In this past week, CNN "Contributor" and serial liar Dana Loesch has been caught lying multiple times, including the fact that she endorsed Mitt Romney during the 2008 Republican Primaries in Missouri despite the fact that she thinks "Romney is a Socialist, unrepentant RINO, Obama-lite Presidential candidate."
I don't like much about CNN's Dana Loesch but I have to give her credit for one thing: she's done a great job of "branding" herself as a rebellious tea party outsider independent from the mainstream Republican Party. After all, why would gullible news outlets like CNN want to hire just another person repeating the same old tired Republican talking points? But, like pretty much everything else that's come from the St. Louis Tea Party, Loesch's image as a rebellious outsider was deliberately constructed and almost entirely false.
After supporting both Roy Blunt and Ed Martin over more conservative challengers in the 2010 election, Loesch has been seeking attention lately by bashing GOP front-runner Mitt Romney. A few weeks ago she said she'd never support him:
Unfortunately for Loesch, even if she easily forgets, those wacky internets don't. A friend DM'd me a link to the Way Back Machine that showed that, guess what? Dana Loesch voted for Mitt Romney in the Republican primary in 2008 as the "candidate of change":
Team Loesch went to the polls this morning and cast two votes for Mitt Romney. I think he's the best candidate of change and more qualified than McCain.Here's a screen shot:
And guess what else? "RomneyCare" was enacted back in 2006, so I guess that means that Dana Loesch actually was a fan of RomneyCare *and* thought it was constitutional. How about that?
This proves the Loesch is just another GOP talking points shill, instead of the "Independent Conservative" mantle she claims to use for her branding.
Dana Loesch, CNN contributor and editor-in-chief of Big Journalism, has been sharpening her Tea Party cred against a Mitt Romney grindstone, bashing the candidate as an “unrepentant RINO (Republican In Name Only)” whom she “was against” in the last election, and this election. So great is her animus for Romney that she gets entire “mailbags of hate” from his supporters. The only problem is, Loesch voted for Romney in 2008, and the internet has the proof. This is the Tea Party equivalent of being in a mosh pit, and having a Justin Bieber CD fall out of your pocket.
Loesch’s main problem with Romney, if her twitter feed is any indication, is Romney’s individual health care mandate. I don’t know, am I reading these right?
I didn’t protest socialized health care for three years to support the guy who wrote it before Obama. #romneyYeah, about that. A liberal St. Louis blogger tracked down this blog post from Loesch, dated February 5, 2008 10:06 AM:
I was against Romney last election, I’m against him this election. I will be against him so long as he’s an unrepentant RINO.
Team Loesch went to the polls this morning and cast two votes for Mitt Romney. I think he’s the best candidate of change and more qualified than McCain. Rush just has personal beef with McCain and Coulter, well, she’s Coulter.Loesch doesn’t say anything about holding her nose while pulling that lever, but to be fair, the post’s title, “Tuesday Isn’t THAT Super,” can be seen as an indication that she wasn’t crazy about Romney or McCain. Still, why choose Romney over McCain when the thing you don’t like about the Democrats is this:
Even though I don’t like John McCain for several reasons, one of which includes McCain-Feingold, another is his hostility to small business and the free market – he’s still a better choice to me than the two successfully underwhelming socialists the other side is offering with their tax-heavy universal healthcare which circumvents our liberties and makes us all wards of the state.The funny thing is, while Loesch was casting that vote for Mitt Romney, Barack Obama was actually to the right of Romney (and primary opponent Hillary Clinton) on the issue of health care. One of the things I didn’t like about Obama’s primary platform was that he was against an individual health care mandate. You can’t do away with preexisting condition limitations without it. It’d be like taking the “buy one” out of a “buy one, get one free” deal.
Now, we all have our internet skeletons in the closet (like my early support for John Edwards), and it’s quite possible that Loesch was unaware of Romneycare at the time. He certainly wasn’t running on Romneycare. If that’s the case, though, then why go to the trouble of deleting the post from the blog’s archive? Surely, Loesch’s current Tea Party crowd would understand, wouldn’t they?
Dana Loesch, in her response, explains that she wasn’t for Romney in 2008, she just opposed John McCain more strongly, and cast her vote for Romney to prevent McCain from securing the nomination. After her first choice, Fred Thompson, dropped out, Loesch says “We were, at that point, faced between choosing Mitt Romney or John McCain. I did not like Mitt Romney.”
Now, you would never know that from her blog post, a fair reading of which would lead you to conclude that she at least liked Mitt a little. “I think he’s the best candidate of change,” she said. A fair person would acknowledge that, based on that post, no one would conclude that she was “against” Romney in 2008. A cynical person might think Loesch was just trying to backstop an embarrassing contradiction.
However, in her response, Loesch says that there are podcasts from the period that demonstrate her dislike for Romney. Fair enough. She goes on to explain her thought process. “I weighed Romneycare against McCain-Feingold, and that’s ultimately what made my decision. I disliked both of them to the point where I almost wanted to choke. And I ultimately decided that McCain-Feingold, in that particular instance, was worse.”
Yes, the same Mike Huckabee that Dana Loesch was scheduled to introduce at a St. Louis Tea Party event earlier this year. If only she had known about him in 2008! In a bit of cruel irony, she even, coincidentally, referenced the Tea Party-friendly former governor in that 2008 blog post, defiantly decrying big government with a folksy, “HUCK THAT.”
If just a tiny fraction of Missourians had voted for Huckabee, instead of Mitt Romney, the 2008 presidential race could have gone a whole different way. Going into Super Tuesday, Huckabee was within 67 delegates of the lead, with 1,069 up for grabs that day, and was polling in a statistical tie with McCain for the lead in Missouri. Had he won Missouri, he might have stayed in the race longer, raised more money, and really given McCain what for. He kept on winning states even after he dropped out, and even wound up with more delegates than Romney!
Loesch is right, of course. Most liberals feel that Obamacare was a half-measure, watered down by Republicans, conserva-Dems, and would have preferred a public option, or Medicare for all. What we got was the equivalent of eliminating starvation by making it illegal not to buy food.
From the 10.07.2011 edition of KFTK's The Dana Show:
On her blogposts at the feces-filled Big "Journalism" blog, she and her ilk have demonized the Occupy Wall Street protestors (and its offshoots) for alleged "lawbreaking", being "lazy welfare moochers," and the like.
On last night's Anderson Cooper 360, Loesch was on to offer analysis on the Bloomberg Debate.
From the 10.11.2011 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: It is 10:00 p.m. here in Washington.-
Breaking news from a place north of here. They are just about as fervent about their politics up in New Hampshire. The Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire wrapping up just moments ago.
The setting, a town hall. The eight candidates sat around a table with moderator Charlie Rose. They made their points, traded jabs, as you can see, elbow to elbow literally. The sole focus of tonight's face-off, the economy, but politics not far from center stage either.
With Herman Cain's poll numbers surging, he and his 999 plan were obvious targets. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nine-nine-nine will pass, and it is not the price of a pizza, because it has been well- studied and well-developed. It starts with, unlike your proposals, throwing out the current tax code. Continuing to pivot off the current tax code is not going to boost this economy. This is why we developed 9-9-9, 9 percent corporate business flat tax, 9 percent personal income flat tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. And it will pass, Senator, because the American people want it to pass.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And one thing I would say is, when you take the 999 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil is in the details.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike Herman's plan, which could not pass, because no -- how many people here are for a sales tax in New Hampshire? Raise your hand.
There you go, Herman. That's how many votes you'll get in New Hampshire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: A big night for Cain, also a critical event for Rick Perry. His stock is falling after two shaky debate showings and the Texas governor needed a strong showing tonight.
And of course Mitt Romney is still the front-runner, which made him a punching bag tonight as well. Just hours before this debate, Romney won the endorsement of New Jersey Chris Christie, who said Romney's experience in the private and public sectors make him the right candidate to lead the Republican ticket.
