Romney’s Bogus Statistic

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 12 2012 @ 1:48pm


by Patrick Appel

Romney claims that 92.3 percent of the jobs lost since Obama's inauguration belong to women. Kevin Drum uses the chart above to expose Romney's accounting trick:

It's important for Romney to start on January 1, even though Obama wasn't inaugurated until January 20. Why? Because if you started on February 1, you'd end up with women accounting for something like 300% of all job losses, and that's ridiculous enough that it would give the whole game away. Even the rubes wouldn't buy that.

Catherine Rampell highlights an uncomfortable truth:

[T]he ax falls predominantly on women when governments shrink, a trend that many Republicans (including Mr. Romney) have endorsed. The main way to stem these state and local job losses is to give more federal money to the states, a policy that Democrats (including the president) have been supporting and Republicans haven’t.

Sorensen points out that it's hard for Romney "to argue he would have been able to do better just for women.":

There’s a political flaw in Romney’s talking point, too: It’s very hard for him to argue he would have been able to do better just for women. Given the above explanation for the gender discrepancy, an effective women-targeted policy prescription would have involved greater state aid–stimulus, in the generic political parlance–something that Republicans generally oppose. The left-leaning outlet Talking Points Memo reports the Romney campaign did not have a response when asked what Obama could have done differently. The main reason: it would have involved taking a decidedly un-Republican position.