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Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney on unemployment

By Art Stevens

According to ‘Bloomberg Business Week,’ the Romney campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy, because they clashed with the Romney campaign’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama. While it is true that at one point, the Florida unemployment rate was over 11 percent, it is now down to 8.6 percent, and while that’s not good, at least it’s an improvement. After Bloomberg broke this news, it was denied vehemently by the Romney campaign, and shortly after that, Rick Scott himself denied it.
According to ‘Bloomberg Business Week,’ it is a true statement.

What no one seemed to see at the time was that Scott was not the only Governor involved in these tactics. Just a week earlier, the ‘Wall Street Journal’ reported the same problem in a bunch of other states. Mitt Romney, campaigning in Virginia, talked about how terrible Obama has been for the economy in Virginia. In actuality, the state of Virginia has a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, the ninth lowest in the nation, and in fact, the lowest in the Southeast. The Republican Governor countered Romney’s claims by telling his constituents that Virginia is doing well.

We have basically the same scenario in Ohio. Mitt Romney goes to Ohio saying how terrible Obama has made the Ohio economy. Actually, the Ohio unemployment rate is under 6 percent, and the Governor is telling his people that Ohio has made a lot of progress. In fact, when the Governor was asked by a reporter if it bothered him that Obama got credit for this upturn in jobs in Ohio, and the improvement in the economy there, the Governor responded by saying: “Bother me? I hope he gets ALL the credit.”

Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa, saying how terrible Obama had made the Iowa economy. He put out a four minute long web ad showing how terrible things are in Iowa because of President Obama. In reality, the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 percent, the seventh lowest in the nation. The Republican Governor of Iowa, when Romney came to his state, did an interview with the ‘Wall Street Journal’ to counter what Romney was saying. He said, “We’re actually doing very well. We’re seeing significant growth.”

True, these are just some isolated cases. I’m sure it is not the same in every state. My intention here is NOT to say that all through the country everything is peaches and cream, and there are no more problems. Of course that is not the case. We still have a long way to go to get our economy back on an even keel, but why can’t we get to a point where our politicians can tell it like it really is? I don’t mind at all when Romney says that he thinks Obama is doing a terrible job. That’s politics; but when he chooses to blatantly ignore the actual unemployment numbers, AND what the REPUBLICAN Governors are telling him, it is NOTHING BUT partisan politics at it’s worst.