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Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney, delivering a mouthful of spaghetti logic in lieu of a campaign message:
"I believe the economy is coming back, by the way," Romney said. "We'll see what happens. It's had ups and downs. I think it's finally coming back. The economy always comes back after a recession, of course. There's never been one that we didn't recover from. The problem is this one has been deeper than it needed to be and a slower recovery than it should have been, by virtue of the policies of this president. Almost everything he's done has made it harder for this economy to recover."
When Mitt Romney launched his campaign, he said the reason he was running was that the economy was in dire straits and America needed his skills as a job creator to get back on track. Then Newt Gingrich challenged his skills as a job creator and he said anybody who attacked his business experience was an enemy of free enterprise. Now he says the economy is coming back, but it's President Obama's fault that it took so long.

According to Romney, the reason the economy is coming back is that it "always comes back after a recession"—no matter what the president does. How does he square that with his claim that America needs a president with his (claimed) experience as a job creator? He doesn't. He simply makes the vacuous claim that if it weren't for President Obama, the economy would have recovered more quickly, as if he took a bad situation and made it worse.

Actually, President Obama took an extraordinarily bad recession and stopped it from becoming a second Great Depression. When he took office we were losing nearly one million jobs per month. We've now had the best year of private sector job growth in the past five years. In fact, President Obama in just three years has a better private sector job growth record than George W. Bush had in eight years. (And under Mitt Romney, Massachusetts ranked 47th.)

There's only one way we could have had a stronger recovery and that's if we'd had a bigger stimulus. Perhaps President Obama should have asked for a bigger one, but the one thing we know is that it was congressional Republicans—particularly in the Senate—who led the effort to block the stimulus. Don't forget, they filibustered it and it only passed when three Republicans crossed party lines to vote for it.

Before President Obama took office, Mitt Romney himself called for a stimulus. The only major difference between what he wanted and what ultimately passed is the final stimulus included aid for states and local governments in addition to tax cuts and infrastructure spending, both of which Romney endorsed. But as Romney has also argued on the campaign trail, cutting spending during slow economic times is bad for the economy. In other words, if he'd had his way, growth would have been even slower.

Given all this, if you're confused as to what Mitt Romney's rationale is for why he should be president, then join the club. As far as I can tell, Mitt Romney is running to be president because it's something he wants to be. I can discern no other consistent explanation for his candidacy. Sure, he's pretty good at attacking his opponents, but that isn't enough to qualify someone for the presidency. If he wants Karl Rove's job, he's more than qualified. President of the United States of America? I think not.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Millions of jobs created! (11+ / 0-)

    All Obama's fault.  Yes, the King of Bain is sad at all the jobs he could have destroyed.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:35:47 AM PDT

  •  Greg Sargent at WaPo just asked me the same thing (8+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    via twitter.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:35:53 AM PDT

  •  Romney newspeak double plus ungood. nt (6+ / 0-)

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:37:11 AM PDT

  •  Everything Eli Manning Did Made it Harder... (4+ / 0-)

    ...For the Giants to win the Super Bowl.

    See how dumb that sounds folks?

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

    by TarantinoDork on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:38:13 AM PDT

  •  the impenetrable logic of the 1% (5+ / 0-)
    According to Romney, the reason the economy is coming back is that it "always comes back after a recession"—no matter what the president does. How does he square that with his claim that America needs a president with his (claimed) experience as a job creator? He doesn't. He simply makes the vacuous claim that if it weren't for President Obama, the economy would have recovered more quickly, as if he took a bad situation and made it worse.

    slutty 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 Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:38:55 AM PDT

  •  Mitt is running because he's 'Not Obama'...neither (6+ / 0-)

    are about 300 million others Mittens.

  •  A key point... (4+ / 0-)
    In fact, President Obama in just three years has a better private sector job growth record than George W. Bush had in eight years.
    That's a point that needs to be hammered home, over and over.  We tried what the Republicans are prescribing after the last recession and the results were worse than what we're getting under President Obama.  Therefore, there is every reason to believe that electing a Republican president to replace Obama will give us a weaker recovery, not a stronger one.

    That said, comparing job creation numbers with those under Bush really is grading on a curve.  It would be nice if we could figure out some way of achieving better growth -- preferably something that would actually be politically doable.  Unfortunately, that's a tall order.

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:42:51 AM PDT

  •  This line of attack won't work... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, TofG, HappyinNM

    "Economy is getting better, but I could make it better faster"  will not be enough to convince folks people to vote for Romney over Pres Obama.  Especially when Pres Obama can push back by pointing out Romney would "bankrupted Detroit" ending GM and Chrysler and hurting Ford to the point of a near million auto industry jobs would have been lost.  

