
>> no apology. no tour. the only thing that the democrats were saying when they came in, what obama was saying, look, george bush alienated a lot of our friends and enemies. we've got to get bacted states is in a better place, vis-a-vis the rest of the world . nothing like an apology tour. and, by the way, president obama did, in fact, take out some dictators himself.
>> that's the one that strikes me, michael . i think he was setting that up as a predicate. he was going to be one of these american exceptionalists that went around saying we're always right, you're always wrong. get out of the way. i thought it was war talk.
>> yeah, romney 's foreign policy message never made a lot of sense. his message essentially seem today be i'm going to talk tougher. i'm somehow going to twist putin's arm a little bit harder. it was very tonal. there was no they're there. that was a good example of kind of having to cook up this idea that obama was an apologyist and accepting american decline. that's why he was so upset with benghazi.
>> let's look at this. this is an ad by the super pact supporting president obama for being false. it was a devastating but powerful ad that left the impression that mitt romney and bane capital had the responsibility for a woman's death.
>> when milt romney and bane closed the plant, i lost my health care . a short time after that, my wife became ill. i don't know how long she was sick. and i think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew that we couldn't afford the insurance. and then one day, she became ill and then i took her up to the jackson county hospital and admitted her for pneumonia and that's when they found the cancer. by then, it was stage four. there was nothing they could do for her. and she passed away in 22 days. i do not think mitt romney realizes what he's done to anyone. further more, i do not think mitt romney is concerned.
>> over the top , john?
>> i mean, it's a very tragic story. it's easy to feel for this guy. but mitt romney had nothing to do -- certainly had nothing to do with his wife getting cancer. certainly didn't have anything to do with her dying. this is one of those super pacts democrats were so angry about new money coming in. and then they go and raise money and come out with an ad like this. but i think if it was run on the other side saying obama killed people with his health care plan.
>> you don't have the president coming out saying i paid for this ad because he didn't even look at it. anyway, the lie of the year comes from the romney campaign saying president obama was responsible for jobs, cheep jobs, being sent over to china. something that never happened. here's parts of it. let's listen.
>> obama took gm and kries ler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler who were going to build jeeps in china. mitt romney will fight for every american job.
>> of course, that's the jeep ad, michael crowley . sometimes these guys get caught in realtime because the governor of the state and everybody said didn't happen.
>> right. well, chris, this is one of those wonderful examples where something can be factually accurate and still a complete lie. in other words, the language in that ad i believe stands up. that chrysler was going to begin making jeeps in china.
>> for chinese.
>> right. right. it made perfect sense. a lot of auto-companies do this. obviously, that's the clear implication of the ad. so the fundamental message is a lie. they just covered thems enough with the language. maybe they thought they wouldn't get called out on it. i think they were desperate to win ohio. maybe it was a net loss.
>> i think it's one of those things like voter suppression . whiplash against it. thank you so much, michael . thank you, jonathan. same with you. when we return, let me finish with the ultimate triumph this year of, believe it or