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Presenting the most absurd line of attack yet from Mitt Romney:

"The real war on women has been the job losses as the result of the Obama economy," he told an audience in Wilmington, saying women had lost 92.3% of jobs lost under the Obama administration.
The Romney campaign has been repeating that line since Friday (and features it prominently on their website even now), but it's an absolutely ridiculous claim—a cherry-picked statistic that reveals nothing of meaning, and upon a quick analysis reveals itself to be the product of a willfully misleading and sleazy campaign.

The numbers Romney used to come up with his meaningless statistic are contained on this chart:

Jobs Chart
As you can see, the chart shows that since employment hit its low point in February 2010, jobs have been growing for both men and women. As of March's report, the number of men with jobs had almost returned to January, 2009 levels. Because the net job loss number is now nearly zero for men, women represent a lopsided share of net job losses since Obama took office.

The problem here is obvious: job losses didn't start under President Obama. In fact, he inherited an economy in free fall. The recession began in December, 2007, and if you look at the jobs figures from that point, you see that men have actually lost their jobs at a higher rate then women.

Jobs Chart
(The shaded gray line indicates President Obama's inauguration.)
From December, 2007 through February, 2010 (when the job market finally turned around), 68.7 percent of job losses were among men. Since February, 2010, 71.2 percent of job growth has been among men. That's slightly stronger growth than among women, largely reflecting the fact that men were more likely to lose their jobs early on in the recession, and are more likely to get them back early in the recovery. Still, roughly 3 in 10 of the jobs lost in the recession belonged to women ... and 3 in 10 of the jobs recovered have been among women.

So while it is true that you can cook the numbers to come up with a statistic like the one cited by Mitt Romney, that doesn't mean the statistic tells us anything valuable about the job market. But it does tell us that Mitt Romney is perfectly happy to be willfully misleading. It's the kind of thing you'd expect from a sleazy salesman, not a presidential candidate. And the fact that Romney couldn't come up with anything better to win women voters than resorting to such a sleazy tactic underscores just how big his problem with them really is.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 09:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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