  •  Economy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, HappyinNM, basket

    I had this handy (and on my mind) since I posted it last night as part of my Geithner Watch on the Night Owls thread. Hope no one minds a small repost:

    From Secretary Geithner's talk to the Economic Club of New York, last Thursday, March 15.

    ...As the President prepared to take office in January 2009, it was clear the situation was grave.  The President understood that additional actions were urgently needed.  He did not sit around hoping the crisis would burn itself out.  He was not paralyzed by the complexity of the choices or the terrible politics of the potential solutions.

    He decided to act early and forcefully.  And his strategy to stabilize and then repair the financial system, combined with the $800 billion of tax cuts and emergency spending in the Recovery Act, the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry, the actions of the Federal Reserve, and the coordinated global rescue he led in the G-20, was very effective in restoring economic growth.

    Within three months of taking office, the pace of decline in growth began to slow.  ...

    ...
    President Obama inherited very large fiscal deficits, swollen to levels well beyond any experienced since World War II.  The dramatic erosion in our fiscal position between 2001 and 2008 and size of the projected future deficits made the American people and their elected representatives uneasy about stimulus, and this diminished our capacity to legislate significant additional fiscal actions beyond the Recovery Act.
    ...

    In addition, we were hit by a series of blows to growth from outside the United States in 2010 and 2011.  The European debt crisis has been very damaging to confidence and growth around the world.   Japan’s crisis—the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant disaster—hurt manufacturing growth here and around the world.  High oil prices put additional pressure on both consumers and businesses across the United States. ...

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:43:42 AM PDT

  •  Big-time strategic error. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, annieli, TofG, basket

    You simply cannot, under any circumstances, imply to the GOP base that the Kenyan-Muslim-Socialist-Anti-Christ- Community-Organizer did anything right.

  •  Simple (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, HappyinNM

    Mitt Romney is doing nothing more than kowtowing to the folks he needs to win primaries. He can't really say that "Obama's ideas have worked and here is my plan to make it even better." He has to portray Obama as a failure in order to win right wing votes.

  •  Once again on the spin cycle (5+ / 0-)

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:48:05 AM PDT

  •  Need to do a better job of aggressively (0+ / 0-)

    countering the Romney lies.  He does it with impunity.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:48:10 AM PDT

  •  I So Hope Romney Brings Up This Line Of BS About (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, HappyinNM

    how the economy could have gotten better faster. It gives Obama the perfect opportunity to let the public know which party is really behind the slow growing economy - the obstructionist Republicans who wouldn't vote for Obama's jobs bill, who held the economy hostage to preserve tax breaks for the 1%, who have tried to eliminate unemployment benefits, etc.  And while Obama is at it, he should also mention that the reason the recession has been so deep, is because the Republicans drove the economy over a cliff with their deregulation of Wall St.

  •  So Willard says the economy is good but it would (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Danali, wishingwell, HappyinNM

    have been gooder wiyh him. And exactly does he prove this counterfactual?

  •  Hey, he invented Obamacare, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, TofG, HappyinNM

    He let the taxpayers bail out the Olympics,
    He doesn't take a salary because that would get taxed,
    He instead takes capital gains because that screws the IRS,
    And Seamus can't vote.

    What's not to like?

    Honesty is not a policy, it's a character trait.

    by Says Who on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:55:26 AM PDT

  •  Romney cant win with thise argument (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, TofG, HappyinNM, askew

    Any challenger needs a bad economy to win. It's especially true with Romney, who isnt personally popular, and will have trouble challenging Obama on foreign policy.

  •  Massachusetts was 47th in job creation (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, wishingwell, TofG, jennyp, HappyinNM

    He had his chance to show what he could do and failed.

  •  Good Luck (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, HappyinNM, jennyp

    quantifying the principle that Obama made the recession last longer. It is the flipside of the argument that the recession would have been worse, but for the president's policies -- something the Obama administration had great difficulty and little success conveying.

  •  Why Romney wants to be president is beyond (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, jennyp, D in Northern Virginia

    me.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:03:28 AM PDT

    •  In order to protect his fellow members... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of the upper 0.1%, of course.

      That's the one thing that he truly cares about, making sure that the government works for the wealthy elite.  Anything else he's willing to be, um, flexible on.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:15:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the economy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    continues to get better; the Obama campaign will have a truckload of Rommey's lies to consistently play on T.V. repeatedly.  We just have to be patient to see who's going to be the Regressives nominee.  They could start doing it a little bit now, but these guys are going to continue to make asses of themselves until then.

