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Tilting at Windmills

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April 25, 2011

DEFINE 'PEACETIME'.... Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R), back on the presidential campaign trail, isn't sitting down for a lot of media interviews -- but he loves writing op-eds. Romney's latest ran in New Hampshire's largest paper this morning.

When I took office in Massachusetts, we faced job losses and a fiscal crisis that had the potential to shake the faith of the credit raters in our bonds. [...]

Barack Obama is facing a financial emergency on a grander scale. Yet his approach has been to engage in one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history. With its failed stimulus package, its grandiose new social programs, its fervor for more taxes and government regulations, and its hostility toward business, the administration has made the debt problem worse, hindered economic recovery and needlessly cost American workers countless jobs.

The nonsense-per-sentence ratio is awfully high here, but a couple of things are truly egregious.

First, the "biggest peacetime spending" binge? I realize Romney struggles to keep up with current events, but this isn't "peacetime". There are still wars ongoing in Afghanistan and Iraq, and U.S. forces joined coalition partners in an offensive against Libya last month. Sure, foreign policy and national security aren't Romney's strong points -- remember that humiliating op-ed he wrote on nuclear arms policy? -- but as slow as he is on the uptake, I'd like to think he knows what "peacetime " is, and what it isn't.

Second, Romney "faced job losses" when he "took office"? As it turns out, he was governor of Massachusetts for one term, and during that time, his state's record on job creation was "one of the worst in the country." Adding insult to injury, "By the end of his four years in office, Massachusetts had squeezed out a net gain in payroll jobs of just 1 percent, compared with job growth of 5.3 percent for the nation as a whole."

How bad is Romney's record? During his tenure, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in jobs growth. There's a reason he didn't seek re-election -- Romney was wildly unpopular in his home state after his only term.

And finally, when it comes to Romney's critique of the president's record, Romney supported the stimulus he's now criticizing, and far from "failing," the Recovery Act helped rescue the economy from collapse. The president's most "grandiose new social program" looks an awful lot like Romneycare; president's tax agenda enjoys broad bipartisan support nationwide; and to argue that the administration's agenda "hindered" the recovery has no basis in reality.

Put it this way: the only reality in which Romney's economic critique makes sense is the one in which the United States is currently enjoying "peacetime."

Steve Benen 2:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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How bad is Romney's record? During his tenure, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in jobs growth. There's a reason he didn't seek re-election -- Romney was wildly unpopular in his home state after his only term.

Romney's a vapid fool who's political career will hopefully come to an end in 2012. But let's be careful about statistics: job growth in Massachusetts is almost always very weak compared to the nation as a whole, given its very slow rate of population growth

Posted by: Jasper on April 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Mitt Romney may be full of shit, but he's still the best candidate the Republican party has to offer!

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 25, 2011 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Steve! There you go again, with your pesky "facts".

Posted by: DAY on April 25, 2011 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Mittens probably set obscure records for offending all manner of sentient beings during his brief reign as mugwump .
These records probably need to be reassessed with the gritty determination of the bright new breed of "Republican" mugwump , now being referenced as "Governors" . It is fairly certain that the only records not set by these stout hearted stalwarts of nincompoop (ery) are only obscure .
It is very refreshing that when in doubt about the ability to change half a centuries established norms , our typical "Republican" mugwump now brilliantly declare , by gum , Emergency .
Still people want to know , what would the brothers Grimm do for a living now that right wingers now declare with the clarity of a Humpty Dumpty just what old fogies can do with settled law and social progress , By Gum !

Posted by: FRP on April 25, 2011 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

We are at "peacetime" as a nation!

As we are only involved in three wars, that qualifies as peacetime. Now, if Obama had not stolen the election and we had a President McCain, we would be in 4 or 5 or 6 wars and he would be a wartime president.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on April 25, 2011 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I always want to think that Romney isn't stupid, but he keeps proving me wrong.

Posted by: Four Legsgood on April 25, 2011 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I'm going to really, really show my age here:

If we have to have a Romney in the Presidential race, why couldn't it be Mitt's late father, George?

He was pretty Liberal and pretty smart (but I repeat myself).

It's a shame the Republicans will never let him run as the Mitt who ran in MA.
Too Liberal!
Health Care, Mitt? FOR SHAME!!!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 25, 2011 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

And of course there was no "fervor for more taxes" given that taxes declined under Obama.

