In the last debate, President Obama took a lot of flak from his base for failing to pounce on what they saw as Mitt Romney's endless fibbing. And it seems this time, the Obama camp is on the offensive, seizing on a scathing Washington Post analysis, published this morning, that gave Romney's jobs plan "four Pinocchios."
Romney has frequently said his policies will "create 12 million jobs" in his first term, a number already expected by a number of economic forecasters, including Moody's Analytics and Macroeconomics Advisers, without looking at Republican contender's plans.
But Romney's jobs pledge gets more suspect in the details. In a recent campaign ad, Romney claims that 7 million of those jobs will come from his tax reform plan, another 3 million from energy independence policy, and over 2 million more from his plan to get tougher on China and improving job training.
The Washington Post found that those figures are an awkward squishing together of three different studies, none of which say what he claims they do. The 7 million number does come from a study analyzing Romney's tax policies, but the prediction is based on 10 years -- not four.
"In yet another instance of Mitt Romney's campaign not telling the truth, it turns out the numbers behind his 'jobs plan' just don't add up," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Tuesday, in response to the analysis.
"Mitt Romney thinks he can run out the clock by not coming clean about policy details, but the American people deserve the truth about his plans," LaBolt continued. "And the truth is that economists have concluded that the severe cuts he would make like education, research and development, manufacturing and infrastructure could eliminate 1 million jobs and shrink economic growth by 1 percent."
Calling out Romney for coming short on both specifics and facts, has become the Obama camp's latest favorite strategy.
Also on Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee released a phony website for Romney's tax plan with a button "Get the details" that scampers away from your mouse when you try to get close.
On Monday, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) -- who famously yelled "You lie!" at Obama during his 2009 address to Congress -- slammed the Obama campaign for accusing Romney and Ryan of deception.
"But, truly, I think it's inexcusable for the highest levels, [campaign advisers David] Plouffe, [David] Axelrod -- the statements that are being made. And this is being thought out," he told Fox News. "It's not spontaneous and it's just not true. The American people truly do see that Mitt Romney has a positive plan to create jobs in our country."
As Time magazine reported, fact-checking has reached historic proportions in the 2012 cycle, as has the proliferation of iffy facts to check. And with the presidential election just a few weeks away, politicians appear to be calling each other liars almost as much as they're lying.
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