PolitiFact: It’s “half true” that unemployment in Massachusetts declined to 4.7% under Romney, even though it’s totally true

posted at 6:41 pm on June 11, 2012 by Allahpundit

I don’t care about PolitiFact any more than you do, but conservatives are having so much fun on Twitter with this dumb spin — check the #PolitifactRatings hashtag and just keep scrolling — that a post is obligatory.

Hey, you know how every politician who’s ever lived tends to take credit for job growth that happened while he was in office? We’re lucky enough to live in an age when media fact-checkers will devote entire stories to countering such claims by pointing out that (a) economic growth and unemployment are complicated phenomena and (b) rarely can any one pol do much to influence them. Good work, PolitiFact. Coming soon: The companion piece in which Obama is completely absolved for three-plus years of grinding economic dreariness. Note the boldfaced bit below; they’re already inching towards it.

The ad — which combines stirring music, footage of welders and forklift drivers and images of Romney gladhandling with factory employees — was released June 8, 2012. “Romney,” the ad says, “reduced unemployment to just 4.7 percent.”

We checked Bureau of Labor Statistics data and found that the statistic was correct. The low point for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate during Romney’s tenure was 4.7 percent. (It happened during Romney’s final full month in office, December 2006.)…

Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution, said the policies of governors, presidents and mayors can affect job creation, but they play a small role in the overall picture

In fact, the way the Romney campaign phrased the claim we’re checking is particularly bold. It doesn’t say that “under Romney, unemployment declined,” or “due to Romney’s policies, unemployment declined,” or “in Massachusetts, we reduced unemployment.” The ad we’re checking says simply that “Romney reduced unemployment,” as if no other factors mattered.

…Yeah, good point. If not for PolitiFact, who knows how many people might have watched Romney’s ad and concluded that he personally knocked a point off of unemployment unaided by anyone or anything else? Oh, wait, I know: Zero. Zero people would have concluded that.

Look on the bright side, though: At least they gave a rating this time. When they tackled The One’s youthful dog-eating, they couldn’t bear to slap a “true” sticker on it. Via Guy Benson, here’s Krugman characterizing the current malaise as a “depression,” which Guy contrasts with O’s now infamous statement in February 2009 that if he didn’t turn the economy around in three years, he’d be looking at a one-term presidency. I’ll slap a “true” sticker on that one.


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Lolz. Gonna be a fun summer…

OmahaConservative on June 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Politicrap strikes again…

BigWyo on June 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Politi”fact”

Does everything relating to the left have to be based in falsehood?

turfmann on June 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

as if no other factors mattered.

I wonder : Did they give GW that much latitude? He had so many things on his plate yet one would act as if 911, the recession, and
the tech bubble bursting never occurred and only to be topped off by a housing bubble bursting that occurred due to things that happened years before he became President.

CW on June 11, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Hey Kruggie: We all been suffering for the 3.5 years…

d1carter on June 11, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Well, it starts with Politi — which we means “depends on your point of view” and isn’t actually fact based.

ProfShadow on June 11, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Still, I’m sure there was a war on women.

J.E. Dyer on June 11, 2012 at 6:50 PM

OmahaConservative on June 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM

yepper OC :)

cmsinaz on June 11, 2012 at 6:50 PM

They ought to just ignore things like this instead of making fools of themselves. If something is absolutely true and it makes a Republican look good, just ignore it. If something is absolutely true that makes a Democrat look bad, like Obama eating dogs, just don’t try to rate it. These guys need to go back to hack school.

forest on June 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

I hear it was standing room only for Krugman’s speech…

/

Seven Percent Solution on June 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Seven Percent Solution on June 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Now, that is funny…LOL.

d1carter on June 11, 2012 at 6:54 PM

All I need to know about Politifact is that they are owned by the same company that owns my local fishwrap of record, The St. Petersburg Slimes, which has since sold out to the Tampa Tribune, another leftist rag.

Flora Duh on June 11, 2012 at 6:54 PM

True or False: “Obama saved or created 300,000,000 jobs.”

