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AP Fact Check: Romney Lied About Economy

From a fact-free Associated Press:

FACT CHECK: Romney miscasts economy in GOP debut

By Calvin Woodward And Jim Kuhnhenn, June 3, 2011

WASHINGTON – In rhetorical excesses marking his entry in the presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said the economy worsened under President Barack Obama, when it actually improved, and criticized the president for issuing apologies to the world that were never made.

For the record, we don’t seem to remember much fact-checking of Mr. Obama’s speeches when he was running for the Presidency, or even after he had been elected. Why is that?

A look at some of the statements by Romney on Thursday in announcing his bid for the Republican nomination and how they compare with the facts:

ROMNEY: "When he took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer."

THE FACTS: The gross domestic product, the prime measure of economic strength, shrank by a severe 6.8 percent annual rate before Obama became president. The declines eased after he took office and economic growth, however modest, resumed. The recession officially ended six months into his presidency.

The GDP isn’t the only factor in determining a recession, at least according to the National Bureau of Economic Research who make the official calls on recession. The NBER (who are mostly Harvard academics) use additional factors in their determination.

The NBER defines a recession as "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales." Who can doubt that most if not all of these factors got worse under President Obama?

Unemployment, however, has worsened under Obama, rising from 7.8 percent in January 2009 to 9 percent in April, after hitting 10.1 percent in October 2009.

Of course unemployment isn’t the only thing that has gotten worse under Obama. So has the housing market (foreclosures), inflation (gas and food prices) and, of course, there is the deficit — which Mr. Obama has tripled.

These are all major factors that should be included in any discussion of the state of the economy. But for some reason the AP chooses to ignore them entirely.

A case can be made for and against the idea that Obama’s policies made the economy worse than it needed to be and that the recession lasted longer than it might have under another president. Such arguments are at the core of political debate.

Which, oddly enough, is exactly what Mr. Romney said.

But Obama did not, as Romney alleged, make the economy worse than it was when he took office.

There are lies. There are damn lies. And then there is the Associated Press. Mr. Romney did not allege that the economy is worse now than when Obama took office. He said, as the article just noted: "when [Obama] took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer."

And that is unarguably true. Mr. Obama made things worse. Some things might have gotten marginally better in the meantime, such as the GDP. But they got worse under Mr. Obama before they got better.

And, indeed, the GDP is practically the only factor that has improved, albeit only slightly. And the GDP is a number that can be largely skewed by government spending.

In fact, by just about every other measure: unemployment, housing, foreclosures, inflation, deficit spending – the country is as bad or worse off than it was the day Obama took office. — Just ask anyone on the street if they are better off now than they were three years ago?

The AP goes on to make some other highly tendentious claims, such as the following:

ROMNEY: "A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America."

THE FACTS: Obama has not apologized for America…

If the AP is going to deny such an incontrovertible thing, then why even bother to waste one’s time trying to argue with them?

After all, who are we to believe? The AP or our lying eyes – and ears?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 3rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

21 Responses to “AP Fact Check: Romney Lied About Economy”

  1. Petronius says:


    The US economy is clearly deteriorating. It is being suffocated by TMG (Too Much Government). I would refer the AP to my economic report for May :


    to which I would now add the following :

    • Unemployment just jumped another notch to 9.1%.

    • The percentage of Americans holding a job fell to 45.4%, a 30-year low. Only 66.8% of American men have a job, the lowest level in American history. According to the BLS, the average length of unemployment is at an all-time record high of 39 weeks.

    • The ISM May manufacturing data came in lower, marking the third straight monthly decline and the biggest one month drop since 1984.

    • Housing prices fell 4.2% in the first quarter. The American middle class is being wiped out by the destruction of home values.

    • The average personal debt of each US citizen is almost $52K, and his total debt load (includes government debt) is $177.8K.

    • Moody’s warned of a rating cut on US sovereign debt unless progress on budget cuts is made by mid-July.

    • Bill Gross sounded another warning on US Treasuries: “existing Treasury yields fail to adequately compensate investors for the risk of holding them.”

    • The stock market is sinking like a stone. The DJIA has lost 500 points in the last few days.

    Perhaps after the DJIA has shed 1000 points the AP will recognize that all is not as it should be … but somehow I doubt it.

    Liberal ideology notwithstanding, government spending, transfer payments and redistributions, and money creation are not wealth, are not prosperity, and are not sustainable.

    An economy is healthy when the currency is stable and businesses can judge the risk and investors can invest their capital in a business or productive assets and get a good return. Sadly that is no longer true in Nerobama’s America.

