Here's another installment in my series of imaginary interviews, this time with a Romney campaign staffer who said, in response to questions about the accuracy of the campaign's ads charging that the Obama administration has relaxed work requirements for welfare recipients: "We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." (That's an actual quote.) This was an especially interesting position to take considering that, as documented in the same Washington Post story, the Romney campaign has in the past called for the Obama campaign to pull advertising when it was questioned by fact checkers.
Q: Why does the Romney campaign continue to run these highly misleading ads suggesting that Obama has gutted welfare reform, when he is doing nothing of the kind?
A: Are you kidding me? That's "our most effective ad." [another actual quote] These welfare ads are really helping us pick up ground in swing states.
Q: But aren't you concerned about the accuracy of those ads?
A: What we are concerned about is that the ads are working. If the ads are working, why would we stop running them?
Q: So truth is not important?
A: Look, there's the kind of small-minded picayune truth you are talking about, such as whether our ads are, strictly-speaking, accurate in a, strictly-speaking, factual way. But then there are larger truths, such as that taxes are too high, government spends too much, and that a lot of undeserving freeloaders are sucking away your hard-earned dollars. Does it matter that we fudge the facts a little in the service of these higher truths?
Q: But your campaign hasn't proved any of those supposed higher truths! You're really just confirming people's prejudices, aren't you? You're stirring up resentment!
A: I'd prefer to think that we're just giving the people what they want. What's wrong with that?
Q: What's wrong with that is that you are appealing to bigotry and you are telling lies. And when the Obama campaign ran ads whose accuracy was questioned, didn't you demand that they be stopped?
A: What we were concerned about was that Obama's ads appeared to be working. So of course we wanted them taken down.
Q: So consistency is out the window, in addition to truth?
A: Hey, if our strategy is working, we are going to continue it. If Obama's strategy is working, we want him to stop whatever he is doing. How is that inconsistent?
Q: But wasn't your campaign supposed to be about the economy and jobs?
A: Jobs, exactly! The Obama administration is telling welfare recipients they don't have to work!
Q: But Obama never said that! He didn't relax work requirements at all.
A: Oh yes he did. Didn't you see our ads?