VERDICT: 110% TRUE

-Politifact

portlandon on June 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

The Ministry Of Truth has spoken.

Go RBNY on June 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

LOL!

These liberals have spent the last 3 years carefully constructing this big brick shithouse of lies, distortions and misconceptions.

It’s fun as hell watching them trying to pump that bastard out now that it’s full.

BacaDog on June 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I hear it was standing room only for Krugman’s speech…

/

Seven Percent Solution on June 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM

When Krugs loses bayam…

Del Dolemonte on June 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

When they tackled The One’s youthful dog-eating, they couldn’t bear to slap a “true” sticker on it.

That’s because it’s false – Bill Ayers ate dog and wrote about it as if he were Obama.

The Count on June 11, 2012 at 6:56 PM

The Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), the home of Politifact, is delivered to my door every morning. It’s alsways amusing and predictable.

But the whole idea that some 20-something progressive journalist is even capable of discerning the truth is preposterous.

Who appointed these presumptuous dweebs as arbiters of fact anyway?

Curtiss on June 11, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Wow. The left is throwing everything at the wall now and none of it is sticking. They seem desperate to discount Romney and even more desperate to prop up the boy king.

What’s better is the lsm are so blatantly obvious about all of it, they expose their bias to many more citizens every day.

The lsm is losing credibility at the same time the left is losing power.

These are good times.

Corporal Tunnel on June 11, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Fortunately this isn’t Newspeak, it’s Barakianspeak. Which is why it’s boring, condescending and ineffective.

wildcat72 on June 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

When Michelle Bachmann said Obamacare was unconstitutional and Politifact rated that false because “Only the Supreme Court can say a law is unconstitutional” I almost sent them a copy of Larry Kramer’s “The People Themselves” so they could learn how silly such a statement is.

radjah shelduck on June 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Regardless, Romney is no friend to the unemployed. His health bill is necessarily a job killer, because it’s a big tax on productivity. More welfare, in other words, and more welfare means fewer jobs. I’m going to love watching conservatives twist themselves into pretzels trying to defend this guy as president, while he betrays them on issue after issue.

rickv404 on June 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

This one is almost as good as the “True but False” one.

Scrappy on June 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

as if no other factors mattered.

I wonder : Did they give GW that much latitude? He had so many things on his plate yet one would act as if 911, the recession, and
the tech bubble bursting never occurred and only to be topped off by a housing bubble bursting that occurred due to things that happened years before he became President.

CW on June 11, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Is that a rhetorical question?

;)

kim roy on June 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution, said the policies of governors, presidents and mayors can affect job creation, but they play a small role in the overall picture…

Oh for the simple days when IT’S ALL BUSH’S FAULT!

Hypocrisy is not a word found in the liberal lexicon.

GarandFan on June 11, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I borrowed another $10000 in credit and spent it on office furniture , carpeting and gourmet coffee machines.

Krugman said My business should be booming by now. I think ill borrow another $20000 to really get things rockin.

rickyricardo on June 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Have always wondered whether David Brooks likes the crease of Krugman’s pants …

TXUS on June 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Krugman said My business should be booming by now. I think ill borrow another $20000 to really get things rockin.

rickyricardo on June 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Did you tear down your building only to rebuild it just so people could have jobs?

/

CW on June 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Corporal Tunnel on June 11, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I have to agree, the MSM has now found the Oblammer has an Achilles heel. They can’t stand the fact that people are finally finding out what a worthless sack o crap he is. They are willing to destroy their own industry to fashion a lie, that won’t flush like the unsinkable Molly Brown, to try and cover for his but, ah, good times, good times :)

uncommon sense on June 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Sorta reminds of the good olde days with Stalin’s courts.

Having the truth and facts on your side meant an E-ticket to the firing squad.

CPT. Charles on June 11, 2012 at 7:17 PM

This just shows that Politifact is, like, totally neutral and unbiased.

talkingpoints on June 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM

I borrowed another $10000 in credit and spent it on office furniture , carpeting and gourmet coffee machines.

