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Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Politics | 23 comments

Mitt Romney’s Debate Win: Tainted by Outright (Ahem) Mistruths?

There now seems to be a new qualifier on Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Rommey’s big win over President Barack Obama: pundits are increasingly panning him on substance..and truth.

According to Buzzfeed, the Dems are now going to re-calibrate their strategy on Romney:

President Barack Obama and his aides rapidly reversed their strategic course Thursday morning, shifting the center of their attacks on Mitt Romney back toward the oldest criticisms of the Republican: That he’s a flip-flopper.

Democrats had long been torn over whether to portray Romney as too conservative, or too inconsistent, for the electorate — realizing that the attacks are inconsistent with one another. And since this spring, they seemed to have settled on the former, casting Romney as a conservative whose policies of cutting taxes and spending, and on abortion and other social issues, are too far right for most voters.

Thursday they returned abruptly to the earlier line.

“When I got onto the stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” Obama told a crowd of some 12,000 the morning after the contest. “But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country the last year promising 5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage said he didn’t know anything about that.”

Obama also accused Romney of “danc[ing]” around his positions; he hit him on taxes as well as outsourcing jobs; and claimed that Romney didn’t support teachers.

“The man on stage last night does not want to be held accountabilty for the real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what’s he been saying for the last year,” Obama said, suggesting Romney had switched his positions for political expedience. “And that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the past year.”

Former Secretary of Energy Federico Peña, who introduced Obama, also invoked a Romney aide’s high-profile gaffe on the theme of the candidate’s inconsistency, referring to the Republican as “etch a sketch” during his opening remarks at a chilly morning rally at a Denver park.

The danger for Romney is that if the media picks up this concept after fact checking then “boilerplate” paragraphs in news stories will mention it. Also: he will be prone more than ever to more aggressive questioning by the media if this is a major issue — and no reporter or moderator will want to be called “another Lehrer.”