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George W. Bush
Memo to Mitt & Co.: This guy played for your team. Sad story, but true.
(Photo source: National Institutes of Health)
 
So Mitt Romney visits an shuttered factory in Ohio and opines:
“Had the president’s economic plans worked ... it would be open by now, but it’s still empty,” Romney said. “It underscores the failure of this president’s policies with regards to getting this economy going again. The other day, the president was in Ohio, and he said that this campaign was going to come down to his vision. His vision for America. If you want to know where his vision leads, open your eyes, because we’ve been living it for the last three years.”
The factory, however, was shut down during the Bush administration, in June 2008. Yet nonetheless, Mitt Romney's campaign blames President Obama:
“The fact that it struggled through the last three years is not the fault of Barack Obama’s predecessor, it’s the fault of this administration and the failure of their policies to really get this economy going again,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney aide.
What a load of bullshit. When President Bush took office, there were 17.1 million manufacturing jobs in the country. By the end of his term, there were 12.5 million—and falling fast. We still haven't recovered to that level, but over the past two years, America has gained 500,000 manufacturing jobs. Compare that with the 1.5 million lost in Bush's last two years in office.

And as far as Ohio is concerned:

With an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in February, Ohio’s jobless stats are lower than the national average of 8.2 percent. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 10.6 percent in December 2009, has steadily fallen since then — it was at 8.6 percent when Obama took office in January 2009.
So since Obama has taken office, unemployment in Ohio is down one percent, even though the economy was an absolute freefall when he was inaugurated. Meanwhile, when Bush took office, Ohio's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, so it more than doubled during his presidency.

Look, I get why Republicans don't want to talk about the Bush years: Wouldn't you want to forget an era in which you got to try all your ideas and they turned out to be miserable failures? And it's no surprise that Mitt Romney and his campaign would want to push back on President Obama's efforts to remind people of that reality. But it is a bit surprising that they thought it would be a good idea to visit a campaign that was closed during the Bush administration as a result of the policies that they want to put back in place. But perhaps expecting competence from the same crew that did such a terrible job over the last decade is expecting too much.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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