Krugman said My business should be booming by now. I think ill borrow another $20000 to really get things rockin.

rickyricardo on June 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

That’s your whole problem, you’re thinking small. Try borrowing an extra $5 trillion, like Obama, and man your business will be going at light speed on steroids, you know, just like our economy, and the celebrities will swoon and tweet about you, too. Go ahead, knock it out of the park, champ!

TXUS on June 11, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I’m going to love watching conservatives twist themselves into pretzels trying to defend this guy as president, while he betrays them on issue after issue.

rickv404 on June 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM

It’s nice to see left-wingers accepting their inevitable defeat.

If Romney’s policies result in a net improvement in the economy and a ‘recovery’ better than the pseudo-recovery-now-slumping-again economy we got with Obumbles, it’s not going to matter to the general populace. They will reelect a winner, regardless. Especially a moderate like Romney. Conservatives will vote for Romney again because Democrats will trot out someone as equally as distasteful as Ogabe and they will remember how bad that turned out. You should vote for Romney if you really think he will betray Conservatives.

Corporal Tunnel on June 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

The #politifactratings hashtag is awesome awesomeness topped with awesome sauce.

Spliff Menendez on June 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM

now and forever….NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on June 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

…Yeah, good point. If not for PolitiFact, who knows how many people might have watched Romney’s ad and concluded that he personally knocked a point off of unemployment unaided by anyone or anything else? Oh, wait, I know: Zero. Zero people would have concluded that.

That’s some of your best stuff right there AP.

Spliff Menendez on June 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Oh, wait, I know: Zero. Zero people would have concluded that.

Now I’m confused. I thought 0′s people were concluding that. Wha?

Bmore on June 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Can’t wait till Obama guest stars on THE BIGGEST LOSER next year.

profitsbeard on June 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

…but…butt Seamus was on the roof, who care about what happened more recently!

KOOLAID2 on June 11, 2012 at 7:35 PM

I must say that iowahawk is the funniest guy on twitter.

His jokes on this (and every) hashtag is awesomely awesome

OrthodoxJew on June 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I must say that iowahawk is the funniest guy on twitter.

His jokes on this (and every) hashtag is awesomely awesome

OrthodoxJew on June 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

His wit is pure genius.

Flora Duh on June 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Romney just took a little too much credit so we only rated it half true.

Wigglesworth on June 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM

PolitiFact won a Pulitzer…and that’s reason to suspect that the Pulitzer committee may be in fact illiterate. (PolitiFact rates the preceding statement “Half True”.)

PerceptorII on June 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

All my life it has been Hoover caused the depression, Bush (both of them) had terrible economic records as president. Reagan was very bad for our economy. Finally they convinced me that presidents DO affect the economy. Now they tell me…………….

Herb on June 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

“Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution, said the policies of governors, presidents and mayors can affect job creation, but they play a small role in the overall picture…”

And yet these people keep screaming that the president needs to do something… Go figure…

ojfltx on June 11, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Pragmatic on June 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Original!!!
/

Loser.

CW on June 11, 2012 at 8:02 PM

It’s nice to see left-wingers accepting their inevitable defeat.

You should vote for Romney if you really think he will betray Conservatives.

Corporal Tunnel on June 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Except I’m not a left-winger. If history is any indication, Romney is not going to make a difference for the better. Don’t expect him to repeal Obamacare. He’ll be there to keep it in place, in fact. The economic picture in this country cannot improve much with that thing in place, on top of Bush’s own health-care welfare, Medicare Part D.

rickv404 on June 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

This cracked me up:

As for Romney’s impact, economists have consistently told us that policies of a governor have a relatively small effect on a state’s economy.

Really? Who are these economists? Austan Goolsbee?

