Such is the new attack on Mitt Romney’s “otherness.” Apparently tired of attacking him for being wealthy or allegedly paying low taxes, the Obama campaign is now targeting Romney with an ad that claims he said class sizes “don’t matter” in education. The ad then implies Romney cannot relate to the average person’s struggle to provide their children with a good education, and says he supports the Paul Ryan budget, “which could cut education by 20%.”
This ad should be withdrawn by the campaign for two reasons. First, looking at the Washington Times article the ad cites, Romney never said class sizes don’t matter. What he did say was that internationally-renowned schools have class sizes similar to those in America:
“In schools that are the highest-performing in the world, their classroom sizes are about the same as in the United States,” Mr. Romney said. “So it’s not the classroom size that’s driving the success of those school systems.”
Second, the ad’s assertion about the Ryan budget proposal is intellectually dishonest. Looking at the only report from the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities (CBPP) published on May 21, 2012 — which is cited as a source for this claim — nowhere is it stated that the Ryan budget would or could cut education spending. The policy paper from the liberal think tank does say the Romney budget plan would cut education funding, but that is not what the Obama ad claims.
The Reuters article the ad cites from August 18 to bolster its point about the Paul Ryan education budget cuts? That’s untrue as well (emphasis added):
The plan crafted by Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee, calls for reductions of about 20 percent in non-defense discretionary spending.
If these cuts were distributed evenly across budget areas, the White House report said, it would mean reductions in federal grants that would eliminate funding for 38,000 teachers and aides and a further 27,000 special-education teachers.
Unfortunately, other liberals are jumping on the bandwagon started by the deceptive ad:
— genius (@1GreatThinker) August 22, 2012
Mitt Romney says class size doesn't matter in our schools. But all his kids went to an exclusive private school with a classroom size of 12!
— Wolf Song (@cskies) August 22, 2012
— Jay Bradshaw (@jwb625) August 19, 2012
This ad wasn’t run by a Super PAC. It was run by Obama’s campaign. As President Obama says in the ad, “I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message.” If he cared about the truth he would retract it.