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As Mitt Romney has repeatedly and falsely insisted that President Obama made the recession worse, he's relied largely on his dubious record of job creation at Bain Capital as his main qualification for the presidency, not focusing much on his record as a single-term governor of Massachusetts. It's been periodically pointed out that, with Romney as governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation, which is a good enough reason for him to avoid the subject. But the Washington Post's Jia Lynn Yang takes a closer look at Romney's economic record in Massachusetts, suggesting more reasons for him not to dwell on the subject.

Massachusetts is a tricky topic for Romney because examining his record there involves many of the exact kinds of nuanced economic arguments that he is so desperate to avoid when we discuss Obama's record. For instance:

Massachusetts was one of just four states that by the time of the financial crisis still had not recovered all the jobs they had lost during the 2001 recession. [...]

Other states that never fully recovered from the 2001 downturn were Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, all industrial states that had lost scores of manufacturing jobs. Like those states, Massachusetts has been losing manufacturing jobs for more than a decade. And Romney was unable to stem the tide. At the end of 2002, just before he entered office, there were 338,000 manufacturing jobs in the state. By the time he left, there were 298,000, a drop of 12 percent, according to federal data.

It would be fair to look at that and say that there were forces beyond Romney's control, that a governor can only do so much to change major economic trends, that maybe his actions prevented it from being worse. But since 95 percent of his argument against Obama depends on pretending those kind of explanations aren't legitimate, explaining Massachusetts is tough even for a shameless liar like Romney.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:48 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Are you suggesting that, upon closer inspection, (9+ / 0-)

    Mitt is not what you might think from a distance?

    Hmmmm, its almost like he deliberately misrepresents his past accomplishments and professed beliefs.

    (Snark aside, I enjoy your diaries very much)

  •  It's the only government position that (9+ / 0-)

    he's ever held. By all means, let's take a look at Massachusetts; it's actually the most important item on his resume even if Mittens doesn't want us to think so.

  •  To know him, including his record on (7+ / 0-)

    everything, is not to like him.

  •  He is an empty overrated balloon (3+ / 0-)

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:02:44 AM PST

  •  "I also had the privilege to help lead a state." (10+ / 0-)

    Last night he had this weird line in his speech. After listing his private sector and Olympic "achievements", he added, almost as an afterthought, "I also had the privilege to help lead a state." He then moved on.

    Talk about a guy running away from his record.

    by janosnation on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:03:22 AM PST

  •  Just about everything he says is BS (5+ / 0-)

    It can all be easily dismantled. But Romney circles you into the ground.

    He'll say X, and you can reply, "Well, if you say X is true, then you can't say Y about Obama."

    And he'll respond, "But you can say Y about Obama because of Z."

    And then you can respond, "But if Z is true, you can't say X in the first place, or you have to qualify X."

    And he'll say, "But X IS true, and you don't have to qualify it if A or B."

    And you'll say, "But A and B never happen."

    And on and on......

  •  It creeps me out, though, that Republican voters (4+ / 0-)

    can embrace a Santorum.

    These people are not simply conservative. They are Christofascist (and no crypto about it).

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:09:20 AM PST

  •  Why hasn't anyone ever asked him.... (3+ / 0-)

    how come he didn't run for a 2nd term as governor? That to me remains a huge mystery?

    •  He wanted to President! (4+ / 0-)

      Same with Palin. This Governor'ing thing isn't all that special.

      Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

      by egarratt on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:13:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He was going to lose (6+ / 0-)

      Polling was not looking good for him, and he decided that losing was going to look really bad on his Presidential resume.

      So he just quit.

      This is my life. All the pain, all the joy it brings. All through the years, the blood, sweat, and tears, my hopes and my fears -- all that has led me to now. This is my life, and I wouldn't change a thing.

      by harrije on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:21:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No mystery at all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He had a choice: run for something in Utah or Massachusetts. He chose Massachusetts. He thought it would be better to run for President from here.

      About an hour or so after his swearing in he started running for President. And swearing at us. Swearing like a Mormon, but certainly not saying nice things.

      He never wanted to run again. Had no real interest in being Governor. Spent most of his time, especially after 2004, out of state campaigning. And flip flopping.

      Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

      by BobBlueMass on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:34:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  next lie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If this is brought up, he could lie and blame it on the Democratic legislature he had to contend with--but--that's Obama's argument also--he has to contend with R filibusters and, now, an obstructionist R House. Romney is not toast after last night--but he is looking like a loser to Rs. Methinks a villain will ride to the rescue--Palin or Jeb or Huck or Boehner.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:13:55 AM PST

    •  I Am Sure Romney Will Also Try To Blame The (4+ / 0-)

      loss of Massachusetts manufacturing jobs during his tenure on the unions, because that's standard operating procedure for all the "personal responsibility" Republicans - always blame your failures on someone/something else. Personal responsibility is only for minorities, the poor, women, Democrats and liberals.

  •  I have to admit (4+ / 0-)

    I'm looking forward to seeing how his campaign transforms after he's got the nomination.

    He is already the most inconsistent candidate in modern history, so he has no compunctions about just saying whatever he thinks will help him beat Obama, but it will be fun to see exactly what his mechanical brain thinks that will be. I really have no clue at this point.

    Conventional wisdom would be for him to veer back towards the center, but that will cost him the tattered bits of base he's collected while providing nothing to differentiate him from Obama, unless his goal is to literally run on the platform of "look how rich, handsome, and white I am!"

    He's obviously piloting a doomed ship, but will he crash into the iceberg or the reef? It is a mystery!

  •  But. Mass was a high tech state. (5+ / 0-)

    So, the three states without full recovery from 2001 are Illinois, Michigan and Massachusetts. But by the 1980's, Massachusetts had already lost a good deal of its traditional manufacturing base, and was transitioned to high tech. Computer companies like, DEC, HP, Apollo, Prime and Data General formed the foundation of Silicon Valley East.

    So, while Illinois and Michigan were loosing some of those high paid manufacturing jobs, Massachusetts was loosing high tech. And Romney could not help bring it back.

    It is a different story, and much worse.

    •  Ohio too but MA is nothing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      like Michigan, Illinois or Ohio. Here in MA things are much better now; part of which can be contributed to 99% of our kids having health care which romney eventually has to take credit for at least not vetoing the legislation when he was governor.

      This state appears to have transitioned from building widgets, then to electronic technology and now medical/educational/bio-tech complex; and there's always the old money families. They are doing quite well.

  •  Graphing his net worth vs employment 07-12 would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    make for an interesting graphic.

    Where did all that money go that sent the rest of us into recession?

    Could it be to Bain and others with Blind trusts that reflect Bain's performance?

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:20:47 AM PST

  •  This is one area where Romney is consistant. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    He did the same thing as governor that he did as CEO.

    “Organized money hates me--and I welcome their hatred!” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by shoeless on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:26:29 AM PST

  •  Mr. Fake Reagan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, weinerschnauzer

    Romney is doomed no matter what. Romney is the Fake Reagan, and the GOP voters, as uninformed as they might be, sense that he is a vacuous robot who has no soul in a time where they want a candidate with a dark soul, but a soul nonetheless.

    Beyond that, Fake Reagan has many problems, but one of the biggest is that he looks like, talks like, and is the epitome of a Wall Street financier. This is not a good attribute to have at a time when much of the left, center, and right all despise Wall Street.

    So as a result, whilst the GOP electorate keeps searching for the Great White Jesus Reagan (who is no where to be found), they look at Fake Reagan and see that he is a mannequin who belongs in a Saks Fifth Avenue display window rather than their dark master nominee.

    "No man born with a living soul can be working for the clampdown" The Clash

    by Calee4nia on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:32:28 AM PST

    •  And Reagan was just a Fake, period. (0+ / 0-)

      So if you're a fake fake, does that cancel out like a double negative or compound into something worse?

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        So if you're a fake fake, does that cancel out like a double negative or compound into something worse?
        It compounds into double trouble. Of course Mitt loves the word "compound" but only when it is precedes the word "interest." Which is a concept that just simply floats his yacht. Literally.

        "No man born with a living soul can be working for the clampdown" The Clash

        by Calee4nia on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 11:58:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why didn't Romney run for office in UT? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or enter politics as a conservative Democrat?

    I will never understand what makes this man tick.

    It pisses me off when the media compares him to Al Gore or John Kerry.

  •  Another finely-oiled weather vane moment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What nice is that he’s also insisted several times that the economy is getting better. But of course Obama's made things worse.

    What this country needs is to teach basic logic and statistics in school instead of (say) geometry. Same level of mathematical skills, but it would make people better citizens.