Buy Danish on June 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

…Romney is not going to make a difference for the better. Don’t expect him to repeal Obamacare. He’ll be there to keep it in place, in fact…

rickv404 on June 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Well. If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, it won’t matter. If not, the entire health care repeal issue will be demagogued as ‘racist’ by the lsm and Romney may not be bold enough to confront it Scott Walker style. I can agree with that to an extent, sure, but Romney has shown some boldness lately in his campaign. We’ll have to wait and see. In any event, Obama is still much worse than Romney and politics is a long game of inches. Romney will have to pick his battles based on the prevailing political winds. I don’t expect Romney to be ideologically pure by any means.

Corporal Tunnel on June 11, 2012 at 8:16 PM

“I know three Hillary Rosens”
Totally true.
Private sector is fine.
Triple true.
Obama is a genius.
Overwhelming evidence.

Politifact is a Democratic flag flag operation.
doh

pat on June 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM

The point is that the national unemployment rate dropped 1.2% over Romney’s tenure but only 1% in Mass, leading to below average job growth. If national economic conditions cause a recovery, can a governor make a claim that their policies worked when their job growth rate lagged behind at least half of the rest of the country? That’s the point.

Rainsford on June 11, 2012 at 8:30 PM

How many times did we hear the term “jobless recovery” from the media about the Bush economy?

jaime on June 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

PolitiFact? More like PolitiHack. Or, PolitiLap — as in Political Lapdog.

PolitiFact: Obama Truth Teams — Obama Attack Watch — and MSNBC all rolled into one.

PolitiTruth.com is still an available domain. Quick — someone call the Koch brothers and Tucker Carlson!

FlatFoot on June 11, 2012 at 8:39 PM

True or False: “Obama saved or created 300,000,000 jobs.”

VERDICT: 110% TRUE

(In China)

The Enforcer on June 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM

..semi-tangential: During Romney’s term, unemployment was reduced (however) to 4.7% yet Axelturd & Company claim it was 47th in the nation or some such crapola like that.

If unemployment was 4.7% under a governor whose state was 47th in the nation in job creation, how much more wonderful was the situation in the other 46 states? Pretty freaking good, I’d have to say.

And that was in 2003-2007 when “W” was preezy.

Thread that needle, Asselhat.

The War Planner on June 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM

And it’s important to note, as we often do, that governors have limited impact on a state’s economy.

…except when we want them to be kicked out of office, then they have sole control over the state’s economy.

Both Massachusetts and the U.S. saw unemployment rates drop during Romney’s governorship.

…and President George W Bush’s presidency, but we want you to forget that he had a 5.3% average unemployment rate throughout his presidency.

Unemployment declined during that period because the economy was recovering from a recession.

…but, that damn George W Bush, his tax cuts, those damn obstructionist Republicans, the Arab Spring, the Japanese tsunami, the euro crisis, the housing crisis, the bad advice that I received before I picked by Final Four brackets, fatcat corporate jet owners, etc., are keeping unemployment from going down in this “recovery.”

As for Romney’s impact, economists have consistently told us that policies of a governor have a relatively small effect on a state’s economy.

…but, we are going to mark all of President Obama’s ads slaming Governor Romney’s tenure as governor as 100% true.

Resist We Much on June 11, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Have always wondered whether David Brooks likes the crease of ridiculous bulge in Krugman’s pants …

TXUS on June 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Sorry, I was channeling AW there for a second.

pain train on June 11, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Have always wondered whether David Brooks likes the crease of ridiculous bulge in Krugman’s pants …

TXUS on June 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Sorry, I was channeling AW there for a second.

pain train on June 11, 2012 at 9:17 PM

..um..er..would that be in the front or the back of his pants?

The War Planner on June 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Doesnt the New Yuck Slime (my bird-cage liner of choice) also have shares in “ridiculous rantings that make no sense”?

MooCowBang on June 11, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Since this is about that pathetic ad – a little ‘fact’ left out of this ‘ad’ -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWdZEJW1vWY

is the screen at 0.27
MA fell to #47 – in state job creation.

Look carefully at the state above it – former State Senator Obama!

And look at the states under MA – all liberal Dem dominated state govs – is there any wonder why they lost so many jobs?

jackal40 on June 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM