"I came in and the jobs had been just falling off a cliff. And I came in and they kept falling for 11 months. And then we turned around and we're coming back. And that's progress.The video, which Steve Benen reminds us of now that unemployment has fallen below eight percent and Obama has presided over net positive job creation, was found by American Bridge. Remember too that Romney made these big turn-around claims despite Massachusetts having been 47th in job creation during his tenure as governor. Not only was the state not, in early 2003, in the kind of free fall that the United States was in when Barack Obama took office, but under Romney Massachusetts' recovery lagged behind almost every other state.
"And if you're going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should immediately turn around, well that would be silly. It takes a while to get things turned around. We were in a recession; we were losing jobs every month, we've turned around, and since the turn around we've added 50,000 jobs. That's progress.
"There will be some people who try to say, 'Well governor, net-net you've only added a few thousand jobs since you've been in.' Yeah, but ... we were in free-fall for three years and the last year of that I happened to be here and then we've turned it around as a state, private sector, government sector turned it around and now we're adding jobs.... I'm very pleased that over the last two, two-and-a-half years we've seen pretty consistent job growth."
So much of Romney's defense of himself, back in 2006, is better suited to President Obama now. Romney said then that "if you're going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should immediately turn around, well that would be silly." That is exactly what Romney has said about Obama's presidency—but it's actually something worse than just "silly."