    There is no way this Liberal love affair with spending ends well for America.

    Unless they are soon stopped, Nerobama and his robber gangs in Congress and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the bureaucracy (Steven Chu (Energy), Lisa Jackson (EPA), Ken Salazar (Interior), and Kathleen Sebelius (HHS)) are going to destroy the American capitalist system through a program of high spending, massive debt, money creation and inflation, high taxes, wealth redistribution, take-overs, and draconian anti-growth regulations.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Petronius, your analysis is most enlightening and distills the entire situation to an easy-to-understand synopsis. Your last statement is the bell-ringer, and it points out that although certain people seem to think that those individuals you mentioned probably “mean well”, it is my supposition that they are fiercely angry, mostly for personal reasons, and are taking it out on the US economy, all disguised under “helping the ‘disenfranchised’ ” . Whatever the hell that means.

    • tranquil.night says:

      If the markets keep panicking, you’ll only hear how it’s the House Republicans fault for refusing to raise the ceiling. Like Steve said: when do we ever hear the regime’s Praetorian Media Guard at AP fact-check the Liberal’s narrative? They’re not going to stymie the agenda of privaye sector destruction that they’re helping to advance.

      So far we’re all impressed and relieved that Boehner/Cantor have held the line, but do they still yet know exactly with whom they’re dealing? Let’s hope they’re starting to figure it out.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Along those lines, tn, Boner is trying to walk the “cool kids” tightrope while still not exactly, or confrontationally, sticking it to Hambone. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/06/congress_white_house_showdown_on_war_powers_act.html

      In all the links there’s a quote by Boner where he says, “Technically [Hambone] isn’t in violation of the War Powers Act”. In what universe and under what premise is he not?

      This doublespeaking dink is, on the one hand, “getting tough” on Hambone while at the same time saying he isn’t breaking the law, technically I have read the War Powers Act and it’s really quite specific in terms of the time constraint. The Libyan KMA’s deadline expired last month and Hambone and his flying monkeys are intentionally ignoring the WPA, probably thinking that no one would dare make a fuss over it. After all, he is supreme ruler in charge of all things and untouchable (‘cuz he black).

    • TerryAnne says:

      Adding on, or emphasizing what Petronius said in the first bullet: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/06/unemploymnet_rate_muc_h_worse_than_91.html

  2. artboyusa says:

    Mitt Romney…didn’t he get the message in 2008? No one likes you, Mitt. You ain’t gonna ever be president. Save your damn money and find something worthwhile to do with your life.

    • TerryAnne says:

      I wish he would. If he ends up being our candidate, I’m going to have a very hard time voting. Having to cast a Yes for Bob Dole in the first election I was eligible to vote in was bad enough…

    • untrainable says:

      We are probably going to end up with a Romney ticket. The old school elite Republicans aren’t going to let a tea party candidate anywhere near the White House if they can do ANYTHING to stop it. And as is so common in republican party politics, it’ll be said that it’s his turn (just like on the democrat side, it was Hillary’s turn in 2008). But come on Terry Anne, no matter how much you hate Romney (and I’m no fan by any stretch of the imagination) would you really have that hard a time choosing between Romney and 4 more years of Obama? A steaming pile of dog excrement would get my vote over 4 more years of the Obama regime’s idea of utopia.

    • TerryAnne says:

      True; I’d vote to keep Zero out. However, on principle, I’d hate having to cast a vote (again) for that reason. At 20, and not very politically savvy, having to cast a vote for Dole wasn’t a big deal to me at the time. Now, at several years beyond 20 and much more into politics and knowing my personal beliefs/stances/etc, I’d hate having to resort to the same tactics that the progs did that gave us 2006-now.

    • Right of the People says:

      I wish we could vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE and have a write in.


      I fear you’re correct, the old boy network will be in full swing at the convention next year unless during the primary season we can manage to weed out the unacceptable candidates like Romney. I’ve said it a number of times, we need a one day primary so everyone everywhere can get to choose between all the candidates, not the just the ones who did good in NH and Iowa. In Vermont we don’t get to vote until super Tuesday and by that time half of the people I would even consider voting for are gone. I like my brothers and sister in my neighboring state of NH but I’m tired of them deciding who I get to vote for.

  3. Tater Salad says:

    Game over! Mitt Romney has just signed his papers for the unemployment lines. Conservatives will not vote for him now and here is why:


    • canary says:

      Tator Salad, Mitt Romney is extremely liberally progressive when it comes to sustainability as with Agenda 21; ICLEI a UN organization that some may call socialism, but I call it communism. Massachusettt was putting a lot of money into going green, even before Obama’s agenda of giving the small state billions of dollars of federal stimulus money with “go green” string attachments.

