The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mitt Romney the Pinocchio of Election 2012

We were able to help create over 100,000 jobs. On the president’s watch, about 100,000 jobs were lost in the auto industry and auto dealers and auto manufacturers, so he’s hardly one to point a finger.”
— Mitt Romney, interview on Hot Air, May 16, 2011

All political candidates use what we call,  "Campaign Speak".  Barack Obama certainly stumble across some 'campaign speak' during the 2007/2008 run-up to his election in the Fall of 2008.  While it was during a debate vs,. a pure campaign speech, Candidate Obama indicated  the US ingenuity led to the first automobile.  As soon as the words  left his lips, I knew, while minor, it was a fumble to say the least. Gottlieb  Daimler (eventual Mercedes-Benz) developed the first automobile; and did not have the wherewithal to develop mass-production to support  his invention.  Candidate Obama spoke the common misconception that the automobile is a US invention.  

Factually, Henry Ford developed the first mass produced automobile.  (Ah, Yanky ingenuity)  So, technically Obama was on the edge, not close enough to the edge to avoid,"Campaign Speak".
The presumptive GOP candidate for 2012, is proving to be not only a 'serial campaign speaker', Romney is coming very close to  a "Tsunami campaign speaker".  We cannot say eight (8) dispatched  GOP candidate 'wanna bes' did not warn us.  
After completely flopping on the claim that women suffered 92% of job loses during the Obama Administration, Romney has moved on to what he must perceive as more fertile ground.   As you know by now, the 92% claim by Romney was based in the fact that men lost a disproportionate percentage of jobs during the earlier stages of Bush Great Recession.  Service Sector and other jobs predominantly occupied by women followed in late 2008 into 2009.  The classic "campaign speak" . If you need an example, think of the huge numbers of public sector jobs eliminated in states where the GOP took the majority position coming-out  of the 2012 Election. Of Course, retail jobs followed towards the mid to latter parts of the recession. But, "campaign speak" it was and Romney played it for a few days, until the media (even CNN) took the 'meat'  out of the "speak" with facts.  Oh, The Romney team plays us so very cheap. The latest is even a worse case of 'campaign speak'. His response to the Obama Administration's GST Steel commercial has unleashed a "Tsunami Speak" from Romney.
The GST Steel commercial. 

Combating such an ad, granted, is a hard task;  the Romney team completely flopped in its response. The problem?  The GOP seems to consistently fail to realize that all things these days have an electronic trial.  In Romney's case the electronic trial is a simple case of reviewing data coupled with timing.   
Romney on the GST Steel Ad, "“the steel factory closed down two years after I left Bain Capital. I was no longer there, so that’s hardly something which is on my watch.”  

According to the Washington Post January 18, 2012.  "significant Factual error or Obvious contractions! Romney remained connected to Bain Capital during his period of denial.
Specific information related to Romney's 100,000 jobs "campaign speak'. 

The  Washington Post May 18, 2012
 In the Hot Air interview, Romney even made this claim while at the same time arguing that a recent Obama campaign commercial slamming the job losses at a particular Bain investment was unfair because “the steel factory closed down two years after I left Bain Capital. I was no longer there, so that’s hardly something which is on my watch.”  (Technically, Romney had not completely extricated himself from Bain but that’s another story.) 
 The logic there escapes us. Romney appears to be saying it is okay to count jobs created after he left Bain, but it’s not okay to count jobs lost after he left Bain. 
 As we have said, Romney “certainly has a good story to tell about knowing how to manage a business, spotting opportunities and understanding high finance.” But if he wants to wall off companies that failed after he stopped managing Bain, he also has to stop counting jobs created after he left Bain. 
 So Romney gets a “repeat offender” award — our crack graphics staff is still developing the icon — for once again saying he created 100,000 jobs. But let’s also look at his claim that 100,000 jobs were lost in the auto industry “on the president’s watch.” That’s a new one.
 Read about the Romney claims of automobile industry losses via the link just above (Washington Post).

Romney claims the automobile industry loss 100,000 under the current administration.  If Mitt Romney takes that claim to an eventual debate,Obama will break his 'etch-'a'sketch' right on the debate stage.

Washington Post revisited
The BLS data show that much of the decline in auto industry employment took place in 2008, before Obama became president. Just in 2008, some 254,000 jobs disappeared in vehicle and vehicle parts manufacturing and 211,000 at vehicle dealerships. The numbers are equally grim if you just look at auto manufacturing and dealerships. 
 But since January 2009, when Obama took office, overall there has been an increase in jobs. The number of jobs hit a low point in November 2009, but then it has slowly inched upward so that Obama can point to the auto industry and says there has been a net gain. 
 In vehicle and vehicle parts manufacturing, the total number of jobs has increased by 73,000. For dealers, the gain has been nearly 30,000. So, all told, that’s more than 100,000 — instead of a decrease of 100,000 as Romney claims.

"Campaign Speak" is a political campaign expectation.   Campaign "lying' only works on people who probably would vote for the candidate anyway.  Thus, speaking to one's base voting bloc.  Romney's over use of "Campaign Speak" is indicative of a candidate who does not have a committed voter base.  

Romney was a GOP voter's reluctant finalist and will go into the summer campaign season as a handicapped candidate. It appears Romney will increase use of 'campaign speak' as he moves through the summer campaign season.

His use of stretches of truth coupled with doses of outright lies: "Tsunami Speak", will further tarnish his acceptability to independent voters.
Of course, but what else can he do; he does not have solidly campaign issues on which to win the election in December.

The Washington Post will from time to time use their Pinocchio Test.  How about leaving an illustration here for future reference.  It will be really interesting to see how often Romney (and for that matte President Obama) garners a Pinocchio and the number of Pinocchio Icons as they dual through the summer campaign season.

The Washington Post Pinocchio Test

Where possible, we will adopt the following standard in fact-checking the claims of a politician, political candidate, diplomat or interest group.

One Pinocchio
Some shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods.

Two Pinocchios
Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.

Three Pinocchios
Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.

Four Pinocchios

It seems Romney has one big Three Pinocchios with mere hours after the official start of his campaign.

A special thank you to The Artist Mario Piperni for his illustrations.

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