Joining me now to talk about all of this, CNN political contributor Republican consultant Alex Castellanos, also CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and CNN contributor Dana Loesch. She's editor of BigJournalism.com and a radio host for KFTK. That's 97.1 FM.
Gloria, let's start. Making the top tier means you catch some harpoons, Herman Cain in the crosshairs tonight defending 999. How did he do?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: OK.
He didn't get specific, other than saying that he really wanted to get rid of the tax code. But it was clear that from a bunch of Republicans on the stage, they believe that you would never be able to keep the personal tax rate at just 9 percent and that also a national sales tax is regressive and something they don't like.
And, Rick Santorum, as you just showed, made a very good point. How many people in the state of New Hampshire are going to vote for a 9 percent national sales tax? The Republican Party doesn't like to talk about that, no matter how much Herman Cain does.
KING: And, Alex, it is not just the sales tax that is tough to sell. Even conservative analysis of this plan says the federal government would lose 18 to 20 percent of its revenue from the current tax system. How does Mr. Cain sell that? That would make the choices, the spending cut choices even tougher, and we see Washington can't get that done as it is.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Unless you accept Herman Cain's argument of course that a different tax code, a more dynamic tax code would produce dynamic growth in the economy, which is not a bad argument to make.
But one thing Cain I think needed to learn tonight -- and he didn't -- is that these debates are like parking your car on a hill. Either you keep moving forward or you slide back. And tonight we may have learned Herman Cain's PIN code for his bank card, but we sure didn't learn anything new about Herman Cain.
Romney had a great debate tonight. Newt Gingrich...
KING: Hang on, Alex.
Dana, one thing we need...
CASTELLANOS: I was just going to say Romney had a...
KING: Hang on.
Dana, we needed to learn tonight whether Rick Perry was ready to play, after two shaky debate performances, a lot of criticisms, how can he handle himself on this debate stage.
The central issue here was the economy. Here's Rick Perry on his jobs plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Romneycare has driven the cost of small-business insurance premiums up by 14 percent over the national average in Massachusetts. So my question for you would be: How would you respond to his criticism of your signature legislative achievement?
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have the lowest number of kids as a percentage uninsured of any state in America. You have the highest. You...
ROMNEY: I'm still -- I'm still speaking.
PERRY: ... criticism.
ROMNEY: I'm still speaking. We -- we have -- we have less than 1 percent of our kids that are uninsured. You have a million kids uninsured in Texas. A million kids. Under President Bush, the percentage uninsured went down. Under your leadership, it's gone up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I care about people. Now, our plan isn't perfect. Glenn Hubbard is a fine fellow. Take a look at his quote. Some people say that. Just because some people say something doesn't mean it's true.
The truth is, our plan is different, and the people of Massachusetts, if they don't like it, they can get rid of it. Right now, they favor it 3 to 1.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right, we will get to the jobs plan bite in just a minute. We rolled them in reverse order.
But, Dana Loesch, right there, you see Perry and Romney going at it. Did Governor Perry turn in a strong and forceful performance enough tonight to quiet the doubters?
DANA LOESCH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, he did not. And I was waiting for this question about Romneycare to be asked sooner. I thought it would appear earlier in the debate. And then Perry finally asked him. And I thought finally someone is going to ask about Mitt Romney about Romneycare and its effect on business in Massachusetts.
But then he took a nap and he fizzled out. I don't exactly know what happened. He didn't follow up. He wasn't aggressive with it. And the question itself wasn't even framed in an aggressive manner. He allowed Romney to skate by on a number of just outright fallacies. One of them was that, well, we didn't raise taxes in Massachusetts and we were able to implement this health care system.
That's not entirely true. It was because of the runoff costs of Romneycare that taxes did have to go up after it was implemented. But that is something that Perry didn't follow up on. And I was waiting for Perry to show everyone that he had the fire in his belly and that he really wants to run for president and I didn't see that from him tonight.
And now I'm beginning to wonder whether or not he is really serious about this.
