When Mitt Romney criticizes the job creation record of the Obama administration, he contributes job losses to Obama that took place in January 2009, immediately after the President was inaugurated. As the New York Times explained, “By counting from January 2009, Mr. Romney paints the bleak portrait of a country that despite a modest recovery still has fewer jobs than it did when Mr. Obama took office.”
However, when he was Governor of Massachusetts, Romney called that sort of accounting “silly.” In a video uncovered by American Bridge, Romney explicitly rejected attributing job losses from the beginning of his term to his own total, which is exactly what he has been doing to slam Obama:
ROMNEY: You guys are bright enough to look at the numbers. I came in and the jobs had been just, like falling off a cliff. And I came in and they kept falling for eleven months. And then we turned around and we’re coming back. And that’s progress. 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…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 I helped stop — I didn’t do it alone, the economy’s a big part of that, the private sector is what drives that, up and down — but we were in free-fall for three years.
Here is the Obama administration’s record when it comes to private sector job creation, with a free-fall due to the Great Recession at the beginning and a slow but steady turnaround, courtesy of Maddowblog:
And of course, the unemployment rate would be a full percentage point lower than it is today if severe budget cuts had not been adopted at the state and local level, which have caused massive public sector job losses.