Sunday talk shows, part 1. The misstatements continue

Posted on August 19, 2012 by


“Meet the Press” featured, among others, the governors of Virginia and Maryland. A discussion of Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts led to a remark about his tax returns:

GOV.  MARTIN O’MALLEY D-MD: (pictured first) Not unlawful, but it is tax avoidance.  At a time when our country needs everyone’s help to accelerate our nation’s recovery he’s hiding his money in offshore accounts and betting against the future of the United States.  Hardly the credentials of a person that we should elect to lead forward.
GREGORY:  Governor McDonnell, quick response on that.
(PLEASE NOTE: The quotes come from the first quick transcript of “Meet the Press” and may not be completely accurate. We will correct any errors brought to our attention.)

GOV. BOB MCDONNELL, R-VA: (2nd photo) That– that’s just flat wrong, Martin.  I mean this is the same reckless and slanderous remarks that Harry Reid said (Romney not paying taxes for 10 years) in– a couple of weeks ago.  And that’s, you know, this is not what the American people care about.  This is below their dignity.  This is about how do we get the greatest country on earth out of debt and back to work?  And Obama’s just flat failed.  

Shaky remarks by both men. O’Malley’s comment that Romney is  betting against America is an overstatement, apparently meant to be a clever phrase.  There is no betting going on, regardless of how appropriate or inappropriate you think Romney’s actions were. As we’ve said, we would love for the loose and misleading words to be eliminated.

McDonnell says the tax return issue is not what people care about.  While it may not hold the weight of the economy or Medicare, many have said they care.

The Virginia governor refers to both Reid and O’Malley’s criticism as “slanderous.” Here’s a dictionary definition of slanderous: 

1. Law- Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person’s reputation.
2. A false and malicious statement or report about someone.

It may be malicious, but we don’t know with certainty that it’s false. It takes a while to determine if it hurts someone’s reputation and that determination is often made by a court.

McDonnell also didn’t answer  Gregory’s question about the Romney Medicare plan forcing seniors to pay more in the private market. He also sidestepped Gregory’s comment that the Ryan budget takes more than 750 billion from Medicare, just as the President’s health law does.

Gregory also rebutted O’Malley’s assertion that the CBO has estimated that our nation would spend between $5,900 and $8,000 less per senior under the Romney plan.

The host said those numbers came from the CBO scoring of the Ryan budget  which may not be exactly Romney’s plan when it’s finalized.

GOV. O’MALLEY:  Actually Governor Romney said that there’s really very little difference.
GREGORY:  He did say there’s very little difference.  Though, let me have Governor McDonnell respond to that point.  The argument is if you put seniors in a position where they’re exposed to the vagaries of the private market they’re going to have to pay more, again we’re not talking about current seniors or current beneficiaries, but down the line, that’s what folks would be forced to do.

Both gentlemen strayed from the truth, still another example of the embarrassment this Congress is to the nation.