If Romney Ads Always Just Told the Truth
The 1990 movie "Crazy People" stars Dudley Moore as an ad executive who suffers a nervous breakdown and starts writing ads based on honesty about what the products are really about.
Ads like: "Metamucil: It Helps You Go to the Toilet. If You Don't Use It, You'll Get Cancer and Die." And "Jaguar: For Men Who'd Like [sex] From Beautiful Women They Hardly Know."
After his bosses have Moore's character committed to an insane asylum, the ads accidentally get released to the public and become runaway hits. The bosses, after finding out that they can't replicate Moore's success, turn to him and his fellow inmates to create ads for the new "honesty in advertising" craze.
I think about that movie a lot when watching political ads. I wonder what would happen if "honesty in advertising" took hold in the Romney campaign:
VOICEOVER: Mitt Romney. Some liberals call him a flip-flopper. He was for a path to citizenship for illegals, then he was against it. He opposed amendments to define marriage as between one man and one woman, then supported them. He supported a universal mandate for people to buy health insurance, then called it socialism. He said he was a moderate "through and through," and now he says he's "severely conservative."
ROMNEY: "I'm not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was."
VOICEOVER: But there's one thing Mitt Romney is consistent about and always has been. He's a Republican. Barack Obama isn't a Republican. So there.
BANNER: Mitt Romney. Vote for him. Because he's the Republican.
ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approved this message. At least for now.
Or how about this one:
VOICEOVER: Some liberals say Mitt Romney has a problem with the truth. He's claimed that Barack Obama didn't say it was unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and that military options were still on the table.
OBAMA: "When I say we're not taking any option off the table, we mean it. ... I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."
VOICEOVER: He's claimed that his position on the auto industry bailout was "exactly what President Obama followed." But in 2009, he wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times urging lawmakers to "let Detroit go bankrupt."
VISUAL: Picture of newspaper headline: "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt by Mitt Romney."
VOICEOVER: He claimed that Barack Obama never mentioned the deficit or the debt in the State of the Union Address when he mentioned it six times.
VISUAL: Clips of President Obama talking about the deficit and the debt in his Jan. 24, 2012, State of the Union Speech. Fade to the Politifact website's "Pants on Fire" symbol.
VOICEOVER: But there's one thing you can trust about Mitt Romney: He, you know, looks like you. And Barack Obama is ... well, you know.
BANNER: Mitt Romney. Vote for him. He may be a liar, but he's not ... well, you know.
ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve of this message. If you don't, then you're just calling everyone racist who doesn't agree with you.
VOICEOVER: Some liberals, like the ones who write The Wall Street Journal's "Market Watch," say that Massachusetts under Mitt Romney was 47th in the nation in job creation. That during his tenure, Massachusetts' job growth was at 0.9 percent, far behind the national average of more than 5 percent. Some other liberals have said that Romney's top economic adviser has said that outsourcing American jobs to other countries is a "good thing." Meanwhile, under President Obama, we've had two years of positive job growth after suffering massive losses under the last Republican president. Liberals say these things, and ... well, yeah, they're true. But you should ignore all that and vote for Mitt Romney anyway, because he knows how to create jobs. Because he says he does.
BANNER: Mitt Romney. Never mind the facts. He'll create jobs this time. Really.
This is, after all, the essence of the messages I keep hearing from so-called conservatives turned born-again Romneyites: "Yeah, we don't really like him, but he's not Obama." Why not be up front about it?
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes and practices law in Carthage. Contact him at email@example.com.
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