The Corner

Our Incompetent Refs

In 2004, a lot of political journalists took the view that the Republican presidential candidate was taking many more liberties with the truth than the Democrat. I wrote an article about it for NR at the time, weighing the claims one by one and reaching the conclusion that Bush and Kerry were roughly equal in their truthfulness.

Eight years later, the journalistic conventional wisdom is the same, so I’ve performed the same basic task. Results on the home page. An excerpt:


The Romney statements that have attracted the most scrutiny recently . . . are true. Paul Krugman was among many liberals who accused Romney of lying when he said, during the debate, that people who have difficulty getting insurance because of preexisting conditions would be “covered under my plan.” Romney’s plan is to make insurance more affordable and portable so that fewer people find themselves sick and needing to get insurance. He would strengthen regulations that predate Obamacare, so that people with preexisting conditions can move from employer coverage to individually owned insurance policies. The small number of people who would still lack affordable insurance once these policies are in place would receive special subsidies to get coverage.

Some of Romney’s critics seem not to understand Romney’s plan in full. Others do not think it would work well, or as well as Obamacare. They ought to be willing to argue the point without accusing Romney of lying or being misleading. Romney would deal with the problem, just not in the way liberals prefer.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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