- Voters can be funny. They assume that all politicians lie, but they also don't like it when the candidates call each other liars. Here are seven ways Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got around that at the third debate.
1. The other candidate is being silly
- Children say untrue things all the time and no one minds. You're just correcting them in a light-hearted way. Like when Obama said that Romney would have let Detroit go bankrupt and Romney replied: "That's the height of silliness."
2. The other candidate must be mistaken
- Everybody gets confused now and then. Maybe the other candidate is misremembering. Like when Obama said that a college tuition waiver program started before Romney took office, and he replied, "That was actually mine, Mr. President. You got that fact wrong."
3. The two of you just don't agree, that's all
- The world is a big place and lots of people have different opinions. On this issue, you and the other candidate just don't see eye to eye. Like when Obama accused Romney of being "wrong and reckless" on foreign policy, and Romney responded, "Well, of course I don’t concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that I’ve said. They don’t happen to be accurate."
4. That's not a lie, it's a whatdoyoucallit
- Now, we don't have to call each other liars, do we? Not when there are so many other words in the thesaurus. Like when Romney said that Obama went on an "apology tour" around the world, and Obama said, "This has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."
5. It's not a lie, it's just not true
- What's the opposite of a lie? The truth. But what is something that's not true? Not necessarily a lie. Like when Obama said about the apology tour claim, "Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing."
6. Someone else said you're lying
- Look, you're not the type of person who goes around calling people liars. But other people have, and is it wrong to note what they've said? Like when Obama challenged the "apology tour" claim by saying, "Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true."
7. Metaphorically speaking, you're lying
- You don't have to literally say someone is lying if you can metaphorically say it, right? Like when Obama said that Romney wasn't telling the truth about his position on the Detroit bailout, "Governor Romney, you keep on trying to, you know, airbrush history here."