On ABC News’ This Week Sunday morning, anchor Jake Tapper pressed GOP Sen. Rob Portman (OH) on Paul Ryan’s false claim during the Vice Presidential debate that the unemployment rate is higher today then when Obama took office. Though Tapper noted that Ryan’s claim was flatly incorrect, Portman (who plays President Obama during Gov. Mitt Romney’s debate prep) simply doubled down on the falsehoods:
TAPPER: ‘That’s how it’s going all around america.’ This has been weak economic recovery, without question. but it is a recovery. and unemployment is going down, as a factual matter. Why would Congressman Ryan, in defiance of facts, suggest otherwise?
PORTMAN: I think that what he was saying was the truth: unemployment is higher today than when the president took office. Unfortunately, in the meantime, we’ve created net zero jobs, Jake.
The numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September jobs report prove both of Portman’s claims wrong: unemployment is lower than the day President Obama took office and the economy has created net positive jobs. Unless Portman is signaling that he agrees with the discredited conspiracy theory that the non-partisan BLS is cooking the books, these are, as Tapper said, indisputable facts.
Portman also misled on Obama’s record on free trade agreements, saying “it’s unbelievable that the United States has sat on the sidelines for the last four years; hasn’t negotiated a single trade-opening agreement.” The President has renegotiated and signed trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.