Romney Repeatedly Said Obama ‘Made The Recession Worse,’ Now Claims ‘I Didn’t Say That Things Are Worse’

ThinkProgress filed this report from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

From the onset of his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney has “bet his candidacy on the economy,” as Dan Balz of the Washington Post put it. During the former Massachusetts governor’s announcement speech, he declared:

Barack Obama has failed America. When he took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse.

Romney has repeated the same line during campaign stops since, including as recently as three days ago.

The Massachusetts Republican was asked about this charge by NBC’s Sue Kroll during a press conference in Allentown, Pennsylvania yesterday. Romney claimed to never have said it, responding, “I didn’t say that things are worse”:

KROLL: You continue to say that the economy is worse, but unemployment is lower than it was in 2009, the stock market was tumbling and it’s now above 12,000, and it is growing slowly, we just had a two percent gain this last quarter. So how can you continue to say that things are worse when they really aren’t worse?

ROMNEY: I didn’t say that things are worse. What I said was that the economy hasn’t turned around. That you’ve got 20 million Americans out of work or seriously unemployed. Housing values are going down. You have a crisis of foreclosures in this country. By the way, if you think the economy is great and doing well, be my guest.

Watch it:

During his 2008 presidential bid, Romney garnered a reputation as a flip-flopper. As far back as his Senate run in 1994, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy coined the term “multiple-choice Mitt.” Romney’s words Thursday did little to shed that image.

Washington Monthly’s Steven Benen summed up the situation well: “Even for Romney, who’s flip-flopped more often and on more issues than any American politician in a generation, this is ridiculous. He’s argued repeatedly that Obama made the economy worse, and when asked to defend the bogus claim, says he never made the argument in the first place.”