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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the first presidential debate with President Barack Obama (not pictured) in Denver October 3, 2012.     REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TPX IM
It's one of Mitt Romney's big talking points assailing President Barack Obama's economic record, one he delivered in each of the three debates, including the one on foreign policy:
When you came to office 32 million people on food stamps. Today, 47 million people on food stamps.
One of the reasons he keeps going back to food stamps is that it's a talking point that works in different ways for a couple of different audiences. If you're concerned about the economy, a rise in food stamps indicates that people aren't doing well and poverty or near-poverty is high. If you're opposed to a safety net that ensures that people don't starve, a rise in food stamps is evidence that Obama is enabling whatever nasty labels you care to apply to people struggling to get by.

But as is so often the case with Romney's economic talking points, he's asking voters to ignore not just the reality of the economic collapse that was going on as Obama became president, but his own record in Massachusetts. In 2006, at the end of Romney's term, Project Bread, a Massachusetts antihunger organization, reported that:

The news this year is alarming: in low-income communities in Massachusetts, the extent of hunger more than doubled from what it was just three years ago. Findings from a recently released study show that hunger exists in an unprecedented 18 percent of households in these communities, up from 8 percent in 2003.
But an increase in food stamp enrollment under Gov. Mitt Romney was part of the good news:
Over the past three years, food stamp enrollment in Massachusetts has grown by over 40 percent. This growth in enrollment reflects both increased need and better outreach by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), the state agency that manages this program in Massachusetts. One innovative effort, the Bay State Combined Application Project, made it  easier for individuals who are elderly and disabled to apply for food stamps by electronically transferring enrollment information from the Social Security Administration to the DTA.
So depending how you look at it, Romney is assailing Obama either because more people have needed food stamps or because more people have gotten them. But under Romney, more Massachusetts residents needed food stamps, and more got them. And he's likely as regretful about the second part as the first, because getting hungry people the help they need is not the kind of president Mitt Romney wants to be.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Labor and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He will say or do anything (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, grover, rbird, dkosdan, George3

    facts be damned .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:43:08 PM PDT

  •  Incredible yet somehow expected. That's the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, grover, rbird, dkosdan, George3

    way it is in the Romney/Ryan campaign. Everything is upside down and screwy.

    Perhaps preemptive since he knows he's vulnerable on this. They often attack things of which they themselves are guilty.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:44:42 PM PDT

  •  mitt's trying for the guiness book of records in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, kpardue, rbird, dkosdan


    the "jeep is moving to china!" had to be one of his best (errr, worst?) yet.  :D

  •  Religious Prejudice - I'll Ask Forgiveness Later (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    I understand that for a Mormon to lie is not a moral failure if it's for a good cause. Well, stealing an election is what they might think is a good cause.

    ...(Clinton) offered more specifics of the republican plan than the republicans." Jon Stewart on the Big Dog's Speech at the DNC

    by wild hair on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:53:41 PM PDT

  •  If the Project Bread numbers are to be believed, (0+ / 0-)

    their report makes the argument that food stamps are ineffective:

    In a period when the number of families receiving food stamps increased by 40%, the number of families experiencing hunger increased by 125%.

    So, "My experience in Massachusetts has taught me that food stamps to not reduce hunger."

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:54:53 PM PDT

  •  Food stamps = 2012s version of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, dkosdan, DSPS owl, chickeee

    Welfare queens.

    The only people people really freaking out about President Obama giving out more  food stamps  are the same people who don't believe he deserves to be there because of his skin color.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:57:17 PM PDT

  •  Well, food stamp talk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharman, dkosdan

    is about the blackening of America if all these 47 million folks on food stamps are black.

    The gall of this man's hypocrisy, considering his record as governor (which the Obama campaign has not attacked him much on), is stunningly unmitigated.

    •  Of course it is. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sharman, dkosdan, DSPS owl, Chitown Kev

      And people are certain of it. Well, these people:

      AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks
      Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.


      Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

      In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.

      And here's a fun fact too:

      Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes
      We can't escape our ugly past, no matter how fast we run. And just when we think we're gaining on it, people like Mitt Romney give a little turbo boost to racism, and it starts to overtake us again.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:14:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, you're telling me that Romney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Has flip-flopped? That he was for something before he was against it? I'm sorry, I just can't believe something so outlandish.

  •  He's going for Yahtzee! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkosdan, white blitz, BusyinCA, chickeee

    By the last day of the campaign, Mitt is going to have taken every side of every issue and championed it at least once.

    Effectively going for a Yahtzee, as I refer to it, clearing the board.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:05:21 PM PDT

  •  You forgot the dog whistle reason... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which is to say that there is fear that Obama is redistributing the country's resources intentionally to black people... Which is an attempt to remind people that he's black and that he doesn't have white people's best interest at heart.  Never mind that the majority of food stamp users are white.  Details such as the truth don't matter!

    Newt used food stamps as a synonym for black folks too.

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:08:02 PM PDT

  •  o/t - Ezra Klein, was this diaried? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't find a diary and was looking to read some comments.  


    by keeplaughing on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:17:27 PM PDT

  •  Mathematical correction (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharman, dkosdan, BusyinCA

    Mitt doesn't have talking points, he has talking surfaces.

    A point is a 0-dimensional object, which can serve as the origin for a frame of reference.  A surface, on the other hand, is a 2-dimensional object; as in 'all over the map', 'extends in all directions', 'covers from one point to another to another and back again'.

    Topologically, Mitt is a Klein bottle: unorientable with nothing on the inside.

  •  Higher unemployment = Increase of food stamps (0+ / 0-)

    I know Romney believes that 47% of Americans feel they are entitled to food, shelter and medicine. Obama agrees with those people and makes sure that they have food.

    Romney claims to care about 100% of Americans. He's even upset that 9 million Americans are unemployed. But he doesn't want to help feed them.

    He's not perfect, nobody is, but he is my President. Obama 2012.

    by emcneill on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 04:06:22 PM PDT

  •  Rmoney reminds me of 2 people. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    1) Ted Bundy, the smooth criminal who was very successful largely because he did not look crazy.  He was lethal but didn't look it.

    2) Dorian Gray (I know it's a literary character) but it fits. Rmoney, like Dorian Gray, ages but he doesn't show his age. Both have done terrible things to people in their midst but their depravity doesn't show on their faces. In Rmoney's case, the meaness doesn't show until he gives that mirthless laugh of his. All I have to say is, when he does finally die, look out!

    Just look at the concern & caring on that face.

  •  Two birds with one stone (0+ / 0-)

    1). Dulls the attack Mitt's using regarding the rise in foodstamp recipients under Pres. Obama.

    2). Further debunks Mitt's claim of what a good job he did while he was governor.

  •  Talk to the Hand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't know. It was just funny.

  •  wrong color socks... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm having trouble finding the source of this claim.  Were any students actually detained for wearing the wrong color socks or this just something that COULD have been done?  I ask because I keep seeing this sock thing getting prominent mention, and yet when I google it, I only see it mentioned in passing in the lede without an example of an instance.

    I'd like to know more about minor infractions real students were detained for.

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