Monday, September 17, 2012

Romney: Fact-checking the latest Romney ad

The Romney campaign is out with an ad hitting Obama on dealing with China and claiming that the U.S. has lost 582,000 manufacturing jobs since Obama took office.
Fact check: This apparently measures from January 2009, when manufacturing workers made up 1,255,200 workers in the U.S. In August, the latest month for which there is data, that stood at 1,197,000 – a net reduction of 582,000 manufacturing jobs. Of course, there is always an argument about which month of a presidency a president should begin to be blamed for jobs losses. The share of manufacturing workers hit its lowest point a year into Obama’s presidency, January 2010 – 1,1458,000. Compared to then, there are 512,000 more manufacturing workers, according to preliminary August data.
AP’s Peoples: “With protests at U.S. embassies and four Americans dead, Mitt Romney is suddenly facing a presidential election focused on a foreign policy crisis he gambled wouldn’t happen. It did — and at a bad time for the GOP hopeful. … It’s unclear how long this round of Middle East unrest will last, and Romney’s aides concede the former businessman may struggle to gain a political advantage should anti-American violence continue deep into the fall.”That’s a claim Obama made during his Charlotte acceptance speech and was rated “True” by Politifact. He claimed a gain of “over half a million manufacturing jobs” since January 2010.
James Kitfield: “In two recent instances, Romney doubled down on positions that place him well to the right of the Obama administration, and firmly in the mold crafted by hawks and neoconservatives in the first term of President George W. Bush.” He adds: “If the Romney foreign-policy narrative and critique of the Obama administration sound familiar, they should. The key precepts were lifted from the never-have-to-say-you’re-sorry foreign policy fashioned by Bush hawks and neoconservatives in the aftermath of 9/11.”
More: “Despite the fact that the primary is over and you would expect Romney to move towards the ideological center, he continues to adhere to a very stark, black-and-white view of the world,” said Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations. “That suggests to me that he really believes what he says, and that Romney is most comfortable philosophically with a neoconservative worldview.”
“In his first rally since attacks in the Middle East thrust foreign policy to the forefront of the presidential campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday attempted to shift the focus back to the issue he hopes will decide the election: the economy,” National Journal writes. “Just one day after Romney accused the Obama administration of “sympathizing” with protesters who attacked a U.S. Embassy in Cairo and a consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Romney simply offered condolences for the four diplomats whose lives were lost. When a heckler briefly interrupted him and accused him of trying to ‘politicize’ the tragedy, Romney scrapped a planned moment of silence.” And: “Romney did stay on offense at his rally in this Washington suburb, but his target was President Obama’s economic performance.”
USA Today: “Mitt Romney took a softer tone on foreign policy at a rally in Northern Virginia on Thursday, telling the crowd the world needs strong American leadership but avoiding any references to Wednesday's argument about the president apologizing for America.”
“Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, ‘will begin receiving regular intelligence briefings next week from national security officials in the Obama administration,’ the Washington Post reports,” Political Wire reports.

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