      There is a magazine the New American Agenda 21, or simply google Agenda 21 ECLEI UN and people need to find out if their city is paying for membership and following it’s guidelines. It’s land grabbing,
      rationing. Think of your taxes going to same UN plan Hugo Chavez and terrorist countries belong to.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Tater beat me to it.

      Congratulations Tate.

      And bye bye Mr. Stupid Massachusetts.

  4. canary says:

    ROMNEY: “A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America.”

    FACT: Associated Presses Calvin and Jim do not know the dictionary definition for apologize”. Mitt FACT: The dictionary shows Mitt Romney used the word “apologize” correctly, in regards to Obama traveling the globe apologizing for America. (in my opinion one the worst was giving the excusing America, one problem being that it is still full of racists.

    THE FACTS: But there has been no formal — or informal — apology.

    Merriam Websters Dictionary

    plural apol·o·gies
    Definition of APOLOGY
    1a : a formal justification : defense b : excuse 2a
    2: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret

    Related to APOLOGY
    Synonyms: alibi, excuse, defense, justification, plea, reason
    Related Words: color, guise, pretense (or pretence), pretext, rationale, rationalization, vindication, whitewash; cop-out, out; acknowledgment (or acknowledgement), atonement, confession; extenuation, palliation

    Synonym Discussion of APOLOGY
    apology, apologia, excuse, plea, pretext, alibi mean matter offered in explanation or defense. apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances . apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position . excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure . plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy . pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation . alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation .

    noun regret, explanation, excuse, confession, extenuation excuse for,

    Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
    a·pol·o·gy (-pl-j) n. pl. a·pol·o·gies
    1. An acknowledgment expressing regret 2.a. A formal justification or defense. b. An explanation or excuse.

    These nouns denote a statement that excuses or defends something, such as a past action or a policy

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009.
    apology [əˈpɒlədʒɪ] n pl -gies
    1. a verbal or written expression of regret or contrition for a fault or failing

    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
    ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
    Noun 1. apology – an expression of regret at having caused trouble for someone
    acknowledgment – a statement acknowledging something or someone

    2. apology – a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly
    vindication, defense, – the justification for some act or belief

    Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
    noun regret, explanation, excuse, confession, extenuation We received a letter of apology.
    apology for something or someone mockery of, excuse for, imitation of, caricature of, travesty of, poor substitute for What an apology for a leader!

    Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
    apology [əˈpɒlədʒɪ] N
    1. (= expression of regret) → disculpa f

    Collins Spanish Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
    apology [əˈpɒlədʒi] n (= expression of regret) → excuses fpl
    (= defence) → Rechtfertigung f, → Apologie f
    Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007 2009

    ROMNEY: “When he took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer.” is an Obama Fact.

    Obama started out with fear mongering tactics.

    Obama said we were in the worst depression in history and things would get worse.

    Companies saw an opportunity and food prices jumped overnight.
    People were afraid to spend. Supply and Demand plummeted.
    He said we were doomed, and the only way to lead the world was environmental control and high speed rails. Grow your own food.

    We soon notice Obama can’t speak without a teleprompter and goes duh..uh…

    Obama demonized Americans, and did everything to shut the voices of the people from being heard.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Sing it Canary.

      Romney is who he is. I’m done getting bent over it.

      It’s up to the people to prove to the political class how outdated and in the minority their ways are.

      And we shall do so.. again.

    • Papa Louie says:

      The AP refuses to report negative things about Obama and then claims they didn’t happen because they can’t find any reference to those events in their archives. Luckily, the internet doesn’t forget:


      Just from the following excerpt you can see that Obama’s press secretary thought that confessing America’s sins was a good thing. If Gibbs thought that Obama’s confessing America’s sins and expressing regret changed our image around the world and made us “safer and stronger”, how can the AP now claim it never happened?

