On the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham Show today, Gov. Mitt Romney once again told a tall tale about what happened at the Values Voters Summit. Audio here, the relevant part is about 7 minutes in. Ingraham asks Romney if he expects the press or anyone else to bring up his religion in an “underhanded” way.
ROMNEY: I know there are some people who make their decision based upon someone’s religion. And I’m not gonna change that, it’s a free country….But overwhelmingly in our country, the people who run for office have eschewed anything of that nature. And, you know, I think Gov. Perry was wrong to have as an introducer someone who said “Look, this guy you should vote for because he’s one of us and that guy Romney should be disqualified because he’s not.” And when that gets said and then when after that, Gov. Perry said “Hey, you know, that guy hit the ball out of the park,” the idea that we’re somehow, as political candidates, going to encourage the American people to make our selection based upon religion, that’s an idea that is entirely foreign to a nation which was founded with religious tolerance, religious plurality, religious respect. I think that’s the wrong direction for the country and not within our nation’s heritage.
Romney would have a point, if that’s how things happened. But it isn’t and by now he either knows that, or he should. At best, Romney is ill-informed, and at worst, he’s lying. We’re several days past the actual event, and Romney has used his fantasy version of the event twice now, so the possibility that he’s ill-informed is diminishing rapidly. He seems to be rejecting reality and substituting his own. But note what else he’s doing.
Romney is playing the victim card hard, while he is also trying to push Perry out of the mainstream of politics entirely — for something Perry didn’t say, wasn’t said where he could have heard it, and has repudiated. Romney’s behavior here is repugnant and he shouldn’t get away with it. Ingraham owed it to her listeners to deliver the facts on this, and failed.