Snap Fact #294
President Obama Has Been Thoroughly Vetted while Governor Romney Hides Under a Shroud of Mystery – Part 1

Anyone who does not know who Barack Obama is simply hasn’t been paying attention. After living in a fish bowl under the scrutiny of a contentious primary with Hillary Clinton, a rough and tumble campaign against John McCain, and 3-1/2 years as President of the United States, Barack Obama has been vetted inside and out, up and down, and top to bottom. Love him or hate him, you know who he is – there is nothing to hide.

On the other hand, do you know who Mitt Romney is and what is he hiding? What is his agenda; and his program for leading the country? What forces will guide his policy making? How beholden is he to Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, Grover Norquest, Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party, and the rest of the right wing cast of characters? What is so damning in his tax records that he absolutely cannot reveal their contents?

Mitt Romney has been running for President for 6 years. Since starting his most recent run to the present time, Romney has focused his campaign on negating the record, character, and even the legitimacy of his presumptive opponent, President Barack Obama, while offering no real substance on how he would make America better or in what specific direction he would lead the country.

He claims his business experience makes him eminently more qualified to be President than Obama. However, Romney’s focus throughout the campaign really is on the angry voter who despises Obama’s policies as well as on the bigot who can’t stand America having a Black President.

Romney has made crude comments about throwing Obama out of the White House. Romney let stand comments from “Birthers,” like Donald Trump who deny that President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, claiming he’s ineligible to be President. Romney made a joke at a campaign stop this past week, “that no one has ever asked for his birth certificate” implying that Obama is not a legitimate US citizen. (Note: reporters did ask for Romney’s birth certificate during his last Presidential run in 2008, to verify the spelling of his name). Obama has been referred to by Romney or his surrogates as something “other,” as unpatriotic, as someone apologizing for America. Romney’s use of the “Race Card” to gin up undecided voters is distasteful and is aimed at distracting voters from questions Romney doesn’t want to answer, e.g. like his real position on “abortion and rape,” his decision not to release releasing his “secretive” tax returns, or his decision not to make any detailed revelations about the policies that he would espouse as President.

In Romney’s continuing efforts to contort, mislead and lie about President Obama’s record, are television ads like the 5 released last week that claimed Obama had gutted Welfare regulations. These “Race Card” TV ads which continue to be aired despite being proven false by independent fact checking organizations, show hard working white people trying to make a living and are designed to make voters feel that Blacks are lazy, and are welfare cheats out to abuse the system.

At last week’s White House Press Conference, President Obama, in response to a reporter’s question, clarified that the Governors in several states – two of them Republicans -- had asked for flexibility in managing their welfare rolls. President Obama gave them that flexibility on one condition; that these Governors put 20% more people back to work. Encouraging Governors to reduce welfare rolls by putting 20% more people back to work is not gutting or lessening Welfare Law standards, nor does it take them off the work requirement under welfare as the Republican ads claim.

President Obama reiterated: “. . . You've got Governor Romney creating as a centerpiece of his campaign this notion that we're taking the work requirement out of welfare, which every single person here who's looked at it says is patently false. What he's arguing is somehow we have changed the welfare requirement -- the work requirement in our welfare laws . . . Everybody who has looked at this says what Governor Romney is saying is absolutely wrong. Not only are his super PACs running millions of dollars' worth of ads making this claim; Governor Romney himself is approving this and saying it on the stump. So the contrast I think is pretty stark. They can run the campaign that they want, but the truth of the matter is you can't just make stuff up. That's one thing you learn as President of the United States. You get called into account. . . .”
Rather than show distinct policy differences between himself and President Obama, which a truly viable candidacy would do, Governor Romney has resorted to lies, innuendos, and disparagement. In desperation, the Romney campaign has shown an utter disrespect for the current occupant of the Oval Office – and an utter disrespect for the truth.

Perhaps because Romney has already alienated Women, Latinos, Blacks and Gays in his campaign rhetoric, Romney has only the “Race Card” left to garner support from angry white voters to throw Obama out of office. Or perhaps, he’s applying the teachings of the Book of Mormon which “. . . teaches that the colored races are descendants of the evil children of Laman and Lemuel, who impiously warred against the good children of Nephi and received their pigmented skin as punishment. . .” Perhaps it is because he considers Obama less of a human being?
Governor Romney wants Americans to trust him. He wants us to trust that he will do a better job than President Obama. He asks us to trust him but he hides himself, his policies, and his true record from us in every way he can. How can he ask for our trust when he has a long history of falsifying his records? Because he is so opaque and duplicitous about everything from his policies to his tax returns, perhaps an examination of Governor Romney’s character is in order.

Romney is a devoted Mormon who pours millions of dollars into the Mormon Church. He tithed $4 million in 2010 and 2011 alone. Although financially faithful, he violates some of the very basic premises of his church. For instance, the Mormon Church opposes gambling, including lotteries, and encourages others to join the church in “opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling,” according to its website. The Church also offers programs to help its members quit smoking.

Romney’s first ethical lapse violating Mormon teachings against gambling is that Romney invested in Sankaty High Yield Partners II LP, a debt fund affiliated with the private-equity firm Bain Capital, which Romney co-founded. Sankaty has loaned money to a variety of questionable companies, including the now-embattled Las Vegas Sands Corp, which is under Federal investigation and is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, owner of casinos in Singapore and Macau. In addition to Las Vegas Sands, Sakatay High Yield Partners II, LP, has also lent money to American Media, the parent company of the National Enquirer, as well as other gambling-related businesses as well as a cigarette company.

Another ethical lapse in Romney’s judgment is both to pretend to care about workers jobs and decent wages, while both he and Ryan share the same views with Sheldon Adelson, a man with a demonstrable history of being virulently anti-union. Mitt Romney pandered to coal miners last week during a campaign stop in Ohio, speaking to coal miners, who are generally unionized, about guaranteeing them good jobs and decent wages. This was another brazen attempt directed once again at gaining support of blue-collar white Americans.

Romney’s third lapse is in regard to gambling - which is very egregious for a Mormon. Romney accepted millions of dollars in campaign donations from the same casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, America's third-richest man, whom the SEC, the Justice Dept. and the FBI are investigating among others things for violations of the “Corrupt Foreign Practices Act.”

This is not the first time that Adelson was being investigated in the past by US authorities. In 1995 Adelson first met House Speaker Newt Gingrich and in the following year Adelson’s company found itself threatened by a Federal investigation of the gambling industry. The friendship between Adelson and Gingrich was cemented when Gingrich turned off a Federal investigation of the gambling industry; hence, Adelson first supported Gingrich in the 2012 GOP primaries before later offering his support to Mitt Romney.

The Romney/Adelson connection reads like an intrigue novel, only it’s not a novel, it’s real life. This relationship has a substanceto it that makes the past accusations about candidate Obama’s “friends” in the last election look like the insignificant and desperate stretches of the truth that they were. The Adelson relationship is very real and very deep – and very scary! Read tomorrows SNAP-CAP for the detailed facts about Adelson and the influence he’ll have in the event of a Romney presidency.