KING: Well, that is an important criticism and critique, Alex.
So you have Dana raising questions there of whether he can go back and forth with Mitt Romney on at least among conservatives what should be a perceived Romney weakness. That is one critique Dana puts on the table. Let's listen now when Governor Perry was asked to describe his jobs plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A president, particularly with the plan that I'm going to be laying out over the next three days -- and I'm not going to lay it out all for you tonight -- Mitt has had six years to be working on a plan. I have been in this for about eight weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is that good enough, Alex? You know this debate will be focused on the economy. Maybe he has more details to give us in the weeks ahead. But given his slip in the polls, given the questions about whether he can handle himself in a debate, is that good enough?
CASTELLANOS: No, it didn't seem like it here tonight.
John, I think obviously his campaign decided we are going to simplify things for our candidate. We're going to give him one idea, energy equals jobs, and we're going to let him be quiet the rest of the time and get through the debate that way.
The last debate, the excuse was made, well, he was standing up all debate long and he got tired. So this should have been his debate. He was sitting down. I think next time he will have to get a mattress because there was no energy, no fire and it was way too simple.
BORGER: Instead of seeming like an aggressor, Perry sort of almost seemed like a bystander here. And he really couldn't afford to do that.
He just put out a brutal Web ad against Mitt Romney, which attacked him on being a flip-flopper and on his Massachusetts health care. And then tonight, instead of building on that aggressively, he just kind of seemed to be a little more passive or a lot more passive than I thought he needed to be.
KING: So, Dana, if that's the case...
LOESCH: I wanted to raise a quick point.
BORGER: We are all on delay.
CASTELLANOS: I was just to say that, to Gloria's point, that that is exactly how -- sorry about that.
But to Gloria's point, that's how Rick Perry's won campaigns. He's never won campaigns because he's the most articulate candidate or because he's the brightest intellect. He always wins campaigns because he sticks a fork in his opponent's eyeball. And he has got enough money in the bank and there are enough super PACs out there.
And as Gloria said, there is the negative super ad out there. I would expect to see some very tough ads from Rick Perry pretty soon in the Boston and Iowa media markets.
KING: Well, Dana, if Herman Cain didn't defend his plan plainly enough and if Rick Perry was a no-show, does that mean by default Mitt Romney won tonight or did someone else steal this debate?
LOESCH: Well, not necessarily.
And one of the things I was going to say, too, was that, during this debate, Perry's camp was sending out e-mails of things that he should have been saying in this debate, for instance, on TARP. I thought that was so odd. And they do that pretty consistently. That's something that they should be talking about in the debate.
He had a great opportunity to distinguish himself from these other candidates. You had Herman Cain and Mitt Romney both defending -- both defending TARP, rather, just kind of shocking. But I don't think that Romney wins by default. While he's a good debater and he has great rhetorical skills, his answers, if you judge them by conservatism alone, don't pass the smell test. They don't. But because of semantics, because he's an artful debater...
CASTELLANOS: I disagree.
LOESCH: ... he comes out on top.
But Newt Gingrich I thought always does well, because Newt Gingrich just chews everybody up and spits everybody out and is able to reframe any debate that he's in. But I think Romney comes out on top and I think Gingrich comes out on top. I think Cain did well. Perry did not.
KING: Newt has been strong in every debate. He just hasn't been able to move the poll numbers.
Gloria, let me close with this. CNN has a debate one week from tonight. If Rick Perry is zero for the past three, I assume that one is do or die.
BORGER: Yes, it is important. People need to believe. Republicans need to believe that if they are going to nominate somebody, this person can stand next to Barack Obama on the stage and go at him and do well at it.
And if he cannot do that in a debate with his Republican contenders, with the other Republicans, he's going to have a hard time against Barack Obama. That's what people are looking for. And he hasn't shown it yet.
KING: Gloria, Dana, Alex, appreciate your insights.
Right after this Republican debate, again, our CNN debate one week from tonight.
And let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @JohnKingCNN. I will be tweeting tonight.