Obama for America press secretary Ben LaBolt repeated misleading statistics about Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts job record in a lengthy interview with C-SPAN:
BEN LABOLT: But in many ways, his candidacy is based on a false premise. in the private sector, he profited off of bankrupting companies and outsourcing jobs. When he was running for office in Massachusetts in 2002 he said that he’d be an economic Mr. Fix It because of his experience as a corporate buyout specialist. But when he came into government making the same promises that he is today, job creation slipped behind other states. Massachusetts was 36th out of 50. It ended up at 47th. The debt and deficits exploded–he left the state with the highest per person debt of any state in the country. And taxes on the middle class went up $750 million a year. So the question is, if it didn’t work then, why would it work now?
The Obama campaign has used these and similar job-growth statistics repeatedly, but a closer look by the Free Beacon revealed major inaccuracies:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts ranked 51st (including Washington, D.C.) in job growth in January 2003 when Romney took office, and steadily improved to 30th by the time he left in December 2006.
That was the sixth-best improvement in ranking of any state during that same period.
The state experienced a modest increase in job growth (about 1.5 percent) during Romney’s tenure. The unemployment rate dropped from 5.6 percent to 4.6 percent.
As the Boston Globe reported in 2007, “Romney’s policies are credited with improving the state’s competitiveness.”
The Obama campaign seems to have arrived at the 47th rank by averaging the rate of job growth during Romney’s four years in office. Even so, to say that job creation “fell” or “plummeted to 47th” under Romney is inaccurate.