  •  Replay of Dukakis miracle of 1983-88 - not so much (0+ / 0-)

    If the Dukakis miracle record can be trashed, when the Reagan Morning in America miracle was sweeping the country, Mitt looks more than disappointing.

    Of course, he can always point the jobs of RomneyCare.

  •  The real McCain? (0+ / 0-)
    Stuart Stevens, Romney's senior strategist, dismissively compared the results in Minnesota to a "student body election." When it was pointed out that Romney won Minnesota four years ago, Stevens said it was because Romney in 2008 was the conservative alternative to McCain.

    So Rick Santorum is the new Mitt Romney? "Yes, sort of," Stevens said.

    So, if Rick Santorum is the new Mitt Romney, that must mean that Mitt Romney is the new John McCain. The question is, who now is the old John McCain?

    “Organized money hates me--and I welcome their hatred!” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by shoeless on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:41:26 AM PST

  •  "Objects in mirror are crappier than they appear" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:49:24 AM PST

  •  Why does Mitt's photo there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    remind me of Gary Coleman (Bill Lumburgh) in "Office Space"?

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:49:55 AM PST

  •  But (0+ / 0-)

    ". . . explaining Massachusetts is tough even for a shameless liar like Romney. "

    Not tough for him to lie about, but damn near impossible for anyone to believe.

  •  Mitt and Massachusetts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brae70, fsbohnet

    So. After saving the Olympics, Mitt chose one of his homes - this one in Belmont, Massachusetts - as the base to launch his second political career.

    Unfortunately, a certain Republican Acting Governor was preparing to run for (re)election. A few bucks here, a few bucks there, and she vanished. So Mitt gets handed the GOP nomination and, in the general, beats a lousy Dem candidate and becomes Governor.

    He ran here because it - he thought - gave him better visibility and name recognition than being from say Utah or New Hampshire, or some other place where he had a home.

    He won by claiming to be a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. He ran well enough in suburban Boston to win, especially moderate independent suburban women.

    He ran against the hacks in the Legislature. Four Democratic Speakers in a row have been convicted, and five of the last six. The Senate President had a brother on the FBI Most Wanted List, for years. He would balance the Legislature and goodness would prevail.

    So. Mitt as Governor.

    Job loss. He blamed high taxes, over regulation, and probably unions too - except for the ones that endorsed him. Much of he loss in manufacturing came from the loss of the mini-comuter makers that fueled the 1980's Mass Miracle (Digital, Prime, Data General, Wang. etc.). Some was offset by healthcare, higher education, and financial services.

    He finessed the Big Dig fiasco. Though the roof collapsed (literally, killing a woman) on his watch, he blamed his (Republican) predecessors.

    He did promote and get legislative support for smart growth, building development around town centers and public transportation. Doing little to actually improve public transportation made that a cup of weak tea. Some good came out of it, but not much. And now the "T" is cutting service and raising fares.

    The state's still trying to clean up the transportation system and financing after the Republican's fucked up the Big Dig. But I digress.

    The two major issues that will define him from his term as Governor:

    Same sex marriage. That came out of the blue and stunned everyone. If anyone saw that coming I never met them. Mitt - now running for President- fought that one hard. And dirty. He found a never enforced law from 1913 - used to prevent out-of-state interracial marriages - to stop out-of-state same sex marriages; and got the lame ass Dem AG Who Wanted To Be Governor to support him and enforce the law.

    He also pushed the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. It required a majority in two successive sessions to get on the ballot. It failed by one vote in the second session (thanks to my GOP state rep, who is otherwise an asshole).

    By that time he was on his way out of town and didn't give a crap, other than to insult us.

    Romneycare. Absolutely his idea. I am vague on the details (memory ain't what it was). But the mandate and tax credit thing was his idea. So, too, I believe is the state exchange. Bottom line: he wanted to take credit for passing a successful and conservative healthcare reform as the crown jewel in his Presidential campaign.

    It is almost a carbon copy of Obamacares.

    I may have screwed up some of the facts here. I am sorry about that. If so, other Massachusetts Kossacks can correct me.

    The sad fact is this: the Mitt of 1994 or 2002 would be a tough opponent for President Obama. He never would have gotten nominated, but he could run the same fiscal conservative/social moderate thing that works well in Massachusetts, and much of the Northeast, for Republicans.

    Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

    by BobBlueMass on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 12:07:07 PM PST

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