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Romney Campaign Undermines Attacks on the President

The Romney campaign’s new standard for judging Romney’s economic record argues he should be judged only on his last year in office since he inherited a bad economy. The Romney campaign should then judge the President’s economic record by the nearly 4.3 million private-sector jobs he created since turning the economy around, since the President indisputably inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. Romney has simply undercut his core argument against the President’s handling of the economic crisis by trying to play by two sets of rules.

The Facts: Romney claims his first three years in office don’t count because he inherited a bad economy, but he’s attacking the President starting from January 2009. That’s hypocritical, even for Romney. In fact, over the first 39 months of their terms, President Obama has created five times more jobs in Massachusetts than Romney did as governor.

Double Standard: Romney is using a double standard. He inherited a stronger economy, one that had suffered a much shallower recession that lasted eight months and ended more than a year before Romney took office. The President inherited an economy that was still in the middle of an 18-month recession – the longest since the Great Depression – that lasted until June 2009 and lost more than 800,000 jobs the month he took office.

  • In the first 27 months of the jobs recovery, which began when we started adding jobs again in March 2010, U.S. private employment has grown by 4 percent.
  • In the comparable period after the 2001 recession, Massachusetts private jobs under Romney grew by less than 2 percent – well below the national average at that time.

Romney Economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. While the national economy emerged from recession in November 2001 and was creating jobs by July 2003, Romney’s Massachusetts lagged behind and grew at a slower rate than the national economy every year that Romney was in office.

  • Massachusetts plummeted to 47th out of 50 in job creation over Romney’s four years, compared to 36th in the four years before he took office and 11th in the four years after he left. On Romney’s watch, manufacturing jobs were lost at twice the national average, the third-worst record in the country.
  • Even in Romney’s last year in office – the year the Romney campaign would like to focus on – Massachusetts ranked 30th in job creation, with more than half the country adding jobs at a faster rate.
  • As jobs disappeared, nearly a quarter of a million people left the state – artificially lowering Massachusetts’ unemployment rate to 4.7 percent, which was still higher than the national average.