Ever since the news broke last Friday that our economy added 257,000 new private-sector jobs in January, Mitt Romney has been grasping for a way to morph the positive news about our economic recovery into something that will benefit him politically. In his Nevada caucus speech this weekend, Romney said:
“[H]e’s been trying to take a bow for 8.3 percent unemployment. Not so fast, Mr. President ... We welcome any good news on the jobs front, but it is thanks to the innovation of the American people in the private sector, not to you.”
Far from taking “a bow,” President Obama has been clear about the fact that we still have a long road ahead of us. Meanwhile—instead of applauding these indisputably encouraging numbers, Mitt Romney insists on attacking President Obama for them.
And all the while, Governor Romney implies that his job creation record in Massachusetts is something to brag about. In fact, the state ranked a dismal 47th out of 50 in job creation during his tenure. Wages and income fell, and manufacturing jobs declined by twice the national average. But that doesn’t stop him from boasting on the campaign trail about the decades of private-sector work experience that has supposedly equipped him to lead. When he tried to transfer that much-touted business acumen to the public sector and boost Massachusetts’ economy, it didn’t work out so well.
Not only is Mitt Romney ill-prepared to create jobs, he has a history of doing just the opposite. In the 1990s, Romney made millions by buying companies and forcing them into bankruptcy. He slashed pensions and benefits, fired workers and shipped their jobs overseas.
Nor do Romney’s attacks on the President hold water. When President Obama took office in January 2009, we were shedding nearly 800,000 jobs a month. His immediate, decisive action to stop the bleeding reversed the trend. We’ve now seen 23 straight months of private-sector job growth, creating a total of 3.7 million jobs.
When the American automotive industry was on the brink and Romney threatened to decimate it by suggesting we “let Detroit go bankrupt,” President Obama refused to let it happen. The President rescued the auto industry, saving more than 1.4 million American jobs up and down the supply chain. America’s carmakers are now officially back, and the industry has added 170,000 jobs in the past two and a half years.
Mitt Romney’s record shows he can’t be trusted—and it’s clear that our fragile but strengthening economic recovery can’t afford to be compromised by someone like him taking the reins.