      ‘…In less than 100 days, he has apologized on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors. Mr. Obama told the French (the French!) that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. In Prague, he said America has “a moral responsibility to act” on arms control because only the U.S. had “used a nuclear weapon.” In London, he said that decisions about the world financial system were no longer made by “just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy” — as if that were a bad thing. And in Latin America, he said the U.S. had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors” because we “failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

      By confessing our nation’s sins, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Mr. Obama has “changed the image of America around the world” and made the U.S. “safer and stronger.” ‘

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      It’s worse than just “apologizing for America”; It’s using the (incorrect) supposition that everything the United States has done throughout its history is founded in imperialism and colonialism. Nothing could be further from the truth. By telling a lie, then apologizing for the actions contained within the lie, he has tried to establish a false premise. Such a brilliant. scholarly perfesser should realize that the council for defense would object and that the judge would sustain said objection. But the judge in this case is supposed to be the press and they give him a pass, because the press largely agrees with the premise that the US is, in fact, evil. Yet it staggers the imagination that the vehicle that allows them the right to condemn the US so vehemently is due to the freedom they so condemn. Unreal, ain’t it?

  5. Chase says:

    While in New Hampshire – “Mitt Romney says global warming is real and caused by humans, breaking with most members of the Republican Party. “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” Romney told a New Hampshire town hall, according to Reuters’ Ros Krasny. “It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.” But Romney did take the opportunity to zing electric cars, a favorite target of conservatives because their engines don’t make that sexy vroom sound, saying, “I love solar and wind (power)…”


    Seems to me while putting Romney on every front page every day the Leftist press is trying to provide the impetus and name recognition so that the GOP will serve up the most progressive candidate possible, with little difference from Obama, hedging their bets with the electorate’s choices in 2012.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      This is basically the same info that Tater posted yesterday, not that it doesn’t bear as much exposure as possible, and your points are very salient as well. The media will endeavor to tell the electorate who they think will be the “best candidate” for the GOP and who, will either lose to Hambone or, if they win, it will result in a distinction without a difference. What amazes me, is that these products of the 60’s university system simply never took science, or, if they did, like Al Gore got dismal grades in it.

      AGW is a myth. The Earth may be warming up. However, sky-is-falling personal panic is nothing new. Entire wars have been lost over superstition. As Karl Goldmark once said, “Civilized people lose their religion easily, but rarely their superstitions.” :http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/jms/jms13.htm

      And, being as our uber-elite “leaders” are largely secular in their own lives, they fall for superstition probably more easily than most, especially when confronted with all the “evidence” from the “scientific community”. To go against it is to go against themselves and their belief that their sheepskin on the wall is what makes them so smart. It’s been a problem for ages where one’s credibility is based upon some credential, rather than actually being credible.

    • tranquil.night says:

      AGW isn’t just a myth, but one of voters least relevant concerns right now. Romney’s got terrible political judgment which represents the establishment’s old “go along to get along/business as usual” ways of always embracing and then defensively reacting to the false-premises of the Left, helping to validate their agenda instead of providing an alternative.

      Gas is going to be holding around 4$ while the Middle East continues to burn, unless yet another global economic crisis tanks demand again. America needs real energy development for economic growth, and Romney just promised us the same alternative fuel fantasy as Spike and the Left for 3 decades. It should be the easiest position on any of the issues to contrast the Conservative solution with. Drill, baby, drill.

    • canary says:

      EPA lauded Mitt Romney in 2004. The same EPA cracking down on farm dust, condemning homes older than1978,

      May 6, 2004

      “EPA New England applauds Governor Romney for his strong environmental leadership.”
      — Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England regional office, May 6, 2004

      Comprehensive Strategies Designed to Improve Air Quality and Boost State’s Economy

      A Massachusetts Tea Party site has scrubbed their article regarding Mitt Romney and Agenda 21.

      Recent article on Massachusetts needing to follow other states in dumping their membership.

      “I love solar and wind (power) but they don’t drive cars.”

      Actually, India claims and is showing a car that runs by air. The clean exhaust is freezing temperatures of air 0-15 degrees and comes in handy to save the extra fuel air-conditioning takes.

      So what will the global warmer dummies say to this. A way to cool the planet or their cold air is a sign of global warming.

      We’ve forgotten that we once fought plagues and infestations.

      Does it make sense for a city to enforce safely capturing squirrels who eat tree buds, taking them to
      a refugee where they are fed, reproduce, and make their way back to homes, or people feeding them to keep them from eating trees their trees.

      Here is more insanity on protecting trees. Here is an article which shows how far they will go. It’s really Crape myrtles shrubs and are to be pruned differently than other shrubs and trees. Church told to pay $4000 or replace beautiful crape myrtles with new trees.

      Charlotte Observer: Albemarle Road church fined $100 per branch for excessive tree pruning
      Brittany Penland
      Saturday, May. 28, 2011

      article & photo

      Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/05/28/2333197/church-fined-for-improper-tree.html#ixzz1OMHUDZ54

      What action and inaction has Mitt Romney taken in the last few years?

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