So basically the entire laundry list is false.

Posted by: jm on April 25, 2011 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Obama can convince Romney it is not peacetime by drafting Tag and his shirking brothers into the service.

Posted by: John Dillinger on April 25, 2011 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Romney was in a quite similar place a few years back....Handsome guy sitting at the top of a weak field of GOP presidential hopefuls. Many of his competitors now are the same ones from back in 07-08.
Yet in the end, in a somewhat odd flurry, the GOP ended up with a man no one likes, John McCain, as the nominee. How did Mitt lose what seemed to be a sure thing to a guy who's reputation for foul-mouthed, vicious retribution, womanizing and plain mean-spirited actions keep everyone including his spouses at arms length?
Mitt is a Mormon. When you're Party backbone is Evangelical Christians, they'd rather have John McCain than a Mormon.

Posted by: T2 on April 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

How do you screw up an op-ed? Seriously. Is it that hard? It's prewritten? There's no media questions.

That part ALONE absent anything else in the op-ed makes Romney disqualifying.

Posted by: Chris A on April 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hi John Dillinger!
Remember during the last presidential election when Romney was asked if any of his sons would serve in the military, his answer - 'No, they have more important things to do like getting me elected'
That went well didn't it?

Posted by: j on April 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Lets ask Mitt about whether Bush was right or wrong when he said he was a 'war president'. If he says that Bush was right, ask Mitt the day/month/year that this country went from being at 'war' to being at 'peace'. It would be neat to see how many flip flops he could do with that one.

Posted by: es on April 25, 2011 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is peacetime? Try telling our servicemen and women in harms way?

If a Democrat said that during 2001-9 he/she would be branded a traitor.

Posted by: Eeyore on April 25, 2011 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Im thinking Mitt has hired a ghost writer

Posted by: Kill Bill on April 25, 2011 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Im thinking Mitt has hired a ghost writer
Posted by: Kill Bill on April 25, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I'm thinking Mitt's ghost writer has given up the ghost and Mitt's taken to writing his own stuff; he really *is* that clueless.

Posted by: exlibra on April 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, before we jump all over Mittens, I'm 99.44% certain that Krugman or one of the liberal crowd (CT, LG&M) used "peacetime" in the past couple of days (though they may have been quoting BarryO).

Posted by: ken Houghton on April 25, 2011 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Of course it's peacetime. If it was wartime, Romney would be in France recruiting members for his cult.

Posted by: Roger Ailes on April 25, 2011 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

OK I GIVEUP WHEN WAS "WAR" DECLARED?? Like Viet NAM war was NEVER declared--- just a "POLICE ACTION"

Posted by: iowacb on April 25, 2011 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Let's add that this administration's "hostility towards business" has coincided with record corporate profits, making everything Romney (supposedly) wrote demonstrably untrue.

But as Colbert has noted, facts have a well-known liberal bias.

Posted by: dsimon on April 25, 2011 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

haha, the funny thing is i assume the whole reason romney does these op-eds in the first place is so that he doesn't have to worry about making off-the-cuff flubs...so now he makes one on-the-cuff.

But he ran the Olympics, so I guess IOKIYAR

Posted by: bruce k on April 25, 2011 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Every comment Romney made was a falsehood and easily debunked by a fact check and reality. He knows the thousands of jobs being lost at the end of the Bush term and for the first 3mos of the Obama term happened before Obama's rescue ever started taking affect.

Romney is either stupid or knows he's lying. No integrity Romney proves he would say or do anything to be president...even deny his own successes if the "other side" started doing it too. Romney is a P H O N Y written large. Hope the paper prints a contrasting truthful op-ed in response to such outright lying.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 25, 2011 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well, since no one in Romney's country club set has been drafted and come back dead or maimed, it's peace.

Posted by: BroD on April 26, 2011 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

When will the republicans find someone who stands a chance at the presidency. Maybe we're lucky they can't. When will all of america wake up to the fact the republicans represent the rich. I don't believe in all the democrats do and some of the republicans recomendations have value. The unions in this country, in some cases, protect some bad employees. I was with the united auto workers for years and saw some real loosers protected who really hurt the companies ability to compete with other co's. I do believe the good unions do out weighs the bad.

Posted by: gerald larson on April 27, 2011 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK
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