  •  People don't remember anything (0+ / 0-)

    further back than a month ago. The economy is improving and they don't give a damn as to how long it took.

    Romney 2012 - I Never Said That!

    by kitebro on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:08:03 AM PDT

  •  Mittens is Running on Empty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, D in Northern Virginia

    Insert Jackson Browne's Running on Empty here...

    LOL

  •  He should spend less on ads and more on advisors. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Raynfala

    Clearly this outsourcing thing isn't working real well for him.

    Burn the land and boil the sea - you can't take the sky from me...

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

  •  Obviously Mitt is trying to beat Gingrich for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    much vaunted "economic ignorance" demographic.

    And at this rate he'll have it wrapped up by Wednesday.

    Burn the land and boil the sea - you can't take the sky from me...

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:16:31 AM PDT

  •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, D in Northern Virginia, citydem
    "The problem is this one has been deeper than it needed to be and a slower recovery than it should have been, by virtue of the policies of this president."
    Uh, all I remember is the GOP saying "no" to every measure brought forth.

    Why would I believe any of these guys actually give a shit?

    F*ck those idiots and the voters they rode in on.

    by roninkai on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:18:49 AM PDT

  •  I am getting frustrated that such a bad liar is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    getting away with it. It seems as though "journalist" are more interested in the "he said..he said" of the horse race than just holding politicians accountable for their statements.

    ..President Obama is for mandates NOW but during the campaign he was against it as unnecessary he even mocked it. he was not forced to explain his change of heart..he never argued why the mandate was needed, and because of that people left and right are against mandates ACA is unpopular because of that..

    John McCain was for closing GITMO but still voted with other senators democratic and republican to keep it open..no one asked him to explain his change of heart..

    Jim Demint supported Mitt Romney and his mandate ...and yet he is against mandates NOW...no one have asked him to explain that change of heart.

    just remember if you are making excuses for one politicians someone else is making excuses for another politician...

    politicians both left and right should be held accountable to their words and actions

    /If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer/. Thoreau

    by hron on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:20:47 AM PDT

  •  Mitt's followup mouthdump: (0+ / 0-)

    "And if Alf Landon were President instead of FDR, he would have pushed Oppenheimer to get the A-Bomb ready by November of 1941!"

  •  Created 100,000 jobs (0+ / 0-)

    Remember when Mitt Romney first rolled out his campaign, he was boldly claiming that he had created over 100,000 new jobs. Then when it was pointed out that his claims were inaccurate, he eventually backed away from the unsubstantiated claim and instead claimed to have created tens of thousands of jobs. When this claim was also shown to be untrue, his ads then offered that he had created thousands of jobs. Now on the campaign trail, Romney simply states that he knows how to create jobs. If this pattern continues, by midsummer his Jobs claim will be reduced to having once almost met Steve Jobs.

  •  Romney (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt is so full of it.  Maybe if we let all the big companies go bankrupt and fire all the workers the recovery will be faster.

    It sounds like if we elect Romney, he will devastate the economy with his corporate raider strategy.  Then when  we get the "dead cat bounce" he will take credit for the recovery.  Meanwhile, say good bye to another big chunk of the middle class.  

    These guys, and especially Mitt, want the economy to tank so they can get elected.  No matter what happens to the rest of us, the rich will be getting richer.  

    If they had any decency, and the desire to bet (invest) on average Americans they would see, when everyone does well, we all do well.  This proposed, no tax for the rich strategy is designed for them to stay rich and not take much risk.  

    Americans have always taken risks.  It usually pays off.  These guys (republicans) are fine with what they have.  Why risk it on American growth.  

    Just saying anything to get elected is not what America is all about.  If we let these right wing "conservatives" take over, it will be the beginning of the end.

    Santorum and Ginrich don't stand a chance.  They each have their own set of dangerous ideas.  Repuiblicans are trying to scare us into electing them.  

    Remember the last time we let republicans scare us?  We are still paying for two wars and will for at least another generation.  How many generations do we have to spare?

    It will spark a true Revolution.  This election is a turning point.    

  •  i hate to say this but Republican voters (0+ / 0-)

    seem very stupid at times. in michigan where willard romney had demanded detroit to die in bankruptcy, he carried that state's primary. last week in puerto rico he insulted PRs to their faces by telling them that english was a better language than their native tongue of spanish. and he carried PR!!!! Republican brass can literally murder their voters and the same voters will still come back and vote them into office!!! in-f-ing-credible!! Republicans can't be human. i can't comprehend a single thing rational about their voting patterns.......

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